Yesterday (January 22, 2023) marked the start of the Lunar New Year. 🎊 It is now the year of the Rabbit, which is thought to represent "peaceful and patient energy." 🐇 We hope that this energy helps you stay patient in the dink and avoid those tempting, premature speed-ups. 😉
Let's dive straight into your pickleball tips, strategies, stories, news, and more... 👏
#1. 2023 PICKLEBALL TREND: AGGRESSIVE SERVES ARE "IN"
Pickleball is constantly evolving. Learn one trend to adopt in 2023... it's time to get aggressive with those serves! 💥
#2. LOVE AND MARRIAGE ... AND PICKLEBALL REFEREES
Get a new insight on some of the most integral members and ambassadors of the sport of pickleball - the referees! Learn how love, marriage, and pickleball unite many of the familiar faces enforcing the rules on the court. ❤️👰🤵
|A MUST READ!|
#3. WHY YOU SHOULD LEARN TO SLICE YOUR RETURN
The goal of the return of serve in pickleball is to make your opponents’ third shot as difficult as possible. Learn one pickleball strategy to help you accomplish this goal. 👏
Click here to get the best value in online video lessons and improve your pickleball game now with 140+ clear, concise, and organized video lessons (or over 7 hours of lessons!) that break down every aspect of the sport of pickleball, including mechanics, strategy, advanced concepts, and drills.
But don't take our word for it, check out one of our latest reviews below... 👇
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#4. MURMURS FROM THE LOSERS' BRACKET: SIGN OF THE TIMES: PICKLEBALL LICENSE PLATES
We here at Murmurs from the Losers’ Bracket are applauding what promises to be the first-ever pickleball license plate issued by a state. 🚘 Learn why these pickleball license plates would be consequential for Washington in ways that go beyond the ability for residents to celebrate and raise money for their favorite sport. (*For those new to Murmurs from the Losers’ Bracket, this is a (mostly) humorous tongue-in-cheek opinion piece - don't take us too seriously.)
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#5. PICKLER THE PODCAST - THE GUYS BEHIND NML PICKLEBALL
A website popped up in April 2021 that provided unfiltered opinion pieces on pro pickleball. This website went by No Man’s Land Pickleball (or NML Pickleball), and at the time, the two writers were anonymous and only went by the names Gritty and Slim. 🤫 Gritty and Slim remained anonymous for about a year, despite all of the speculation in figuring out who was behind the site. In April 2022, Gritty and Slim revealed themselves as Chris Ross and Jeremy Comazzetto, passionate 5.0 players and friends out of Canada. Now, Chris and Jeremy are hitting Pickler The Podcast to share more of their story and initial takes for the 2023 season. Tune in now! 🎧
And, don't forget to subscribe to Pickler's YouTube page, so you never miss another Pickler video - whether it be a podcast, pickleball tip video, or other can't-miss video.
#6. RULES REFRESH - WAS IT A DISTRACTION?
One of the most common rules questions that we get here at Pickler is whether a specific situation constitutes a distraction. 🤔 At the recent APP Punta Gorda Open (see the video below), a distraction was called on the court in a pro men’s doubles game between Hunter Johnson-Yates Johnson and Joey Farias-Andreas Siljestrom.
The rules of pickleball define a “distraction” as “[p]hysical actions by a player that are ‘not common to the game’ that, in the judgment of the referee, may interfere with the opponent’s ability or concentration to hit the ball. Examples include, but are not limited to, making loud noises, stomping feet, waving the paddle in a distracting manner or otherwise interfering with the opponent’s concentration or ability to hit the ball.” Further, as a reminder, the general rule in pickleball is that you may not distract an opponent when the opposing team is about to play the pickleball. If you distract an opponent that is about to play the pickleball, then you would have committed a fault.
Whether something rises to the level of a distraction is ultimately a "facts and circumstances" analysis. In the examples above, the scream by one of the Johnson twins was deemed a distraction because he yelled as Andreas Siljestrom was making a play on the pickleball (albeit a tough ATP shot). 🤭 As a result, the Johnsons committed a fault and lost the rally.
Do you agree with this call?
#7. QUICK TIP - GOOD ATTITUDES ONLY
The great golfer Payne Stewart once said, “A bad attitude is worse than a bad swing.” This also holds true in doubles pickleball. If you have a bad attitude or bad energy on the pickleball court, that will likely have more of a negative effect on your performance, your partner’s performance, and the overall outcome, as compared to bad shots or mistakes from time to time. So, reek of positivity. It’s infectious for both your own game and your partner’s game. If you or your partner make a bad shot, build yourself and your partner up so you are mentally ready to win the next shot. 🤝
Have a laugh and get great pickleball tips with longtime humor writer Frank Cerabino's book I Dink, Therefore I Am: Coming to Grips with My Pickleball Addiction! 📚
#8. TO PADDLE TAP OR NOT TO PADDLE TAP
In the first pro pickleball tournament on the 2023 calendar year, paddle taps were done away with in a women’s singles match between Catherine Parenteau and Lea Jansen. This on-court scene begs the question as to whether the “air paddle tap” was a handshake snub, or whether the sport is altering its view on paddle taps, at least at the professional level. 🤔
#9. HEADLINES FROM THE COURT
Serving up the latest pickleball headlines over the last two weeks... 🗞
- Major League Pickleball is doing all it can to support the growth of pickleball. Led by the passion of MLP’s founder Steve Kuhn—who wants to bring pickleball to every community in America and notes the cheap price tag for pickleball in terms of “joy per dollar”—MLP reached 11 billion eyeballs in 2022. 📈 MLP also recently announced two new teams—the Orlando Juice (owned by the DeVos family) and the St. Louis Shock (owned by the Chaifetz family).
- Tennis stars 🎾 Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, and Michael Chang will compete in the first Pickleball Slam on April 2nd at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, for a chance to win $1 million. Hopefully, the players will each be mic’ed up along the way, as McEnroe and Roddick have previously voiced some discontent with the sport of pickleball. It would be interesting to get their live thoughts when the action takes place.
- Start bringing your paddle in your carry-on luggage. 🧳 One of the best kept secrets has now been published by the New York Times—“How to Make Fast Friends While Traveling? Try Playing Pickleball.”
- New celebrity pickleball athlete was spotted, as Reese Witherspoon posed with a paddle. To quote her famous character Elle Woods, “What, like it’s hard?” 👩💼
- USA Pickleball CEO Stu Upson has announced that he will step down after a transitionary period. Upson spent about two years in the position as CEO.
- Sending “get well soon” thoughts to Joel Hentrich, who suffered a freak accident after turning his head “too quickly” to track a pickleball. As a result, Hentrich tore a neck artery and suffered three strokes. 🏥 Fortunately, Hentrich is on the mend and plans to return to the courts soon.
- The Mayor of Beachwood won his election by making pickleball a key part of his campaign promises. Will this be a way forward for future politicians?
- The State of Washington—which recently made pickleball its official state sport—has a proposed bill for a pickleball specialty license plate to raise money and awareness for the sport. 🚘
- Fire stations are installing temporary pickleball courts for firefighters to stay fit and engaged during their downtime. However, one firefighter has gotten so good that he has given up firefighting to go pro in pickleball. 👩🚒
- One of the Bryan Brothers yells - "It's not pickleball!" - as the pair and their mixed partners appear to be dinking mid-rally in an exhibition match at the Australian Open.
#10. ON THE TOUR - NEW YEAR, SAME STORIES
To start the year, the PPA and APP Tours held pickleball tournaments at opposite ends of the country. Although the pro players and pro tours are facing a new year and new season, the big winners remained the same. Learn more on the triple crown winners 👑👑👑:
- Johns and Waters Both Win Triple Crowns at PPA Season Opener
- Parris Todd Earns a Triple Crown at APP Tour 2023 Opener
Don't forget to mark your calendars for more pro pickleball action coming up! 🗓
#11. SENSING PICKLEBALL COMMUNITY AT THE BOCA RATON MASTERS
The Boca Raton Masters reminds us that pickleball is all about community. As one of the founding fathers of pickleball put it, the sport of pickleball is a “way to get off the sidelines of life.” Learn why. 🙌
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BALL'S IN YOUR COURT...