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Improve Your Pickleball Game with These Six Basic Tips 🙌

Published 18 days ago • 8 min read

Happy Wednesday! 🎉

Registration for the YMCA Mid-East Regional Pickleball Tournament closes on June 10! 🚨 Don't miss your chance to compete in this must-attend tournament and secure a special invitation to compete in the 2025 US Open Pickleball Championships! Keep reading to learn more. 👇

So, let's dive straight into your pickleball tips, strategies, stories, news, and more... 👏

Click here to access the online version of this newsletter


#1. BACK TO PICKLEBALL BASICS: FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS TO IMPROVE YOUR PICKLEBALL GAME

Pickleball is an ever-evolving sport. With the sport becoming faster and flashy shots making their way onto the court, don’t let yourself be distracted. It's important to remain focused on the all-important fundamental skills of pickleball. 💪 If you are new to pickleball or looking for some quick tips to develop your skills on the court, improve your game with these basic pickleball tips.


FEATURED PICKLEBALL TOURNAMENTS FROM PICKLEBALL DEN

Registration closes June 10!

Sign up now for your chance to play in the 2025 US Open Pickleball Championships!

Get ready for the YMCA Mid East Regional Pickleball Tournament to be held June 28-30, 2024 at the Upper Main Line YMCA in Berwyn, PA.

The gold medal winners from this tournament will receive a special invitation to the 2025 US Open!

Barstool Pickleball Open - Pickleball 603

Barstool is setting out to deliver a pickleball experience that will bring together Stoolies and Pickleball fanatics alike.

Get ready for Bartsool's one-of-a-kind tournament in East Hampstead, New Hampshire on July 27. Register now for an experience you won't want to miss!

Learn more about the other dates of the Barstool Pickleball Open.

QUOTES FROM RECENT TOURNAMENTS

"I have received numerous compliments on the Pickleball Den software from both players and volunteers... The biggest compliment of all is from the players who were amazed at how fast they were able to record their scores, then the next thing they knew, they were assigned another match and court.
"We are a rapidly expanding tournament company and find Pickleball Den to be a valuable asset in running a smooth tournament."
"PickleballDen.com The tournament software that is user friendly and efficient!! Communication is incredible and moves the tournament along quickly…no open courts… great job!!

#2. MURMURS FROM THE LOSERS’ BRACKET: A DISGRUNTED RESPONSE TO THE LATEST PICKLEBALL NOISE COMPLAINT

The ongoing battle between tennis and pickleball is quite the racket! A recent Wall Street Journal article delves into why the "tock" of a pickleball hitting a paddle is allegedly so intolerable. But what about the not-so-pleasant grunts from tennis players? At least pickleball courts are a grunt-free zone. 🤫


#3. SECURE YOUR SPOT IN THE YMCA MID-EAST REGIONAL PICKLEBALL TOURNAMENT

The YMCA Mid-East Regional Pickleball Tournament is a must-attend event for all pickleball enthusiasts! Register by June 10 to participate in a groundbreaking pickleball tournament offering players a special invitation to compete in the legendary US Open Pickleball Championships! 🎉


#4. RULES REFRESH Q&A - FOOT FAULTS AND FAIRNESS

By Mark Peifer, USA Pickleball Certified Referee; Past Chairman, USA Pickleball Rules Committee

QUESTION: Rule 13.D.1.c seems unique in that it is the only rule that allows me to enforce a fault on my opponent. It allows me to enforce a serve or NVZ foot fault. But, if my opponent doesn’t agree, then we replay. Why is this the case? What is the history of this rule?

ANSWER: This rule changed in 2019. Before 2020, if my opponents thought I had committed a foot fault, they could call it, and enforce it, and I had no recourse.

To put this in perspective, please allow me to share two scenarios on the rule; one before 2019 and one after the 2020 rule changed, which is the way the rule reads today as well. Let’s examine two similar scenarios.

Situation one. 2019 Rulebook in effect:

The score is 18-17 in the third game of a long non-officiated match played in 98°F temperature and 87% humidity. My opponents are serving. Both teams want to win but they are about spent. My opponents have called some suspect line calls in the match but not enough to cause my partner and me to ask for a referee. No NVZ foot faults have been called on or against either team.

My opponent hits a volley across the net and I hit a volley back. My opponent calls an NVZ foot fault on me. Point, game, match. I am adamant there was no foot fault and think he called this bogus foot fault just to get the match over. Actually, I’m certain of it and am furious. But, by the 2019 rulebook that’s it; my opponents get to make that call. There is no appeal avenue and no replay. This exact scenario is why the change was suggested for 2020; to prevent an unscrupulous player from calling non-existent foot faults. By the way, this is also why today’s players can’t enforce any other faults on their opponents; chaos could ensue.

Situation two. 2020 (and each subsequent year) Rulebook in effect:

The score is 18-17 in the third game of a long non-officiated match played in 98°F temperature and 87% humidity. Only this time my partner and I are serving.

I hit a volley across the net and my opponent clearly steps into the NVZ and smashes the ball for a winner. I’m convinced he’s done it several other times but I haven’t called it. I call it; he denies it so we replay it. With the new rule in effect and a replay available, my opponent can purposely foot fault, hoping that I don’t see it and call him on it. In effect, he can foot fault without fear or worry because he can always call for the replay. Again, the unscrupulous player can take advantage of the rule, but in this case, that same person can’t win a match by calling non-existent foot faults.

In each case, whether we are using the 2019 or today’s version of 13.D.1.c, it would appear as if we are trying to legislate honesty. I happen to think trying or saying we are trying to legislate honesty is a false narrative.

What the Rulebook writers and the USA Pickleball Board of Directors are doing instead is attempting to legislate fairness. Playing the point over far exceeds the unfairness of losing the match to someone who purposely cheated.

I can certainly see the other side of this argument, and frankly, there is no perfect solution to this, but the 2020 Rule change was considered the most 'fair' of the two options.

I hope that helps.


#5. KITCHEN TALK: PICKLEBALL EDITION WITH KAITLIN MILLER

Episode 24: Behind the Whistle: Dereck Prince on the Art of Refereeing

video preview

Dereck Prince is a true jack of all trades in the pickleball world. Not only is he one of the most well-recognized and respected referees on the pro pickleball tour, but he also trains new referees, serves as an IPTPA certified instructor for professional players, develops his own software to track pickleball stats, and hosts tournaments. Dereck shares his unique insights into what it’s like to be on the court making those split-second decisions that can change the course of a match.

Episode 25: The Rise of Honcho Pickleball League: From Backyard Beginnings to Nationwide Network

video preview

Honcho Pickleball League, a social pickleball league, started just eight months ago as a casual get-together among friends in a humble backyard court in Houston, TX. It has rapidly expanded across 14 cities with plans to add another 10 this summer. This innovative league is not just about the game and earning the title of "Head Honcho" but also about fostering connections and building a vibrant community.


#6. QUICK TIP - LOOSEN UP TO GAIN CONTROL

Many pickleball players grip their paddles way too tightly and in the palm of their hand – think a 10 out of 10 grip pressure, or where the player is “white knuckling” the paddle. Too much grip pressure, and too much palm on the paddle, are negatives because both will result in loss of control of the pickleball and loss of feel of the pickleball off of the paddle. As a result, it is important to have a loose, relaxed grip on the pickleball court – think a 4 out of 10 grip pressure. It is also important to hold the pickleball paddle more in your fingers and less in the palm of your hand. This will give you a softer touch, more control of your shots, and faster hands. 👋

Bottom line – Use a loose, relaxed grip on the pickleball court.

Get more tips to play better pickleball with The Pickler’s video series, My Pro Pickleball Coach!


SELKIRK - SPRING NEW ARRIVALS

New colorways. New clothes. New chances to elevate your pickleball game. See what's new this spring in our New Arrivals collection.


#7. WHAT IS “NO MAN’S LAND” IN PICKLEBALL & 6 TIPS TO BE BETTER THERE

“No Man’s Land”—also called the Transition Area—is the area of the pickleball court in between the Non-Volley Zone and the baseline. While players typically avoid this zone, mastering transitions can be the difference between and win and a loss. Learn how to dominate "No Man's Land" with these 6 helpful tips! 🙌


#8. ON THE TOUR - NO. 1 PLAYERS CEMENT THEIR SPOTS

The PPA Tour traveled to Peachtree Corners, Georgia for the PPA Atlanta Slam. Anna Leigh Waters returned after a month-long hiatus to show that she remains the dominant force in pro pickleball. She secured her 25th career triple crown at the event. 👑👑👑 Ben Johns just missed a triple crown of his own, but did claim two victories. He won the gold medal in men’s singles after defeating #1 Frederiko Staksrud, and in mixed doubles with partner Anna Leigh. JW Johnson and Dylan Frazier triumphed in men’s doubles.

The APP Tour headed to New York for the APP NYC Open where Megan Fudge dominated to come away with the double double. 🥇🥇 Fudge, the APP’s #1 singles player, defended that title by winning the gold in women’s singles against Yana Newell who made an impressive run to the final. 💪 Fudge teamed up with Newell to defeat Simone Jardim and Allison Harris in women’s doubles. In men’s singles, Christopher Haworth battled it out in two overtime games to defeat Grayson Goldin for the gold medal. Men’s doubles featured a slew of upsets that ultimately led to new duo Jack Munro and Mario Barrientos defeating Erik Pailet and Ben Newell for the gold. This marked the first professional gold medal for Munro. 👏 Will Howells earned his first APP gold in mixed doubles with partner Bobbi Oshiro.

For a full recap on these events, check out the following:

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for more pro pickleball action in June! 📆


UP YOUR GAME & HAVE A LAUGH!​

Have a laugh and learn some great tips to take to the pickleball court with longtime humor writer Frank Cerabino's book I Dink, Therefore I Am: Coming to Grips with My Pickleball Addiction! Plus, this book makes a great gift for your favorite player or partner! 📚


#9. HEADLINES FROM THE COURT

Check out the latest headlines to stay in the know on all things pickleball 📢

  • Pickleball is a great equalizer and a sport that can be played for a lifetime. See how one pickleball ambassador is using his experience as an educator to teach pickleball to elementary students. 🍎
  • Wondering if your JOOLA pickleball paddle is still on the approved paddle list? ✅ Check out the latest statements from JOOLA and USA Pickleball for the most recent updates.
  • Say cheese! 📸 Anna Bright and Rachel Rohrabacher had some fun and cemented their pickleball partnership with an awkard photo shoot.
  • What's the perfect way to celebrate any holiday? With a game of pickleball, of course! Bill Gates found that to be true over the long Memorial Day weekend. 🇺🇸

GRAB 10% OFF!

Up your game by grabbing 10% off a new paddle, shoes, and more pickleball necessities from Fromuth Pickleball (some exclusions apply) with the code 10PICKLER! 💸


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