Mondays are for pickleball! If you're not playing pickleball right now, the least you can do is read about pickleball and share, discuss, and connect with the pickleball community! We have you covered below... 😎
#1. 7 STRATEGIES TO BEAT THE BANGER
The sport of pickleball is changing (thanks to players like the Waters - more on them later in this newsletter 😉). It is becoming faster and there are more drives than ever on the pickleball court. If you don't already know, a "banger" in pickleball is a player that likes to consistently drive the pickleball. A banger likes to play with pace and power and, typically, does not like to engage in the soft game. In light of the “rise of the banger” on the pickleball court, it is important to understand how to diffuse and defeat the banger, especially if you are a player that prefers the soft game. Click here to learn 7 strategies on how to defeat a banger in pickleball now!
#2. WHAT IS "NO MAN'S LAND" & 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. This area is aptly named “No Man’s Land” because it is generally a place that pickleball players try to avoid, as it is difficult to win points by playing in this area of the pickleball court. Although “No Man’s Land” is a place to avoid, oftentimes, the player or team that is better in transition will be the deciding factor between a win and a loss. Click here to learn 6 tips to dominate the Transition Area.
#3. QUICK TIP - GET A GRIP!
Many pickleball players grip their pickleball paddles way too tightly and in the palm of their hand – think a 10 out of 10 pickleball grip pressure, where the pickleball player is “white knuckling” the pickleball paddle. Too much pickleball grip pressure, and too much palm on the pickleball paddle, are negatives on the pickleball courts because too much pickleball grip pressure and/or too much palm on the pickleball paddle will likely result in loss of control of the pickleball and loss of feel of the pickleball off of the paddle. In other words, too much pickleball grip pressure on the paddle, and/or too much palm on the pickleball paddle, will likely cause the pickleball to ricochet and rebound off of the paddle too aggressively and too high (and, high balls generally mean easy put away shots for your opponents).
As a result, it is important to have a loose, relaxed pickleball grip on the pickleball court – think a 4 out of 10 pickleball grip pressure. It is also important to hold the pickleball paddle more in your fingers and less in the palm of your hand. If you loosen your pickleball grip pressure and use more of your fingers to hold the pickleball paddle, you will have a softer touch with your pickleball paddle, and vice versa. A loose, relaxed pickleball grip will help you reset fastballs on the pickleball court, as well as give you more control of your shots (such as your dinks and drop shots).
For more information on pickleball grips, including a breakdown of the 3 types of grips, and how to change your grip on your paddle, check out Pickler's "3 Pickleball Grips Explained" blog.
#4. NEVER JUDGE A "PICKLEBALL BOOK" BY ITS COVER
A common experience for new pickleball players is to judge opponents that may look older or less athletic than them. However, these pickleball newbies quickly learn better, as all too often the older, less-athletic-looking players come out victorious. This common experience as a first-time pickleball player reminds us of a classic pickleball lesson and life lesson—never judge a “pickleball book” by its cover. Click here to learn more.
#5. RULES REFRESH - PADDLE DOWN!
Imagine you are on the pickleball court... You are about to hit a big, impressive overhead on a juicy pop-up from your opponents... Then, your partner's paddle enters your field of vision just as you are about to strike the pickleball. You hit the pickleball for a clean put away winner, but then you crash your pickleball paddle in your partner's paddle, causing your partner's paddle to fall onto the court. You look down and your feet are clearly behind the Non-Volley Zone (AKA the Kitchen). However, your partner's paddle is on the Kitchen line. Did you win the rally or did you and your partner commit a Non-Volley Zone fault?
First and foremost, as you certainly already know, you may not volley the pickleball (i.e. hit the pickleball out of the air, without bouncing) while making contact with the Non-Volley Zone or the Non-Volley Zone line. You may only volley the pickleball outside of the Kitchen.
So, the key is whether the player in the act of volleying (or anything that has contact with the player in the act of volleying) the pickleball is touching the Non-Volley Zone.
In this scenario, you, as the player in the act of volleying, did not touch the Non-Volley Zone or the Non-Volley Zone line. However, your partner's paddle is sitting squarely on the Kitchen line. You, in the act of volleying, made contact with your partner's paddle, which made contact with the Kitchen line. As a result, you committed a fault and you and your partner will lose the rally.
For a deeper breakdown on the rules of pickleball, check out Pickler's Ultimate Guide to the Rules of Pickleball.
Have you had an interesting rules issue on the pickleball court? Send it to us at email@example.com, so we can share with the rest of the pickleball community in a future newsletter.
#6. WOMEN'S CORNER - PRO PICKLEBALL PLAYER'S SUCCESS AFTER FOCUSING ON MENTAL HEALTH & THE MENTAL GAME
Mental health has been in the headlines in the sports world lately, including the world of tennis with Naomi Osaka’s absence from two of the majors (if you haven’t heard, you can hear from Osaka herself in her article published in Time). Mental health and the mental side of pickleball has also been a recent topic of conversation, as Lea Jansen has been the first pro pickleball player to really be outspoken about it in connection with her series of consecutive women’s singles wins at the APP Cincinnati Open (in fact, she won the triple crown), PPA Orange County Cup, and USA Pickleball Newport Beach Championships. Click here to learn what Jansen is doing to have success on the pro tour, why, and what her thoughts are on it.
Bottom line – Mental health and the mental game is a huge component of any sport, including the sport of pickleball. Don’t neglect it.
#7. BEST OUTDOOR & INDOOR PICKLEBALLS
There are 67 types of pickleballs that are approved by USA Pickleball. This number is constantly growing, which makes it difficult to find the best pickleball for you. To help determine which pickleball is best for you, check out this blog now.
#8. BALL SHORTAGE COMING?
We heard a rumor that pickleballs are being held up overseas. In other words, the pickleballs are not being released to manufacturers and retailers for pickleball players like us to purchase! Does this supply chain interruption mean a ball shortage is coming? I wouldn't risk it...
Grab some of your favorite pickleballs now! Click here for links to purchase the best outdoor and indoor pickleballs.
#9. HOT NEWS: COVID STILL DISRUPTING NATIONALS
USA Pickleball hosts the USA Pickleball National Championships - the premiere pickleball tournament - every year (except 2020, due to COVID) in Indian Wells, California at the Indian Wells Tennis Center. Indian Wells Tennis Center has made a decision that all players and fans must be vaccinated in order to enter the facility this year. As a result, all players and fans that vied to qualify and register for the 2021 USA Pickleball National Championships will need to be vaccinated. This decision has caused quite a stir amongst some tournament players (including pro players) and could cause some to miss the tournament entirely. COVID cancelled the 2020 Nationals and is still causing disruption for the 2021 Nationals. For the full statement from USA Pickleball, click here.
#10. NOTEWORTHY: THE RACE TO 75...
The International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) just announced its 54th member country. In other words, the sport of pickleball is being played in 54 countries worldwide. This is significant because, according to the Olympic Charter, to even be considered to be an Olympic sport, a sport "must be widely practiced by men in at least 75 countries and on 4 continents and by women in no fewer than 40 countries and on 3 continents." While the Olympics is still a long way off for pickleball, the race to 75 countries is on...
#11. WATER'S SPOTLIGHT HITTING SOON
Like you, one of things that we love about the sport of pickleball is that we can play with people of any age and any skill level and still have fun. Pickleball is the ultimate family activity. This is exemplified by the Waters family.
If you do not know the name, Leigh and Anna Leigh Waters, are the reigning National Champions for Women's Doubles. They are also mother and daughter.
Leigh (42) and Anna Leigh (14) compete at the highest levels across the country - thanks to Neil, Leigh's dad and Anna Leigh's grandfather, who introduced them to the sport in 2017. We love Leigh and Anna Leigh for their skill level, but we love them even more for how they exemplify the sport. Plus, they are just down right good people.
Leigh and Anna Leigh will be gracing the newsletter with the inside scoop on their pro tour progress, chase for back-to-back national championships, their relationship as mother-daughter and partners on the pickleball court, and some of their best tips, tricks, and strategies.
This will certainly be a spotlight you won't want to miss in future newsletters. Might we even call them the "First Family of Pickleball"?
While you wait for the next newsletter to hit your inbox, be sure to follow Leigh and Anna Leigh on Instagram and Facebook. Also, mark your calendars to watch Leigh and Anna Leigh compete in the PPA Underground event on Saturday, July 17th, starting at 11:00 am (ET)! You can catch them in action on the PPA Tour's YouTube channel.
HOT SUMMER SALE
HUGE SAVINGS! And, 10% of all profits from Pickler merchandise will be donated to charitable organizations that support the growth of the sport of pickleball!
INTERESTED IN A SUMMER PICKLEBALL CAMP?
The best value for your money when it comes to pickleball camps is EngagePickleball camps. You will leave the EngagePickleball camp as a better player than before you came, as EngagePickleball camps have a focus on pickleball strategy, as well as the drills and mechanics to continue your growth as a pickleball player. EngagePickleball is the only 3-day pickleball camp provider that offers 16 total hours, plus a FREE EngagePickleball paddle. In addition, EngagePickleball has the best refund or cancellation policy in the industry.
GRAB FREE PICKLEBALL STUFF...
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BALL'S IN YOUR COURT...