Have you ever been a victim of a “Nasty Nelson”? Well, I experienced my first Nasty Nelson in a quite spectacular fashion this past week, thanks to my own mother during a “friendly” rec game. I turned to look at my partner while standing at the Kitchen line, as my mother mishit a lob serve so poorly that the pickleball landed squarely on top of my head. 🤕 Needless to say, she burst out laughing, and her partner quickly yelled “POINT!” They were ruthless (and are still laughing about it). Hoping for a Nasty-Nelson-free week for all of us…
Now, let's dive straight into your pickleball tips, strategies, stories, news, and more... 👏
#1. THE IMPORTANCE OF "SETTING UP THE POINT" IN PICKLEBALL & 5 TIPS FOR SUCCESS
In pickleball, “setting up the point” involves using various shots, placement, and movement to manipulate your opponent’s positioning, exploit their weaknesses, and create opportunities to finish the point in your favor on the court. Learn how to increase your chances of winning games and matches by effectively setting up points. 💪
#2. 11 TIPS TO STAY BALANCED ON THE PICKLEBALL COURT
Staying balanced on the court is crucial for maintaining control over your shots, reacting quickly to your opponents’ shots, and reducing the risk of injuries. Try these 11 tips to help you have strong balance and win more points on the pickleball court. ⚖️
#3. MURMURS FROM THE LOSERS' BRACKET: TOP 10 SIGNS IT'S TOO HOT TO PLAY PICKLEBALL OUTSIDE
If you live in many parts of the country, playing pickleball outdoors is a grueling exercise this time of year, especially in the middle of the day. ☀️ Even so, you see pickleball addicts out there, no matter how hot it is, playing the game they love. What are the signs to know when enough is enough?
The Core Bag Line by Selkirk is the go-to backpack line for pickleball players looking for a well designed, well constructed, and functional backpack. This line features three of the most well known and loved silhouettes in pickleball: the Selkirk Day, Team, and Tour bags. All three sizes are crafted with the same durable +V11 Max polyfiber performance materials and overall improved bag structure. 👏
#4. 4 TIPS TO WIN AT THE “CAT AND MOUSE” GAME IN SINGLES PICKLEBALL
In singles pickleball, the “cat and mouse” game refers to the strategic maneuvering between two players near the Non-Volley Zone or Kitchen line. Both you and your opponent will be “dancing” 💃 back and forth along the Kitchen line until one of you “pulls the trigger” and goes on the offensive. Learn how to improve your chances of coming out on top next time you find yourself in a “cat and mouse” game. 🐱🐭
#5. GOOGLE'S GOOD NEWS FOR PICKLEBALL
A testament to the growing popularity 📈 of pickleball popped up recently from an unusual source. The online site, Betting-AZ.com, an Arizona-based gambling site, has unearthed a telling stat about pickleball. Learn more about how searches for pickleball stack up against other popular sports. 🔍
#6. QUICK TIP – WHICH HANDEDNESS ARE YOUR OPPONENTS?
All too often, players (including myself) identify the handedness of their opponents too late—after a few points have already been lost. So, as soon as you step onto the court, be sure to identify whether your opponents (as well as your own partner!) are right-handed or left-handed. 👋
Once you identify who is right-handed and who is left-handed, be sure to be aware of where they are on the court before every rally. In other words, are your opponents’ forehands in the middle, or are their backhands in the middle? What about you and your partner—are your forehands or backhands in the middle? Share this information with your partner and communicate 🗣 with each other if and when it changes. Constantly remind yourself and your partner throughout the game.
#7. LEIGH WATERS LINKS UP WITH PICKLE4 TO GROW AND PROMOTE THE SPORT FOR PLAYERS AT ALL LEVELS
Pickle4™ just announced that professional pickleball player and coach Leigh Waters will join the Pickle4 team as strategic advisor and investor. Learn more about how Waters and Pickle4 are aligning to deliver high-quality experiences for amateur players. 💥
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! 📚
#8. RULES REFRESH – MAN DOWN
Check out the point below 👇 from the PPA Showcase this past weekend between Collin Johns—Allyce Jones and Erik Lange—Sarah Ansboury.
Johns loses his footing at the Kitchen line and falls to the ground, as his partner keeps the ball in play. On the next shot, Lange slams the pickleball down to hit Johns, who is laying on the ground after rolling his ankle. What’s the call? 🤔
Regardless of whether you think Lange should or should not have hit the pickleball at an opponent in distress, and regardless of whether or not Johns is injured, the call is a fault by Johns. It is a fault if “the ball contacts a player or anything the player is wearing or carrying, except the paddle or the player’s hand(s) in contact with the paddle and below the wrist.” Since the ball hit Johns’ body, Johns committed a fault and lost the rally.
#9. WHEN TO DRIVE OR DROP YOUR THIRD SHOT ON THE PICKLEBALL COURT
Whether to hit a third shot drive or a third shot drop may come down to your individual style of pickleball play, your strengths as a pickleball player, and the effectiveness of the shot against your particular opponents. However, there are a few scenarios where one is more effective than the other. Learn the best times to hit a third shot drive and third shot drop. 🤔
#10. HEADLINES FROM THE COURT
Catch up on the latest pickleball headlines from the last two weeks...
- A man “sues” his wife on Judge Steve Harvey because “pickleball has taken over her life.” 👨⚖️ Learn why he is suing her for $1,700!
- Speaking of reality TV, pickleball is getting its own reality TV show 📺 for burgeoning pros called “Pickleball Paddle Battle,” where two players can earn a sponsorship to pursue a career in pro pickleball and two players will win a Pickleball Kingdom franchise. Do you have what it takes? If so, sign up for the open casting call by August 16th.
- Time to invest in a Nintendo Switch… The video game—Pickleball: Smash—will be hitting stores in November.
- Will pickleball be the key 🔑 to getting employees to return to the office? Seattle’s WaFd Bank thinks so…
- The end of the PPA Seattle Open was capped with a “funeral.” The New Orleans style funeral—complete with a marching band of sorts—was meant to be a demonstration to urge the city to build more pickleball courts, as the pickleball courts used in the tournament were to be converted back to tennis courts.
- Why are people obsessed with pickleball? This video attempts to answer that very question…
#11. ON THE TOUR – NEW CHAMPS ON THE PPA TOUR
The last two weeks went by quickly with two stops on the PPA Tour. The first stop was the Seattle Open, which kicked off with taking pickleball to new heights at the Space Needle. 🚀
Anna Leigh Waters was the star of Seattle as she also reached new heights by claiming her 6th triple crown in a row 🏆 (tying the record for triple crowns in a row).
The second stop was the PPA Showcase, which was just a bit south of Seattle in Newport Beach, California. The PPA Showcase saw some fresh faces take home their first PPA gold medals in singles, as Hurricane Tyra Black (who gave Anna Leigh just her second loss on the year in earlier rounds of the draw) and Gabriel Joseph each claimed victory. JW Johnson and Dylan Frazier also gave a gutsy performance to knock off the Johns brothers and claim back-to-back gold medals (as they also won gold in men’s doubles in Seattle). Lastly, although dropping to Black in women’s singles, Anna Leigh continued her gold run in women’s doubles with her partner Anna Bright and mixed doubles with Ben Johns.
For the full recap of the two pro tournaments, check out the following:
- Another Win for Johnson and Frazier, Are they the Game’s New No. 1?
- Anna Leigh Waters Is Unstoppable at the Professional Pickleball Tour Seattle Open
Don't forget to mark your calendars for more pro pickleball action in August! 🗓
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