Good morning. What's one pickleball-related sentence you never thought you'd read?
We'll go first: Lil Wayne invested in pickleball.
Read on. This is MLP’s biggest get yet…(according to us).
…But do please answer our question. What’s a pickleball-related sentence you never thought you’d read? Best answers here.
In This Issue:
𖦹 4 levels of backhand attacks
🎤 MLP’s big get
🌴 Surprise APP v PPA Face off
The Fourth Step in Attacking
Zane Navratil is a former accountant. He breaks things down by the numbers. When it comes to attacking with the backhand, Zane teaches his students in four steps.
Step 1 (Beginner)
Start with a punch. Use a simple block motion that is dependable. Beginners should try to remove variables from the attack and eliminate errors from their game.
Step 2 (Intermediate)
Add some spin. The second step is to brush up the back side of the ball to create topspin. Don’t add any wrist movement at this point.
Step 3 (Advanced)
The wrist. Add a flicking motion with the wrist to generate more topspin on your roll.
Step 4 (5.0+)
Close the paddle face. This one comes with a disclaimer and a warning. If you try to use it too soon you could hurt your wrist and make a ton of errors.
Zane says to close the face of the paddle toward the ground and punch outward on the ball. The physics on this one are a little hard to grasp but it relies on the grit of the paddle to catch the ball and roll it into the court.
See it for yourself here.
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Make Way for Mr. Carter
Lil Wayne has joined the Texas Ranchers ownership group. I repeat: Lil Wayne.
This may be one of the most powerhouse pop culture additions to a Major League Pickleball ownership group yet. But it isn't just another celebrity investment.
Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. will act as a creative advisor to help run creative direction for the Ranchers by designing multiple sets of merchandise.
He'll also support after school programs, working with business partners who have agreed to donate pickleball equipment to underserved communities.
If you’ve been asking, you’ve been searching, you’ve been wondering why the rap star would decide to invest so much in MLP…well, apparently, he already liked pickleball.
"Lil Wayne is a culture creator. When we learned he loved pickleball, we jumped on the opportunity to bring him into the ownership group.
“We hope to continue to inspire young kids to take up this sport in communities around the world."
Evan Floersch, CEO & Founder of Texas Ranchers
As if that wasn’t enough, the Ranchers also announced several more investors, including singer-songwriter and rapper The Kid LAROI & sports commentator and former NFL athlete Emmanuel Acho (see the full list here).
Earlier this year, the team announced another diverse array of investors from across industries, including 1 ranked golfer in the world Scottie Scheffler; Award-winning country music star Zach Bryan; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons; and more.
The Lone Palm Club $50K Showcase
There are plenty of ways to celebrate the opening of a pickleball facility, but Lone Palm Country Club may have set the bar at an all-time high. The Lakeland facility just finished a $16m renovation that added 13 pickleball courts and a bar to their existing golf and tennis amenities.
To celebrate? A pro-pickleball exhibition tournament, boasting an absurd $50K prize pool and some of the top pickleball talent in the world. The one-day event consisted of two draws: men's doubles and women's doubles.
MLP Champs Anna Bright and Rachel Rohrabacher faced off against Hurricane Tyra Black and Lea Jansen in the women's semifinal. It was a three-game slugfest that ended 11-7, 9-11, 11-1 in favor of the ladies of the Orlando Squeeze.
Bright and Rohrabacher rolled into finals and directly through Megan Fudge and Susannah Barr to bring home the women's title.
The men's draw was packed with talent, too. It featured another star-studded matchup in the semifinal: JW Johnson and Dylan Frazier vs Federico Staksrud and Pablo Tellez. Johnson and Frazier outlasted and outdinked Staksrud and Tellez to reach the finals.
Their finals opponent was the six-time APP Tour Champion team of Rob Nunnery and Andrei Daescu.
Daescu and Nunnery have cleaned up on the APP Tour this year. But the question remained: where would they rank in a PPA Tour draw?
On the It Feels Right podcast, Nunnery suggested the duo is a top 5 team. Their run yesterday helped make the case.
Daescu and Nunnery went three games with Johnson and Frazier and were inches away from the title. They had a 10-6 lead in game three and all of the momentum in the world.
Nerves got a little tight with the game on the line and the Young Guns rallied back. Johnson and Frazier stole the match right from the mitts of Daescu and Nunnery with a thrilling 11-7, 7-11, 13-11 finish.
Catch a replay of the entire event here.
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Light Up The Court
Perry & her sister, founders of the Firework Foundation. Credit: Bacon&Eggs
Katy Perry’s got game. The pop star’s Firework Foundation just held its first pickleball-themed fundraiser, during which Katy defeated her fiancé Orlando Bloom.
The round robin event raised money for the Foundation and attracted quite a few celebrities to the court, including Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Meghan Trainor, Rob Lowe, and many others in the Santa Barbara community.
Even Jeff Bezos was spotted in the spectator stands.
All of it was for a cause that’s pretty close to Perry’s heart:
“My mom brought (maybe even forced) her love for pickleball upon our family, and now we’ve decided to use those pickle powers for good,” she wrote on Instagram.
“Yesterday @fireworkfoundation had our inaugural Light Up The Court pickleball tournament in Santa Barbara to raise money for scholarships, more camps, and programming to bring the arts to kids from underserved communities! (And not to brag, but I totally beat @OrlandoBloom in front of everyone too 😈🙃)”
The competing celebs and other participants demonstrated a wide range of pickleball ability, but they did have a little help from the likes of pickleball pros Federico Staksrud, Thomas Wilson, and Maggie & Mary Brascia.
The Dink invited other big names in pickle to the event, including Selkirk, The Pick, CRBN, The Picklr, MALK, and Picklin Nets.
Speaking of which: we’ve partnered up with the Firework Foundation and The Picklr to bring a state-of-the-art pickleball facility to the city that wants it most.
Learn more here about how you can make sure your city wins – or earn a lifetime of free gear for your efforts.
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