Life Time Leans In on Pickleball

One company plans to build 600 pickleball courts by 2023. Largest Participatory Sport Ever. Out Balls. Weddings and Pickleball. PPA on CBS. APP Singles Recap.

Pro pickleball is set to debut on CBS this weekend. We're talkin' actual CBS.

No trying to figure out a stream or worrying about download speeds. Just flip on the TV and stick to basic cable. If you've cut the cord completely, head over to the sports bar."Excuse me, bartender, can you put the game on?" "Yep, that's right...pickleball."

And when the other patrons side-eye you and offer a "that's for old people," you can confidently retort: 

From 2020 to 2021, growth was fastest among young players. Participation among 6-17 year olds and 18-24 year olds surged by 21%.

You'll sound like a nerd, but a win is a win.

How to Let 'Out Balls' Go Out by Shea Underwood

Knowing how to let an out ball go can take your pickleball game to the next level. Not only can you snag some free points by letting the ball go, but you also force your opponent to think twice before speeding up the next one.

Seriously, this skill is significantly underrated. Here are 5 factors to consider when determining whether to play a ball:

1: Location of your opponent - If your opponent initiates a speed-up close to the net, then it is more likely to go out than if they initiate that same speed-up from closer to the baseline (simple, we know, but be cognizant of this).

2: Length of opponent's backswing - The bigger the windup, the more likely it is to go long. Slowing down a long motion is difficult!

3: Spin direction - A ball with backspin is more likely to sail long. Topspin? The opposite. Backspin carries the ball through the air, top spin makes the ball dip towards the ground.

4: Angle of attack - If your opponent hits the ball at a sharp angle cross-court, then it is more likely to go out than if they hit it down the line or towards the opposite corner.

5: Contact point - A low-to-high swing path is more likely to send a ball long than high-to-low. Watch the swing path and identify the point at which their swing starts AND the point of contact. Is it below the hip, or above?

Additional factors like wind speed, type of ball, and the paddle your opponent is using can also make a difference in whether the ball stays in or goes out. Check out this video to learn a drill that’s helped thousands learn to let out balls go.

Live Pickleball on CBS

The Skechers Invitational will be broadcasted live on CBS tomorrow. Starting at 4pm ET, two doubles matches from the mid-season championships will be shown to pickleball's largest audience. The broadcast will feature two of pickleball's most prominent families. 

Live on CBS Saturday, Aug 13, 4pm ETAnna Leigh Waters / Leigh Waters vs. Lucy Kovalova / Callie SmithBen Johns / Collin Johns vs Riley Newman / Matt Wright

These four teams have headlined the PPA Tour in 2022. It's fitting that they would be the matchups featured in the showcase. The mid season championships will continue on Sunday. 

Live on CBS Sports Sunday, Aug 14, 3pm ETLucy Kovalova / Matt Wright vs Riley Newman / Catherine ParenteauBen Johns vs Tyson McGuffinAnna Leigh Waters vs Catherine Parenteau

The event begins today with exhibition matches starting at 4pm ET. Today's matches will be shown on PPATV.

Headlines Round Up

Life Time leans on pickleball. Front Office Sports, a 'business of sports' outlet, published a piece on the fitness juggernaut's plan to inject life into its pandemic-driven revenue slump by doubling down on pickleball.

“It’s my belief that pickleball will be the largest participatory sport in the U.S. eventually,” CEO Bahram Akradi told Fortune.

  • Life Time's growth strategy is projected to bring the company $1.88 billion in revenue this year

  • The company plans to have 600 pickleball courts by 2023

The rise of pickleball related injuries. Is the game getting more dangerous, or are there just more people playing it?

Injuries like plantar fasciitis, strained rotator cuffs and even broken wrists are so 'common' that the Today Show was like, "hey, I think we should do a segment on this." You might find the segment helpful if these injuries sound all too familiar. 

Weddings with a side of pickleball. Did you catch the New York Times piece on weddings and pickleball? Here's the gist:

  • A popular North Carolina wedding destination is experiencing a rise in pickleball activities (a common trend)

  • Golf or tennis? Nope, Madison Snider, 30, and Richard Podpirka, 28, are hosting a pickleball tournament for guests as part of their wedding

  • Their wedding invitations doubled as invitations to the tournament, which included details and a dress code (all whites)

mascot, pickleball guy

The Most Comfortable Apparel in Pickleball

Activewear designed with adventure in mind. Check out Glyder’s multifunctional apparel that you can wear on and off the court - stay fashionable and comfortable no matter what the day brings. 

APP New Jersey Open Singles Recap

The Johnson siblings were the big winners in yesterday's singles action. Both JW and Jorja Johnson advanced through the winner's bracket unbeaten and earned a spot in Championship Sunday.

JW Johnson will face Federico Staksurd for the men's singles title. Staksrud was knocked out of the winner's bracket by Johnson and will have to beat him twice on Sunday to win gold.

John Cincola ended the day with a third-place finish after losing in the bronze medal match to Staksrud.

In the women's game, Jorja Johnson had a couple of gritty wins against Salome Devidze and Anna Bright. Johnson will play Devidze on Sunday for the gold medal. Anna Bright walked away with the bronze

Zane Navratil put his paycheck "on the line" after disagreeing with an out call yesterday. He convinced Staksrud to overturn the call saying "I'll give you $500 if I'm wrong." This amount used to be the prize for winning a pro event, now Gucci Zane is betting $500 on a line call like he's MJ on the golf course. 

The New Jersey Open resumes today with pro mixed doubles. Gender doubles will be played on Saturday and the gold medal matches will all be played on Championship Sunday.

Recover Faster

Incrediwear offers a new way to heal. The full line of sleeves, braces, socks and gloves naturally reduce inflammation and swelling so you can spend more time on the court.

Incrediwear increases blood flow to the affected area to help relieve pain, restore mobility and speed up recovery. Find the product that is right for you.

Headlines & Quick Hits

Homecourt Havens

Salt Lake City, UT

Former Utah Jazz head coach, Quin Snyder, said goodbye to this epic 12,400 sq ft  $12.75m homecourt haven last week. A beautiful court like this, however, needs an upgrade on the net. We can't have any sagging in this yard.

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