Mornin’. Major League Pickleball players are rapidly losing faith in both MLP and PPA leadership — so they’ve decided to unionize.
An anonymous poll from The Player Collective, a group representing MLP pros, found that players feel punished for their loyalty to MLP and that many of them felt threatened to accept recently-instituted pay cuts.
In This Issue:
⚽ Think like a soccer star
🤝 Pro player union in progress
🎾 Genie switches from tennis
Striking the ‘Upper 90’
Hitting the perfect passing shot is kind of like scoring a goal in soccer.
You're playing keep-away with the goalie but also working within the boundaries of the net (court). One under-utilized pass: curl the ball into the top corner.
"The addition of height to a passing shot will increase the distance a player must cover to protect their court." - Pythagoras
A looping topspin pass can be just as effective as trying to burn the ball by your opponent. The distance they have to cover is key to them defending the ball.
This strategy is not strictly for singles, either. Intentionally adding height can keep a ball out of reach for a ball down the line or through the middle in doubles.
Sending the ball into the proverbial ‘upper 90’ can help ensure the pass stays in the passed. See it in action here.
Nervous about employing the new strategy? Send the first couple down the line to their backhand. No one is going to hurt you with a backhand overhead. Well, no one except Jessie Irvine.
The Next Chapter
Welcome to the game-changing Franklin FS Tour Series, featuring the Tempo and Dynasty paddles – your new secret weapons on the pickleball court!
The FS Tour Series paddles combine a sleek, thermoformed unibody frame and T700 carbon fiber surface for controlled touch and killer spin. Their perforated, textured grip with raised fingerpad inlays ensures a comfortable, firm hold, while optimized swing and twist weight enhance your technique.
The paddle that won nationals is just a click away. Check out the FS Tour Series and start playing like a pro!
Players Organize in Response to League Leadership
Last week, we broke news that MLP and PPA players were asked to take a significant pay cut in order for the leagues to continue financially. We’ve since heard that MLP players believe to be at a greater disadvantage than PPA players.
The Player Collective, a new organization representing the 103 signed MLP players, has secured funding from an Angel (investor) and has retained an Employment Attorney and an Anti-Trust Attorney, according to the group.
MLP players were asked to take up to a 40% cut, but PPA players were only asked for 0-10%, according to the Collective. We have also heard that MLP players felt threatened to sign and were given false deadlines to work toward.
According to a recent email obtained by The Dink, the group polled players for their thoughts surrounding last month's player pay negotiations:
93% have not received the information they’ve requested to make an informed decision as whether to accept a pay-cut or not
89% of respondents believe they have not been treated fairly during the pay-cut negotiation process
88% of respondents believe that they are being punished for their loyalty to MLP
When asked: “Have you found that Anne, Bruce, John or other MLP staff have been able to successfully answer the majority of your questions?”, 94% of respondents answered “No"
When asked: “Do you think the PPA is of high moral character and integrity” 79% of respondents answered “No”, 21% answered “No opinion,” and not a single respondent answered “Yes”
Players had some choice words for MLP leadership and described what these negotiations have been like for them — you can read these anonymous opinions from players here.
Bouchard Breaks into Pickleball
In 2015, no athlete on the planet was more marketable than Genie Bouchard.
She topped SportsPro Media's list of the World's 50 Most Marketable Athletes that year.
The Canadian tennis sensation had a career year in 2014:
Since then, Bouchard has amassed millions of followers online and remained a staple in the game.
With the peak of her tennis career seemingly behind her, Bouchard appears to be following in Jack Sock's footsteps.
Bouchard will make her pro pickleball debut at the PPA Masters next month. She is scheduled to play alongside Tyler Loong in mixed doubles.
Between Sock and Bouchard, Ben Johns and Anna Leigh Waters could be in for a little more competition in 2024.
Plant Powered Performance
Revitalize your pickleball performance with Sap's – the athlete-focused hydration solution.
Engineered for intense activity, Sap's replenishes crucial electrolytes – including sodium, potassium, and calcium – that are depleted during dynamic play. At its heart lies coconut water powder, a natural source of vital electrolytes, which promotes swift hydration and maintains electrolyte balance.
Sap's also incorporates adaptogens such as ginseng, which sharpens your mental focus, and ginger root, aiding in muscle recuperation. Beyond hydration, Sap's with L-Glutamine and a blend of vitamins enhances muscle recovery and boosts immunity, keeping you in top form on the court.
Don't let dehydration slow you down; stay hydrated & competitive with Sap's.
We're All Going to Jail?
Travis Rettenmaier holds a unique position in the tour wars as a pro player and MLP team owner. He gives his take on current contract negotiations and why some players might decline the new deal.
The next stop on the calendar is pickleball in Puerto Rico. Travis aims to become the Latin National Champion. And finally, the guys find out they might be doing hard-time after a fundraising attempt for a new pickle facility. Catch the new episode here.
Headlines & Quick Hits
A review from the Dink Fam...