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- The art of deception in pickleball
The art of deception in pickleball
Making PB more inclusive. MLP Shuffle Draft results.
An unlikely partnership is forming on the courts in South Jersey: a 10-year-old and his 69-year-old grandfather have made pickleball a family affair.
"They probably see us coming and think it's all over, we're going to kill these guys, and [my grandson] pulls out the magic and we wind up winning,” the grandfather says.
"He takes more of the overheads because I'm short," the grandson replies.
They’re not the only ones pairing youth with experience:
Indeed it is, Erik. Indeed it is.
In This Issue:
Deceiving your opponent
Making pickleball more iconic & inclusive
Sock’s performance at PPA Day 1
MLP Shuffle Draft results
Happy Cinco. ¡Vamos de fiesta!
Dabble in Deception
Ready to add a little mystery to your game? Want to leave your opponent scratching their head? Then it's time to add some deception.
And we're not talking magic speedups that put your mind in a pretzel (we've got those too if you're looking). This is a simple technique that requires you to pay a little extra attention.
It's all about moving at the right time. In very simple terms: their head goes down, you move.
This applies to some of the classics like the shake and bake and the erne, but it is also applicable on a smaller scale.
Say you're in the transition zone, 5-6 feet off the NVZ. You drop a ball in the kitchen. The temptation and the high percentage play is to move in as soon as possible.
The deceptive move is to pause:
Wait for their head to drop
Let them think that you're deeper in the court
Then move in while they're not looking
With this technique, you can take a ball aimed at your feet and turn it into a waist-high volley.
It also applies when moving laterally. If you get pushed out wide, delay returning to cover the middle. Wait for them to drop their head. Then slide back in.
Hopefully, you can bait them into an errant speedup down the middle. With your ninja-level deception, you can answer with a counter and slap home a winner.
You won't find this in a beginner's guide and you might get burned from time to time. But when it works, oh baby when it works, you'll head back to baseline with a smirk and leave them puzzled.
Pickleball Jewelry That Really Sparkles
Jeweler Kristina Tamas has been designing and selling jewelry for over 15 years. Now, she’s turned her passion for pickleball into some truly stunning work.
Check out Born to Rally's catalog of pickleball-themed charms, earrings, keychains, bracelets, necklaces and more here.
Pickleball Refs Need Hand Signals
The thwacks, skids, and shouts most of us have come to associate with pickleball just aren’t part of the game for the growing number of Deaf players who have discovered the sport – but the community’s inclusivity certainly is.
A recent report chronicles the work of Franciso German and Shawn Benavente, who founded the Arizona Deaf Pickleball League to bring the Deaf and hearing communities of picklers together and foster a basic understanding of sign language.
The hope is that hearing players will be able to keep score by signing, especially as more Deaf and hard of hearing people find their way to the sport.
According to German and Benavente, hearing players in their group have been eager to learn. That’s unsurprising, considering how so many communities of players prioritize inclusivity and equitability.
These aren’t just buzzwords, they’re woven into the fabric of pickleball culture.
The AZ Deaf Pickleball League hopes to take it a step further to establish formal signals for all relevant calls in the game. Think of a baseball umpire forming a ‘T’ with their arms to signal “safe,” or hammering a fist sideways to call an out.
Those aren’t just iconography, they were partially developed at the behest of a Deaf ball player.
It’s time pickleball refs consulted with Deaf players to establish a formal set of visuals for “sideout,” “wide,” etc., not just because it’s inclusive, but because it’s in the spirit of the game.
Jack Sock is Officially a Pickleball Pro
Jack Sock kicked off his pro pickleball career on the Championship Court at LifeTime in Charlotte. Sock opened the NC Open broadcast with a win over Anton Gudz 11-8, 11-4.
In round two, Sock matched up with Naveen Beasley who upset the four-seed James Ignatowich. Sock’s world-class forehand took care of business against Beasley, he won 11-2. 11-2.
In the quarterfinals, Sock ran into the always-electric Jake Kusmider. Kusmider was buzzing in the early rounds with upsets over Zane Navratil and Dylan Frazier.
In a thrilling three-game match, Kusmider defended pickleball's reputation and ended the tennis star’s debut.
Kusimder fell to Federico Staksrud in the semifinal round. Staks will play Mr. Consistency, Tyson McGuffin, on Championship Sunday. McGuffin always looks to capitalize on a Sunday sans Ben Johns and will have his eyes on gold this weekend
Men’s Singles Final
(3) Tyson McGuffin vs (1) Federico Staksrud
Bronze: Christian Alshon
The month off was no issue for Anna Leigh Waters. She picked up right where she left. ALW grabbed three wins in her return to punch a ticket to Championship Sunday.
On the other side of the draw, NC local Brooke Buckner fed on the support of the hometown crowd. She upset the two-seed Catherine Parenteau in the quarterfinals. Buckner fell one win short of Sunday losing to Lea Jansen in the semis.
Women’s Singles Final
Anna Leigh Waters vs Lea Jansen
Bronze: Salome Devidze
Sock will have another chance at a medal today. He is paired with Anna Leigh Waters, which on paper looks like a pro-am partnership but could turn out to be a podium contender.
As fate would have it, their round-one adversary is Jake Kusmider and his partner Jill Braverman. Tune into the action live on PPATV.
Don’t miss the special mixed doubles final on Sunday from 6-7 pm ET on ESPN 2.
Investing in Fine Wine & Spirits, Made Easy
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Start your wine investment journey with Vinovest here today.
Shuffle the Deck for San Clemente
In yesterday's MLP shuffle draft, teams were wheeling and dealing in preparation for the final event of this season. Eight of the twelve teams in the Challenger Level made a move and there was even a Premier Level trade.
In the Premier Level, the Milwaukee Mashers traded DJ Young to the Frisco Clean Cause in exchange for Matt Wright. At first glance, it appears the Mashers win this trade. They connect the all-time mixed doubles squad of Wright and Lucy Kovalova.
Frisco has, well, struggled in the first two events and needed to try something new. Young and Zane Navratil have had success in recent events and will look to turn things around in San Clemente.
Challenger Level Roster Moves
AZ Drive: drop Wes Burrows -> add John Cincola
DC PB Team: drop Amanda Hendry -> add Judit Castillo
Brooklyn Aces: drop Corrine Carr -> add Martina Frantova
Miami PB Club: drop Jeff Warnick -> add Wes Burrows
Texas Ranchers: drop Genie Erokhina -> add Tina Pisnik
ATL Bouncers: drop Ben Newell -> add Phillip Locklear
Bay Area Breakers: drop Rachel Summers -> add Vivian Glozman
Columbus PB Club: trade Milan Rane to ATL Bouncers for Christine Trifunovic
Columbus PB Club: drop Christine Trifunovic add Rianna Valdes
Teams will have until June 1 to make any additional trades. The final event of this season is June 15-19 with the first-ever Super Final scheduled for the 19th.
Bring In the Commissioner
MLP Commissioner Brooks Wiley stopped by PicklePod on his podcast tour. Brooks and the Pickle Pro Labs team have been busy creating new standards for pickleball testing and he is here to update the fans.
Brooks shares plans for future MLP updates, including an MLP ball and VAR system. Find out more in an all-new episode.
Headlines & Quick Hits
This one right here, moves straight up to the top of the list. The Hacienda, nestled into the mountains of St George is a sight to see. Just get rid of the pesky basketball lines and this one is perfect.
If you have a homecourt that you’d like to start paying the bills, sign up for Swimply’s pickleball feature: coming soon.
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