CPR saves downed pickleballer

The GOAT's only weakness. Dreambreakers on Day 1.

Don’t forget it’s Mother’s Day weekend. Take a break from your rigorous Rocky-like pickleball training to get mom out on the court.

While everyone else is stuffing their face at brunch, drag mom out to the court for a game of pickleball. There’s no better way to spend quality time together than trying to bodybag each other.

Is targeting an opponent with a return who has "hit the deck" poor sportsmanship?

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In This Issue:

🔎 Everyone has a weakness
🚨 Dreambreakers the norm on Day 1
👑 Return of the Queen

Crank up the Rebecca Black, It’s Friday.

Everybody Has a Weakness

No matter who you are and what level you play, everybody has a weakness. Even the great Ben Johns has one.

On this week’s PicklePod, Travis Rettenmaier and Zane Navratil debated who is the top dog in men’s singles, Johns or Federico Staksrud. In the debate, they identify one major difference between the two — Johns struggles with the backhand pass.

It’s one small weakness in the world’s best arsenal. But if Ben has one, then everyone must.

It might not be easy to find your opponents’ weaknesses, but the key is to look for specifics. In addition to a weaker forehand or backhand, see if they struggle:

  • Dealing with speed or playing the slow game

  • Hitting a ball near the ankles or feet

  • Aiming down the line or cross-court

  • Controlling a ball while they’re on the move

You don’t need to find a glaring weakness, just a small area where you can find an advantage. Sometimes even just noticing a tendency can make a big difference.

Collin Johns is well known for tracking his opponent’s tendencies to gain an edge. Some tendencies you can look out for:

  • Are they likely to speed up off the bounce or only out of the air?

  • Do they recover well after a wide dink?

  • Are they the type of player that will lob multiple times a game?

All of this information will help you know what is coming next and keep you a step ahead. If you’re ready for some honest feedback, ask your friends for the scouting report on your game and try to improve your weaknesses.

Command the Court

Think a pickleball can't make or break your game? Think again. Meet the Selkirk Pro S1 Ball — the power player you didn't know you needed until now.

With its unique design and patented 38-hole pattern, the Pro S1 ball ensures consistent flight and bounce, keeping you in control to hit the right shots.

Tech Specialist to Life Saver

Ezequiel Valentin's heroic actions helped save the life of a pickleballer earlier this week. Valentin is the tech specialist at Lexington Middle School in Fort Myers, FL.

On Monday while checking students in, he heard shouting, “Help. We need a defibrillator; we need CPR. Can anyone help?” A man playing pickleball across the street at Wa-Ke Hatchee Park was in cardiac arrest.

Luckily, the staff had completed CPR training just two weeks prior so Valentin knew how to respond. He grabbed the school’s defibrillator and rushed to the scene.

Valentin recounted the event in an interview: “He was completely unconscious, and after the first shock, he started gasping for air, but then it rapidly stopped, so then we continued the chest compressions on him, and then as soon as the second shock went through, he started gasping for air even more.”

Paramedics arrived shortly after and said that Valentin's actions were vital in saving the man’s life.

As we have seen in the past, a defibrillator is a crucial addition to all pickleball courts. The on-court heart attack has become an all too common occurrence.

Slipping and Sliding

Riley Newman’s return to the pro scene did not go quite as planned. Yesterday, his Columbus Sliders were swept by the Texas Ranchers in the opening match of Major League Pickleball Atlanta.

The Sliders were the only Premier level team to have two matches on the day. Their second match was against Jack Sock and the NY Hustlers.

This match was only slightly more fortuitous for the Sliders, who pushed the Hustlers to a Dreambreaker. Sock and Lea Jansen helped lead the Hustlers to a 21-16 Dreambreaker victory.

Panda, Panda, Panda
The Frisco Pandas are off to the hottest start at the Challenger Level. The squad belonging to Dude Perfect topped the SoCal Hard Eights in a Dreambreaker to start their day.

First-overall Challenger pick Ewa Radzikowska took care of business in their second match to help give the Pandas a 2-0 start to the season. She and Stefan Auvergne secured a mixed-doubles win over Bay Area Breakers to close the match, 3-1.

Rain delayed the start of the event for nearly three hours, but it didn’t dampen the excitement. Three of the day’s five matches went to a Dreambreaker finish.

Yesterday was just an appetizer for today, however. The action continues with 10 matches on the docket. You can catch the Frisco Pandas match vs. the Atlanta Bouncers on The Dink’s YouTube Channel to start the day.

From the Court to the Kitchen

Pickleball pros know that meal prep is the secret to sustained energy on the court. Imagine whipping up steak tips tonight, salmon tomorrow, and chicken all week — all thanks to ButcherBox — without dropping a dime on these premium cuts for a whole year.

ButcherBox isn’t just about meat; it’s about confidence in every bite, with each cut reflecting strict ethical standards — no antibiotics or hormones ever.

Choose the Curated Box for a surprise spread, or go with the Custom Box to pick precisely what plays well with your palate.

Return of the Queen

At the APP event in Cincinnati this week, pickleball royalty has returned to the singles final. Simone Jardim knocked off the No. 1 seed Megan Fudge to qualify for Championship Sunday.

It wasn’t that long ago that Jardim was winning triple crowns every weekend alongside Ben Johns. She has a chance to walk away with three golds again this weekend.

Jardim will face Amanda Hendry — a member of the MLP’s California Black Bears, who are not one of the teams participating in the Atlanta event.

Women’s Singles Final
Simone Jardim vs Amanda Hendry
Bronze: Megan Fudge

Anyone’s Game
These days it is anyone’s game in men’s singles. Championship Sunday will be a matchup between the No. 5 seed Grayson Goldin and the No. 10 seed Zane Ford.

Goldin bested the favorite, Jack Foster, in the semifinals and Ford upset the No. 2 seed Ryler DeHeart in the quarterfinals.

Men’s Singles Final
Grayson Goldin vs Zane Ford
Bronze: Jack Foster

Headlines & Quick Hits


Homecourt Havens

You’ve got to love when the court matches the house. A clean gray and white aesthetic a few steps from the beach is a win all around.

A review from the Dink Fam...

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