Good morning. The vision for Major League Pickleball has always been big. MLB big, NBA big, even NFL big. We're talking thousands of fans filling a stadium to watch pickleball.
Now, the person who spearheaded that vision is stepping down from MLP after a whirlwind year fighting for pro league supremacy.
How did this all play out? More on that below.
In This Issue:
👔 Founder & former CEO resigns from Major League Pickleball
🍨 Scoopin’ dinks
💼 Work and play, provided by your workplace
Dink Like JW Johnson
The untrained eye might have missed it.
JW Johnson changed his dink game earlier in the year, and has stuck with the new style. Fellow pickleball pro, Travis Rettenmaier noticed and wants to help us dink like JW.
Most players bend their wrist back and hit a forehand dink like they would a tennis volley. JW elects to curl his hand the other direction. We’re talking flexion instead of extension, for you PT's out there.
JW ain't holding the paddle like a stop sign. He's scooping dinks like it's a birthday cake remix at Cold Stone Creamery.
This change allows him to hold the kitchen line when balls bounce near his feet. Instead of taking a step back to get behind the ball, he can stand his ground and scoop the ball back in play.
Whether you like it, love it, or gotta have it, this is one you have to consider adding to your game. Watch Travis demonstrate the pros and cons here.
It’s Like Airbnb…but for Pickleball Courts
As if you need another reason to add a homecourt to your backyard, now you can share your court with local players when you aren’t using it.
Swimply allows court owners the chance to rent out homecourts and players the opportunity to reserve a private court for their game. Find your local Swimply court.
Steve Kuhn Resigns from MLP
The news broke Friday: Steve Kuhn, founder of Major League Pickleball, relinquishes his role after a series of disagreements among MLP leadership.
But why did this happen? Here’s what sources tell us:
It started in an owner’s meeting following a recently announced merger between MLP & the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA).
Kuhn suggested expanding the MLP branch and selling more teams to source additional capital — a different path than what was agreed upon in the initial merger details.
Support for Kuhn's leadership was already waning, and enough MLP stakeholders weren't on board with his proposition. The result: numerous resignations and, ultimately, Kuhn's own resignation.
Kuhn isn't stepping away from pickleball altogether, though. He'll continue to run DUPR and focus on a number of his other investments like PickleMall, PickleRoll, and others.
So who will replace Kuhn, and what does this change mean for pro pickleball? Read the full story here.
What are We Paying You For?
Imagine clocking in at work, knowing you’ll have time in the afternoon dedicated to pickleball…and you don’t even need a haphazard excuse to explain why you’re away from your desk.
Employees are living that dream at Room & Board, a Minneapolis-based furniture retailer. The company installed their first-floor court in 2013 to complement an employee gym - a true early adopter.
Lately, though, leadership uses pickleball as a form of leverage. Room & Board asks employees to work in its Minneapolis office at least two days per week, granting them access to on-site employee privileges.
An NBC report says that of the 350 employees working out of Room & Board’s headquarters, at least 50 use the pickleball court every week.
“We don’t want people coming into the office and sitting on video calls all day … otherwise, what’s the point?” an exec told NBC. “Work should be fun.”
Not only are its on-site employees encouraged to play, the company also makes it incredibly easy for them to take the time to do so:
Players organize through an email listserv
The court can be reserved on the same online software used to book conference rooms
Room & Board provides paddles and balls for staff
In case you’re the party-pooper wondering if this is bad for productivity, just read what employees are saying:
“I feel sharper; I feel more awake.”
“I’m teaching other employees I normally wouldn’t cross paths with how to play pickleball. It’s helped me build stronger relationships at work.”
If you’re a business owner, consider providing pickleball to your workforce.
Affordable, High-Quality Paddles
Crafted for performance and affordability, Vinsguir paddles guarantee you get the best price without compromising quality.
Explore their diverse range of pickleball paddles and step up your game with Vinsguir!
Pro Pickleball - Every Tuesday Night
TNP This Week: Tornadoes vs. Stingers…
The Tempe Tornadoes and the Surprise Stingers face-off on Tue Oct 17. Pythons are 1-0. The Stingers still looking for their first victory. Both teams are AMPED for Tuesday Night Pickleball @ The Orchard!
HOW TO WATCH: Tune in to The Dink’s YouTube Channel – Tue Oct 17 @ 9pm ET / 6pm PT. If you’re nearby, purchase tickets here to see the match in person.
Headlines & Quick Hits
A review from the Dink Fam...