NYC gets serious with pickleball

How long can you play pickleball? Don't count out the third-shot drop just yet. And Utah is the next stop on the PPA Tour.

The “One more game” phenomenon is a serious thing.

When you have the right four players and an open court, it’s nearly impossible to stop playing.

Seven and a half hours is really pushing the limit, but if your job requires you to sit at a desk for eight hours a day, why not offset it with a full day of pickle?

What type of footwear do you typically wear when playing pickleball?

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In This Issue:
🗽 A permanent home in NYC
💥 Paddles pack too much power?
🏔️ To the mountains we go

Without further ado.

Drive for Show, Drop for Dough

The pro pickleball game is becoming faster and faster, and third-shot drops are becoming less common. On the PicklePod, pro Zane Navratil admitted that he drops the ball about “zero percent” of the time.

Instead, he focuses on hybrid drop/drives (about 40 percent of the time) and drives (about 60 percent of the time).

This might be where the pro game is headed, but we are not pros. Us mere mortals should still rely heavily on drop shots because they can help us in so many other areas of our game. 

Before you abandon the drop for good, consider these benefits:

Drops help you get to the kitchen

A higher-arcing shot takes longer to reach your opponent than a straight-line drive — that’s just science (or math, we’re not sure). The biggest benefit of using a third- (or fifth- or seventh-) shot drop is that it gives you time to get into a more neutral or offensive position for the next shot.

Drops cause problems for opponents

In amateur play, drives are used a lot. So, many players have developed effective counters and know how to aim the ball back at your feet. A drop shot forces them to make a different decision and, depending on its placement, can put them back on their heels or even force them to hit up on the ball. 

Forcing your opponent into an uncomfortable position could lead to a popup for you or your partner to put away. At the very least, a well-struck drop will hardly ever hurt you.

Drops pull your opponents out of position

Drops allow you to hit more angles against your opponent because they are less likely to carry out of bounds. When you drop the ball into the corner of your opponent’s kitchen, you force your opponent to go wide, and if their partner isn’t moving with them, you can create a nice gap in the middle to exploit on subsequent shots.

After they return your drop, you’re forcing them to work hard to get into a better position. 

Regardless of what you may have heard, the third-shot drop is not dead. It’s alive and ready to help any time you call on it.

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

-Third Shot Drop

-Mark Twain

Let It Glow

Brighten up your game with the vivid SLK by Selkirk Halo pickleball paddles, now in radiant pink and lime green!

Select between the 16mm Control Core for strategic placement and the 13mm Power Core for that extra oomph in your shots. And with the longer XL handle, you're in for enhanced reach and spin, making every shot count.

Don't blend in; visit Selkirk's website to explore these colorful wonders and elevate your game today!

Permanent Pickle in Central Park

Last year, a pickleball experiment in Central Park saw courts rolled out in Wollman Rink as an off-season activity. City Pickle brought 14 pickleball courts into the heart of NYC, creating a one-of-a-kind experience that attracted more than 56,000 players.

Well, consider the experiment a success. This year, City Pickle will resurface the courts to create a permanent pickleball surface. As part of a three-year deal, the rink will be used for pickleball in the warmer months and revert back to an ice rink in the winter.

With the new deal comes more affordable pricing for players. The court rental cost received some criticism last year. This year, players can expect to pay $10-12.50 per player for an hour of play, with some decreased off-hour opportunities as low as $5 per player.

The courts are scheduled to open May 1st, and reservations can be made starting today.

See Where You Stack Up

Looking for a tournament that treats you like a pro and cares about your progress? National Pickleball is the place to be.

With National Pickleball, you're stepping into value-packed tournaments where every match you play counts towards your DUPR rating. Enjoy lower registration & event fees, the best refund policies, and a four-match guarantee.

Plus, don't miss out on cool perks: receive a free T-shirt when you sign up, earn medals if you're a top performer, and benefit from on-site athletic trainers to keep you at the top of your game.

There’s No Crowd like a Utah Crowd

The PPA Tour returns home to Utah this weekend. The Red Rock Open crowd always brings energy and provides extra support for the Utah-based players.

Missed the bus 🚌
Several pros, including Anna Leigh Waters, Catherine Parenteau, Rachel Rohrabacher, Matt Wright, Thomas Wilson, and others will skip this tour stop.

Fed takes the lead 📊
With his silver medal finish last week, Federico Staksrud surpassed Ben Johns as the men’s singles point leader on tour this year. He will have a chance to extend the lead this week, as Ben elected to skip singles.

Opportunity knocks 🍀
The women’s doubles field is light in Utah, so there is ample opportunity for a new team to enter the spotlight. Anna Bright and hometown favorite Callie Smith will be the No. 1 seed. Utah natives Meghan Dizon and Etta Wright are favored to meet them in the final as the No. 2 seed.

Third time’s the charm 💎
Mary Brascia has not had much luck as the No. 1 seed in back-to-back weeks. Look for her to right the ship in Utah. In her path is Kaitlyn Christian, who is inching closer and closer to PPA gold.

This week, the event will follow a traditional draw. Check out our full preview of the event, complete with broadcast times and predictions. Catch Singles Day on Thursday starting at 1pm ET on PickleballTV and Amazon Prime.

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