This guy must be new here:
While he may be late to the party, there is a certain brilliance in lining up the numbers like that. The only disturbing thing we’re seeing: the number of courts only increased by 32,000 over 7 years.
But we always make the same point: that’s registered places to play. What does that figure look like if it included makeshift, backyard, street and taped tennis courts?
In This Issue:
Third shot strategies
Cleaning up downtown with pickleball
Petitioning for free use courts
APP hits Ohio
When ‘Down the Middle’ Isn’t Cutting It
Simone Jardim is a certified pickleball legend. When she shells out mixed dubs advice, we listen. We’d even buy seashells if she sold them, but that's beside the point.
In this recent tidbit, Jardim lays out some strategy for the third shot in mixed doubles.
There are two places where Jardim suggests you send your third:
1) Drop - Behind the guy. Men usually pinch the middle in mixed doubles. It is important to keep them honest from the jump.
One way to do that is to drop the ball to the side of the male player. If they're playing the left, aim the ball at their left foot. Make them play a ball from their half of the court before they can slide to the middle.
2) Drive - At the forehand hip. Simone also recommends a drive at the forehand side hip of the female player.
She suggests the forehand instead of the backhand side, which might seem strange. Simone warns that on the backhand side, the player could slide out of the way and counter with a strong two-handed backhand.
The two-hander is a shot that is becoming very popular in the pro game. Adding the shift makes the backhand even more effective.
By targeting the forehand, Jardim's goal is to jam the player. She wants to force an awkward response. Something that her partner can take advantage of as they crash toward the NVZ.
Take it from the GOAT. Be intentional with your third shot. It's the most important shot in the game.
Free Paddle Weights!
We got fantastic feedback Monday on adding weight to your paddle. After a ton of interest, we are teaming up with PCKL to give you a FREE pack of paddle weights when you buy any paddle online.
As always, use code DINK15 to save 15% off your entire purchase.
Battling Downtown Crises with Pickleball
Cities will try anything to discourage drug use and homelessness. Seattle’s mayor Bruce Harrell hopes pickleball will help.
As part of his Downtown Activation Plan, Harrell introduced a set of short-term steps toward addressing safety and public health in downtown.
The list of solutions is admittedly pretty broad in scope, but all of them are designed to bolster “an evidence-based public health approach to support people struggling with addiction.”
You might expect some of the proposed solutions:
Seattle police directed to disrupt distribution of narcotics
An expansion of the overdose response unit
The general expansion of resources designed to help those struggling
And then there are some efforts focused on bringing more activity and culture to the area:
The reopening of City Hall Park with events programming, safety, and lighting enhancements
Increase opportunities for food truck operators and pop-up food vendors
More frequent closings of downtown streets for special events, such as on-street pickleball competitions
The mayor’s opponents say this plan is doomed to fail.
“Harrell’s plan to bring hipsters sipping IPAs between pickleball games doesn’t treat addiction or cure homelessness,” one pundit says.
But we’re not so sure. After all, we’ve heard of the healing power of pickleball before, and even if it doesn’t do anything to aid in the addiction crisis, it makes the area that much nicer to live in.
Unless, of course, the courts are placed right next to homes. Then the mayor would really have a lot on his hands.
Standing Up for Family Play Times
We often tout the accessibility of pickleball, and for good reason – mostly. But there are rare cases where the barrier to entry becomes too great.
Example: one high school freshman in Palmetto, Florida is campaigning to make his local courts more affordable.
Connor Porry says he loves to play at one of the only local courts with his friends and family. The courts used to be free on the weekends, but now the nearby Village of Pinecrest is transferring all open pickleball play to four new courts…
…Courts which will only be free to use Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, but not on the weekends. As Connor explains in his change.org petition to local authorities, most players work or attend school and can likewise only play on the weekends.
“Now they’d have to pay $20 to play per hour. On average, pickleball is played 2 hours a day, 4 times per week. At this rate my father, brother and I would be paying $480 per month to play in Pinecrest Public Park courts,” the petition reads.
We know what you’re thinking: this is Florida, kid. Don’t you have other options? Apparently not as many as you’d think:
“If we don't reserve the court and pay, we will need to drive to Tropical Park (in heavy traffic, during rush hour) to play on the only other 4 dedicated courts in the Miami-Dade County park system with lights,” he explains.
“These courts get so full in the evening that you’re typically waiting an average of 25 minutes between games.”
We signed your petition, Connor. Good luck, and remember: no matter what the result of your efforts, the pickleball community is proud of you.
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Pro Pickleball Stops in Ohio
You know that pickleball park that you've seen pictures of online. The one with two lines of courts that seem to go on forever? That is Sawyer Point, the home of this week's APP Vlasic Classic.
In Cincinnati, Andrei Daescu will look to maintain his stranglehold on the APP doubles events. He is mixing it up this week and will partner with Rob Nunnery and Alix Truong for the event.
Parris Todd is the favorite in both women's categories. She and mixed partner Hunter Johnson will have work to do if she hopes to secure another triple crown.
The mixed doubles field will be a toss up this weekend. Don’t be the least bit shocked if Susannah Barr/Rob Nunnery or Simone Jardim/Yates Johnson top the podium.
The world will get another look at Eric Roddy/Jim Dobran, the surprising duo that beat Jack Sock/Tyson McGuffin last week. Upset candidate and new MLP pick-up Phillip Locklear will also play in both doubles events.
Pickleball vet Frank Anthony Davis comes crashing into the men's singles draw looking to pick up some hardware.
Keep an out for William Sobek to pull another upset or two this weekend as he continues to break out this year.
Streaming starts Saturday at 1pm ET on APPTV. Tune into a special Championship Sunday broadcast from 12-2pm ET on CBS Sports.
Your Daily Wellness Shot
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Let MTE help you stay at the top of your pickle game. Learn more here.
Headlines & Quick Hits
Better sleep = better performance on the court. Custom night guards stop you from clenching your jaw & grinding your teeth. Get 25% off with code DINK25.
Find your next pickleball game, location, and partner
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Extremely rare footage of a paddle juicer in action 👀
Hands club 👋👋👋
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A review from the Dink Fam...
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