The pickleball world just erupted into chaos

Tyson's dinking tips.

Vint Title

Happy Friday. The balls are melting, and so is pro-level pickleball.

Long story short: key individuals at Major League Pickleball and at the PPA Tour are actively blowing up the phones of every top player and offering them lucrative (relatively speaking) exclusive contracts.

Lots to unpack today. Keep reading — and keep our live on in the background.

In This Issue:

🧠Tyson’s dinking tips, part 1
🏆Pro leagues are battling again
☀️Pickleballs are melting

Let’s move.

PPA Kansas City Open Results

APP Philadelphia Open Results

10 Techniques to Improve Your Dink

Part 1 of 2 with Pro Tyson McGuffin

Tyson is playing better than he ever has. He won a triple crown last week and has already qualified for Championship Sunday this weekend.

TM scripted these way back in 2021 when no one cared about pickleball. Let’s get back to basics with TM.

  1. Find your most athletic self with your lower extremities (stance is shoulder-width, maybe a touch wider, knees bent)

  2. Upper extremities = quiet. Imagine you have your beverage of choice in your non-dominant hand. Don't spill it.

  3. For directional dinking, lead with your palm on the FH and knuckles on the BH

  4. Don’t be trashy! Aka don’t overextend yourself at the kitchen line to chase trash out of the air. You have more time than you think - let it bounce.

  5. Take a step back to be more offensive with your dinks. Feel free to give up court position to be more aggressive.

    For example, instead of overextending to take a ball out of the air, buy yourself time with a step back. Let it bounce, and either play a confident dink, or if it's high enough, RIP IT.

But wait: that’s only 5 techniques to save my dink game. Patience is a virtue and a good thing to have on the court. Catch part two on Monday.

 

Investing, the Fun Way

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The Pro Leagues Are At It Again

While the APP Tour is out courting deals across the globe, back in the States, the pro pickleball wars are heating up again. (Need a refresher? Read this).

Like we said above, the PPA Tour and MLP have entered an all-out spending war for top talent.

Here’s what we know after speaking with 20+ players and other stakeholders:

  • While everyone was focused on the arrival of sports betting in pickleball yesterday (Aug 24), key players at MLP, led by Steve Kuhn, began firing phone calls to top players, offering multi-year, guaranteed contracts

  • Certain players received 7-figure offers

  • Connor Pardoe at PPA begins calling players himself, while Tom Dundon starts calling every MLP owner he can think of

  • You guessed it: the revival of Vibe Pickleball League, PPA’s answer to MLP’s team-based format, may be a thing

Top Notch Management is also pulling some strings in favor of MLP. Who is under Top Notch?

Oh, you know…Tyson McGuffin, Zane Navratil, James Ignatowich, Anna Bright, Jessie Irvine, Federico Staksrud, Altaf Merchant, AJ Koller, Irina Tereschenko, Connor Garnett, Andrei Daescu....the list goes on.

We have questions. And we’re working on answers:

  • How do PPA contracted players wiggle out of their contracts? Can they?

  • Is a spending war really sustainable?

  • Where does the APP fit into all of this? If every top player is signed with either MLP or PPA...who plays APP?

  • Who in MLP was aware and who wasn't? Pardoe and Dundon each own their own MLP teams (Utah and Seattle)...clearly not all owners were aware this was about to happen

  • Are the Utah Black Diamonds and Seattle Pioneers now without ownership?

  • Is Mark Cuban gonna shake things up again?

As more news pours in, we’ll keep you posted on Twitter, via this blog, and across our social media channels.

Obviously, we want your hot takes - send here if ya got ‘em.

Kansas City Shakedown

The first-ever match that pickleball fans could (and did) bet on was a bout between Rafa Hewett and Tyler Loong. When this inevitably comes up in bar trivia in 10 years, you can recall that Hewett won the match 11-7, 11-1.

HEAT was the overarching theme of singles play yesterday. The temps hit triple digits, and the sun was brutal throughout the day.

Ben Johns and Anna Leigh Waters returned to form, both earning a spot in the singles finals on Sunday.

Catherine Parenteau will get her first shot at ALW since June, and we will see another chapter in the Johns vs McGuffin saga.

Women’s Singles Final
Anna Leigh Waters vs Catherine Parenteau
Bronze: Jorja Johnson

Men’s Singles Final
Ben Johns vs Tyson McGuffin
Bronze: Federico Staksrud

Catch the remainder of the weekend on Amazon Prime starting at 11 am ET.

Too Hot!

Sharp-eyed readers may recall the Up Your Game we wrote about why you should play differently in hot weather. Basically: high temps = soft balls.

The pros recently experienced not only the pain of playing in triple digits, but the effects of excessive heat on their game:

Maybe Tyler has a point. The last thing professional sports needs is another Deflate Gate.

Although, that gives us an idea: let’s make Tom Brady buy PPA some really nice coolers. What? He already bought in to a pickleball team; what’s another few hundred?

Selkirk x Legends Capsule Collection

Selkirk Legends

Selkirk Sport, the leading name in Pickleball, and Legends, the athlete-favorite apparel brand, have come together to create the Selkirk x Legends Capsule Collection.

This special collection features an industry leading paddle along with shorts and a crew that are designed to perform; perfect for the modern pickleball player.

Unleash your true potential and make a statement on the court with the Selkirk x Legends Collection.

Hear All About It

Need more info on the Tour Wars saga? We’ve got more details on the whole situation and hear from some of the key players in two live podcasts.

Watch them here and here.

Getting a Jump on Paddle Regulation

Rob and Stone reunite after the Tournament of Champions. It was an impressive performance from Tyson McGuffin, Catherine Parenteau and the rest of team Selkirk in Utah. The boys dive into the latest paddle drama that has paddle testers scrambling for a solution.

Watch here or listen here.

Headlines & Quick Hits

Highlights

Homecourt Havens

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If you have a homecourt that you’d like to start paying the bills, sign up today for Swimply’s pickleball feature.

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