Pros move less, and you’re probably moving too much.
The key difference between the movement of pros and amateurs is: anticipation.
When possible, beat the ball to the spot. This allows you to pause and load your bodyweight more effectively prior to making contact.
Optimal weight distribution through contact not only improves accuracy and power, but enables a neutral finish (meaning you’re already in the ready position for the next shot).
Conceptually, it’s anticipation/optimal weight loading. Optically, it’s reduced and smoother movement.
In This Issue:
Playing & defending the lob
MLP team gives back
APP Cincy recap
Be well, Jamie Foxx
Let’s get going.
When a lob goes up, all hell breaks loose. Partners forget how to communicate, people trip over their own feet, and somebody always steps in the kitchen while hitting an overhead.
Let's go over some of the basics of the lob culture so you can keep a level head next time the ball hits the sky.
When you lob:
The safest spot to aim your lob is over your opponent’s backhand shoulder, preferably along the sideline. That way if your lob comes up short, you're not feeding them an easy overhead.
There are offensive and defensive lobs. Planned, on-balance offensive lobs have a much higher success rate than scrambling defensive lobs.
If you are lobbing from the baseline (you dog, you) it's important to note one thing. If the ball bounces behind the other team, it's time to run in. It's the best opportunity to flip a point in your favor. Be sure to take advantage.
When on the receiving end:
Short steps are the key to avoid the dreaded kitchen violation. Where people go wrong is unintentionally stepping into the kitchen to launch themselves up for the overhead.
This can be averted with two short steps, instead of one large one. This allows you to reestablish outside of the NVZ before you make contact.
Don't let the ball hit the ground. If at all possible, play the ball out of the air. It is how you maintain the advantage in the point.
If the ball bounces, you're back to square one, trying to hit a drop shot to advance toward the NVZ. It is not the end of the world but it puts you on the wrong side of the pickleball equation.
Slide. Be ready to slide. If someone lobs over your backhand, slide so it becomes a forehand. It's rarely the first instinct but if you don't panic, it can be done.
The lob game comes with its own unique set of challenges. Some people love it, others hate it. Instead of getting mad when the lob goes up, show off that pickleball IQ and make the veteran play.
Control the Court
Get ready to elevate your game and withstand the heat with the new Obsidian paddles from GAMMA Pickleball.
The GAMMA Obsidian pickleball paddles will be available in both 13mm and 16mm core thickness and feature a raw carbon hitting surface for massive spin.
Increase your swing speed and power today by purchasing one on www.gammasports.com.
MLP Team’s School Day
Members of MLP’s DC Pickleball Team recently dropped by Ida B. Wells Middle School in their namesake city to donate pickleball equipment and demonstrate what pickleball looks like.
Stefan Auvergne and Shelby Bates brought students their own pro-level JOOLA paddles, rounding off the local pride, since the company is based in nearby Rockville, MD.
Apparently, Ida B. Wells’ students ate it up. You can hear them chanting in a follow up tweet from the school thanking DCPT for their donation.
Nearly 50 million American students were enrolled in prekindergarten through grade 12 in 2021. If current pickleball growth stats are correct, that’s only about 14 million above the current US pickleball player count.
“It all starts now at local schools like this…and we have to build that foundation; it’s critical for the growth of the sport and the longevity of it,” said DC Pickleball team’s COO.
“But, most importantly, it’s about health and wellness and inspiring the youth to live a healthy lifestyle.”
A Recap from the Queen City
Andrei Daescu always seems to find a way to win. He went for double gold again yesterday, but these titles looked a little different. The big man partnered with Alix Truong and Rob Nunnery and helped both of them win their first gold on the APP Tour this year.
The women’s duo of Simone Jardim and Parris Todd are riding a hot streak of their own. The dominant duo has made it five straight titles to start the year.
In singles, the Johnson twins Yates and Hunter had another epic family showdown. For the second tournament in a row, it is Yates that wins the title. He fended off Hunter’s double dip attempt in the final game to 15 with a score of 15-8.
Salome Devidze cruised to her second gold on the tour this year. Jenna Hessert made her first Championship Sunday appearance but had to settle for silver.
Rick Witsken was taking on any and all challengers in Cincinnati. He won the senior pro triple crown alongside Altaf Merchant and Beth Bellamy.
The APP Tour’s next stop is NYC. The second edition of the New York Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center kicks off May 23.
Athletic Wear Designed for Pickleball Players
AVI is elevating Pickleball by creating exceptional athletic wear. They believe everyone — from professional athletes to casual enthusiasts — deserves well-constructed, expertly designed clothing made just for their sport.
With pockets created specifically to hold pickleballs, comfortable fabrics, and ultra-lightweight feel, AVI is elevated performance wear for both on AND off the court!
Foxx on the Mend
For award-winning actor and huge pickleball fan Jamie Foxx, it’s been a rough month.
If you hadn’t heard, the actor suffered an undisclosed medical event which kept him hospitalized for at least a week sometime within the past few weeks.
While it appears the media ran wild with assumptions over the illness’ severity, Foxx’s daughter confirmed he is on the road to recovery.
Part of that recovery apparently includes playing one of his favorite sports:
Good on you, Jamie. If you would like The Dink Team to drop by to assist with your recovery and up your pickleball game, give us a call.
Headlines & Quick Hits
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Introducing MLP’s latest investors
Breaking those tennis habits
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The hook shot
A review from the Dink Fam...
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