Number's Don't Lie

What do Bill Gates, Lance Armstrong and Jimmie Johnson all have in common?

You can find them all on the pickleball court.

Love him or hate him (and it sounds like some of you aren't his biggest fans, to say the least) The Microsoft co-founder has been playing for five decades. The former pro cyclist and the NASCAR legend are still at the beginner level.

In this issue we'll cover how these three are involved in the game, serve tips & statistics and the $30 million Idaho estate with a scenic home-court. Let's do it.

Recover Faster

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Learn the Pickleball Spin Serve in 5 Minutes by Shea Underwood

Weaponizing the serve is becoming increasingly more common in both the amateur and pro divisions of pickleball. While you might get an ace here and there, it’s more likely that you’ll receive a weak return that awards you the advantage right out of the gate.

-Hold the ball between your middle and index fingersIf you’re using a Franklin X Pickleball, then place both your middle and index fingers on the ‘X’

-Turn Parallel to the baselineTurn your body so that your chest is facing in the direction you want the ball to kick

-Snap your fingers squeeze hardLet your middle finger go down and your thumb go up as if you’re snapping your fingers. This will impart massive spin on the ball. The harder you squeeze, the more spin is generated.

-Turn your body and serve As the ball is in the air, move your feet and rotate your body so that you can comfortably hit the ball into the opponent’s court.

-Slice the underside of the ball To add more kick, you can slice the underside of the ball in the same direction that you spun it, or you can slice the opposite direction to misdirect your opponent.

Serve with Consistency

And now we're going to contradict ourselves. The spin serve is a fun way to quickly gain an advantage in a rally, and sometimes even win the point before it starts.

But we all know that consistency matters. And statistically speaking, the more you take risks on your serve, the less likely you are to win the match. It's that simple.

At the highest level of pickleball, serves are everything. Jim Ramsey of the Pro Pickleball Stats Facebook Group looked at 12 PPA matches, and tracked every serve. The results are compelling, but not quite surprising.

That's consistency. All of this to say, spin serve at your own risk, my friends.

Bill Gates has been Playing Pickleball for 50 Years

Bill Gates grew up near the birthplace of pickleball and says he has been playing for over 50 years. Apparently, he and his family were some of the first people to ever play the game. His dad, Bill Gates Sr., was friends with inventors, Joel Pritchard, Barney McCallum and Bill Bell. Shortly after playing at the original court, Gates' father installed a court at their home.

Gates Notes is the personal blog of Microsoft's founder. Yesterday he published an article documenting his history with the game. In the article, Gates says that he still plays at least once a week and even more in the summertime.

The conversation spilled over to Twitter where Ben Johns gave some personalized feedback to the Microsoft founder.

Apparently the visionary couldn't predict how much pickleball would grow. If he could have, maybe we would have a better version of pickleballtournaments.com.

Something Cooking for ESPN

Leigh and Anna Leigh Waters have been dropping some hints on social media this week. It looks like an ESPN feature on the family is coming this year.

The mother-da duo is one of the best stories in sports. A feature from ESPN is long overdue. Be on the lookout for some major pickleball action from the "worldwide leader in sports."

The young star posted the following on social media: "Never did I ever believe we would be featured on ESPN's Sportscenter for pickleball. Spent the day filming and sharing our pickleball story. I have watched SportsCenter my entire life!! I can’t wait to see the end result!!"

The Most Comfortable Apparel in Pickleball

Activewear designed with adventure in mind. Check out Glyder’s multifunctional apparel that you can wear on and off the court - stay fashionable and comfortable no matter what the day brings.

Pool Play Decided for Major League Pickleball

This week, Major League Pickleball established the group stage draw for the upcoming Newport Beach event. The top three finishers from MLP Austin were separated into groups A, B and C. The remaining nine teams were then randomly distributed into the three groups.

All eyes will be on team BLQK as they defend their back-to-back championships. Nearly every other roster has been changed to try to catch up to the champs. Tune in August 5-7 to see the action live from the Tennis and Pickleball Club at Newport Beach.

Celebrity Pickleball Fundraiser

Lance Armstrong, Jimmie Johnson and US Olympic skier Alex Ferreira were the special guests in a "celebrity pickleball" event benefitting Aspen schools. Participation in the event was an auction item at the Aspen Education Foundation’s annual Flamingo fundraiser.

The pickleball tournament was hosted on Tuesday and raised over $25k for the cause. Johnson said on Instagram "There are not many things that make me look as bad as I do playing pickleball. At least we were able to raise money for a great cause. #ImStillBetterThanLance"

Everything You Need for Pickleball Under One Roof

Rhino Pickleball has paddles, balls, portable nets perfect for players at all levels. They have the best selection of training aids to support player development. Up your game with court markers, cones and other fitness accessories that take drill work to the next level.

Headlines & Quick Hits

Highlights

Homecourt Havens

Coeur d'Alene, ID

The most expensive home in Idaho HAS to have a pickleball court. The views on this one are majestic. How soon until you snag this one, Mr. McGuffin?

If you’ve got this one beat or want to show off your own homecourt, send us an email at [email protected].

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