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Pickleball Lives Here

Negotiations stall, top women could miss MLP

by The Dink Media Team on

Master the smash. Senior pro league. Kids love pickleball.

This one's a doozy.

On Monday, Major League Pickleball, revamped with its fresh slate of high-profile owners and a new format, is set to draft 12 teams behind closed doors. Rosters will be revealed to the public Thursday. One problem, the list of eligible players has yet to be finalized.

Pickleball years = dog years. Everything changes so quickly. Serious question, how are we supposed to keep up with all of this? It's only been two days since our last issue...

  • The APP hits pause, drops player negotiations to re-evaluate its path forward
  • Botched negotiations mean two top 10 women will not participate in MLP (as of now)
  • Room for one More? The National Pickleball League officially launched
  • Former world #11 tennis star pleads his case to MLP owners: I beat Novak Djokovic and you should draft me

Lucky for you, it's our job to stay on top of it all.

Let's go.

Form = Force on the Overhead Smash

When it comes to smashes, remember two important tips: don't be lazy, and don't assume the point is over. Otherwise, you may wind up kicking yourself.

These are some of the most embarrassing moments in pickle: an anti-climatic dud into the net or a rocket straight into the back fence.

Mark Renneson breaks down overhead fundamentals in a recent video.

1) Turn sideways - Rotation is key to generating power on an overhead. Set up sideways with your dominant side foot behind and your nondominant foot in front.

2) Load with your legs - Bend your knees! Use your legs to drive your body up toward the ball and kickstart your rotation.

3) Throwing motion - Renneson explains "It's not like throwing the ball forward, but like you're throwing your paddle at the ball."

4) Impact Point - As high as you can reach and slightly in front of your body. Full arm extension is your friend on overheads. It's up to you to leave ample space to extend.

5) Pronation - Renneson suggests a continental (hammer) grip so the paddle is sideways through the motion and pronates open through the impact point.

Remember, pickleball points are seldom won with a single overhead. It's crucial to recover and maintain good form through a series of four or five consecutive smashes.

It's like Airbnb...but for Pickleball Courts

As if you need another reason to add a homecourt to your backyard, now you can share your court with local players when you aren’t using it.

Swimply allows court owners the chance to rent out homecourts and players the opportunity to reserve a private court for their game.

Still No Stability for Pro Scene

At this point, you should just assume we will have some piece of major pro pickle news to bring you every week for the foreseeable future. The latest headline: APP Tour Drops Player Negotiations, Hits Pause.

Amidst the chaos of PPA and MLP joining forces, the formation of 'tour cards,' and the unveiling of a new senior tour (more below), the APP needs a breather.

They still plan to hold 2023 events and will honor pro player contracts. Previously, we’d heard whispers of a “major TV deal” promising 500+ hours of streaming and traditional TV broadcasts.

APP Tour was also expected to release more details about its partnership with Universal Tennis Ratings (UTR).

While APP seems to be calling for a TO, one important part of this story to note is that the APP provides non-PPA pros valuable leverage as they negotiate their futures with the PPA. If all of this is true, that leverage goes out the window.

Custom Pickleball Athletic Wear for On AND Off Court

AVI focuses on one simple but important principle: elevating Pickleball by creating exceptional apparel.

They believe everyone — from professional athletes to casual enthusiasts — deserves well-constructed, expertly designed clothing made just for their sport.

Introducing NPL, the Senior Pro League

The National Pickleball League, or NPL, announces its launch as a nationwide team competition for Champions Division (50+) players. Starting mid-2023, team owners will select their represented city and build their teams in a live draft format.

Names up for grabs include Beth Bellamy, Dayne Gingrich, Jennifer Dawson, Rick Witsken, Eva Welsher and more.

Hungry fans are in luck: each event will be held at NPL’s partner, Chicken N Pickle, a pickleball facility-restaurant hybrid.

What’s more, the new league promises to play nice with the other three: the NPL schedule doesn’t conflict with any MLP, PPA, or APP events. It seems late-2022 will go down in pro pickle history as The Time of Great Cooperation.

Children Stand By Pickleball

Break out the participation trophies. No, literal ones: children apparently deserve some recognition, because there’s more of them playing pickleball now than ever.

According to some recent research, 462,000 children between ages 6-17 started playing between 2019 and 2021, which marks an 83% increase.

The Washington Post cites an interesting take on why awareness of the sport is increasing among children: teenage superstar 15-year-old Anna Leigh Waters.

Pickleball has come full circle. Originally designed as something for its inventors’ families to keep occupied with, the sport is once again being played by more and more children. We are eager to see who among them will rise to the top to become the next generation of pros.

Read more here.

It's Almost Time: MLP Draft

We will soon know who’s playing for each of the 2023 MLP Premier League teams.

Yesterday marked the deadline for players to submit applications. A private Premier League draft will take place on Monday, and the big reveal will take place on Thursday at the PPA Team Championships at Mandalay Bay. Vegas, baby.

The draft will include 12 Premier League teams of 4 players each (48 total). On the latest episode of It Feels Right, Rob and Stone let us know that the Challenger League draft will take place after Christmas.

Adam Stone also announced that he will assume the GM role for last season's runner-up, the Hard Eights. But that's not even close to the biggest news.

As of now, Andrea Koop and Parris Todd will not be eligible for the draft. That's two high-profile top 10 women (Koop being a debatable #2). What gives?

We don't have many details other than that negotiations have reached a standstill. With Monday's draft looming, and the application deadline expiring yesterday, it does not seem likely they'll find a remedy to the stalemates.

In other news, you may have heard that former top ranked tennis pro Sam Querrey unveiled his plans to make a serious run at pro pickleball. Some claimed he has the potential to be top 10 in six months or less. Maybe, maybe not.

Here's the long and short of it: Querrey is actively lobbying MLP owners to draft him. In a lengthy email to the owners, which has circulated amongst the pros, he touts his Wimbledon and US Open appearances, 23 wins over top 10 players, general marketability and relationships with 'sponsors',; his charisma, energy, and finally, his multiple wins over 'number one' ranked players in the world, including one win over Novak Djokovic.

Sam Querrey seems like a genuine guy, and it's clear he has tons of potential. But is he worth the gamble right now? Is his marketable upside enough to take a chance on him? Obviously, he knows how to win on the biggest stages, but this is a whole different stage. To be honest, the email was well written and persuasive, so we wouldn't be too surprised if he ends up sliding into the last round.

We shall see.

Headlines & Quick Hits

  • A bag built for pickleball tournaments
  • US Open Tennis Champion Weighs in on Pickleball Craze, Popularity - Insider
  • St. Cloud Pickleball Toy Drive Collects Cash and Gifts for Kids - KNSI
  • Pickleball complex coming to DC in early 2023 - FOX 5 DC
  • Need a partner for next month's tournament? Find the perfect match with PicklePlay


Homecourt Havens

St George, UT does not disappoint. Where else would you find such a pristine court and picturesque backdrop? Good luck keeping the Utah pickleball population off of this court.

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The Dink Media Team

The Dink Media Team

We're the premier pickleball media outlet featuring news, tips, reviews, and highlights with over 1 million subscribers, followers, and listeners.

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