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What we hate about pickleball

by The Dink Media Team on

WNBA player makes the switch. APP recap. Short drives > long drives.

We're all familiar with the phenomenon of tennis pros making the switch to pickleball. But it seems our sport is also a magnet for basketball stars — at least in terms of investors.

Lebron James, Draymond Green, Kevin Love, Rip Hamilton, Shawn Marion, Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Jeremy Lin...they're all looking to round out their personal portfolios with pickle-based investments.

But when will we see these basketball players actually make a serious run at high-level pickleball versus investing in it or playing recreationally?

More on that below.

5min55sec

Also in this issue:

  • Short drives > long drives
  • APP recap
  • WNBA player joins pickleball ranks
  • The worst parts of pickleball

Let's go!

APP Daytona Beach Open Results

Take the Short Cut: A Shorter Drive is a Better Drive

There's one mistake that I have made over and over while trying to set up a shake and bake.

One of my favorite partners of all time is a gent named Rob. He is elite at the 'bake' portion of the shake and bake. Dude should be churning out baguettes in Paris.

As a team, we chose to fully embrace the drive and crash strategy for most points. The mistake that I made far too often was incorrectly trying to accommodate Rob.

I would drive cross-court so that he could crash straight ahead. This is wrong for two reasons:

  • Driving cross-court is generally less effective because the ball has to travel a greater distance and allows for more reaction time.
  • It also limits where Rob can move when he crashes. He must cover his line, so he does not have as much freedom to be aggressive.

Instead, I should have been driving down the line to the opponent straight ahead. This would greatly reduce their reaction time and limit where they are able to play their next shot.

With Rob crashing at an angle, they're likely to skip the cross court dink/block and try to return the ball to me down the line. Since Rob knows this is their best option, he can crash even harder.

If a ball is left even remotely high, he is there to clean it up with a powerful 5th shot slam.

Being a polite partner can be different than what you originally thought. Test different strategies to see what works best for you.

A Paddle for Power AND Spin

After over two years of research and collaboration with top pros like Tyson McGuffin, Selkirk's VANGUARD Power Air addresses the need for both power and spin.

This is the future of pickleball technology. Be a part of it. Learn more here.

The Winners Circle in Daytona

Bobbi Oshiro's underdog semifinal run was the talk of the town last week in Phoenix. She followed up that performance with a gold medal finish at the APP Daytona Beach Open yesterday.

Oshiro and her partner Brendon Long turned heads all day Friday as they knocked off the highest-rated teams in the mixed doubles field. On Championship Sunday, they completed their title run, defeating Hunter Johnson and Parris Todd in the final match of the event.

The mixed doubles title was the missing piece for another Todd triple crown. Todd collected a singles and women's doubles title earlier in day.

Hunter Johnson also hoisted the trophy earlier in the day. He beat twin brother Yates Johnson in the men's singles final.

The brothers came up short in the men's doubles finals. They lost to Andrei Daescu and Kyle Yates, who are now back-to-back champions on the APP Tour.

The next APP Tour stop is on the left coast. The San Diego Classic starts March 15th.

A Whole New Ball Game

Two time WNBA Champion Jewell Loyd has discovered a new passion. Spoiler alert: it's pickleball.

Loyd has captured nearly every accolade imaginable on the basketball court. She's a WNBA All-Star, 2015's first overall pick and Rookie of the Year. At Notre Dame she was named ESPNW National Player of the Year and ACC Player of the Year.

Her sights are now set on pickleball supremacy. Loyd was among the 1100+ competitors in action at the APP Daytona Beach Open last weekend.

While the game is still a hobby for the WNBA star, she is already competing at the 4.5 level and rapidly improving. Her journey into pickleball is unlike any we have heard before but reinforces what makes the game so special.

Whether you're a world class athlete or just a weekend warrior, the game is addictive and competitive outlet at all levels.

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!

The Worst Part of Pickleball

As you undoubtedly know, we’re a pretty pro-pickleball establishment. But we’re not above fair criticism of the sport and its community, especially if that criticism comes from actual members of said community.

A post on the Pickleball Forum Facebook group recently caught our attention. It asked members to list their single largest complaint they have about playing pickleball – indoors or outdoors.

We thought it might be useful to conglomerate the most common words used in the responses to this post to gain an overall understanding of the pain points in pickleball today:

Thankfully, it seems there are more technical (read: solvable) problems in the sport than social ones. Things like ball texture, wind screening, differing rating systems, and, of course, the lack of dedicated courts were among the most common complaints. All of these issues can, and likely will, be sorted out with time as more money continues to pour into pickleball.

But, as you might expect, “drama from other players” did somehow find its way into the mix. That's a tricky issue.

As is another problem that didn’t make it into the word cloud (because everyone used different words to describe it): sandbagging at the tournament level.

As one user put it, “Folks who say they are 4.0 but drop down to 3.5 to win a medal. If you say you’re a whatever, play at that level. Don't sandbag.”

We want to hear from you: how would you respond to this prompt? Take our survey here.

Cold can be therapeutic. In fact, it can be more.

The Cold Plunge may sound like a hard sell, but that’s exactly why it works: studies show dipping your body in cold water increases your muscles’ ability to heal, promotes focus, reduces anxiety, and other health benefits.

Take the plunge and stay in top pickleball shape. Click here to learn more.

In the latest It Feels Right, Rob and Stone break down the new PPA Tour back draw format, recap the PPA Desert Ridge and outline the next month of tournament play.

They compare the benefits of the domesticated life and life on the road. A trip Costa Rica will live in their memory and immune systems forever.

Watch here or listen here.

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