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Pickleball Lives Here

PicklePod Ep. 27 - Collin Johns is a Pickleball Genius

by The Dink Media Team on

Collin Johns joins the PicklePod and breaks down pro pickleball strategy like we have never seen before. Thomas and Casey try to keep up with court geometry, attacking angles and why doubles pickleball is not meant to be a 50/50 game. Grab your pen and notebook for this one, you’re gonna need it.


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Show Notes

(0:27) Introducing Collin Johns, the Highlander, the Rightsider.

(8:51) Training with GOATs, Simone and Ben, while coming up with Dekel.

(12:07) Why no singles? Old fashioned sibling rivalry.

(17:19) Will tennis pros takeover pickleball?

(23:18) Tips for up and coming “right siders” for perfecting complementary pickleball.

(35:00) Time to shine for the lefthanders.

(42:00) What’s it going to take to beat the Johns bros? Can Casey be the Kevin Durant kryptonite of pickleball?

(49:34) How progressions in technology change the game, and tell me how you really feel about spin serves.

(55:48) Let’s go in deep on return of serve strategy. Gotta work in the changeup.


Thomas  0:01  

And just like that, we're live. We're back. We missed. We missed last week, but we're making up for it because we've got, we've got what our social media commenters are referring to as right guy. As of late, Colin John's. Thanks, Thomas. What's happening? Gone?

Collin  0:22  

Not too much.

Thomas  0:23  

i Where are you?

Casey  0:25  

I personally call him sorry to cut you off. I personally call him the Highlander because it can only be one like true right cider and the only one and get the cut off his head, like the TV show. Take them out. It's the only way.

Collin  0:40  

Well, I'm just glad I'm on with somebody who plays volleyball, who is familiar with the concept of center and hitter.

Casey  0:45  

And right side, left side. Yeah, exactly.

Collin  0:48  

I don't know if volleyball well enough to understand the whole right side, left side, but I do know the ideas that are hitter.

Casey  0:55  

Yeah, you're the guy that just you know, you're behind the scenes just calmly running the show, dude. It's actually I was thinking about that earlier. I'm going right into it here. Sorry, Thomas. You're good. I just train this morning. And I was like, Dude, I gotta get good at the right side. Because although I'm long and the left side slide better, there's so many good left sliders. I'm like, Dude, I gotta get dialed in on the right. Because I've played both on the beach. Right? Angles are different the way you set up the ball on your shoulder, how long I can hang and chop, it's all different. And so like, Dude, I gotta get good. And um, I was like, Dude, I gotta be like, Colin, because there's like, there. He's the only one that really has just mastered the right side. Everyone else is fickle. Just keep like jumping back and forth forever partnership. Dude, it's so fun to watch. You just dominate that right side. It's, I'm obsessed with it now.

Collin  1:42  

Thank you. Well, I'm glad that you could relate to it. I'm bringing some expertise from another sport. And definitely I found my niche in the pickleball court. And now I have to actually learn the left side for mixed which I think will make the right side better. But I have no plans on switching anytime soon to the left side Invincibles. Good.

Thomas  2:00  

Yeah, well, you're you're I mean, you're like a true specialist. And I actually want to I want to come back to that. Because I think generally, it probably opens up options for you that because you've perfected it, like people don't realize, but we'll come back to that because I actually want to, I want to start with just like your background. Because I think most people know this. But you were a pro tennis player. You were on the ATP tour. That's where you met deco bar. But I'd love to just hear kind of like, okay, what was your what was sort of your, your, your path in tennis, and then kind of the general transition to pickleball, the generic stuff, we needed me to figure out where he came from.

Collin  2:41  

Yeah, so most people associate deco with Ben because they have the pickleball getaways business together. But I knew deco many years before Ben ever met him. And it was our family, they got into pickleball. So it's kind of funny. To start to get the beginning. I grew up playing some other sports. I mean, just like Ben, we were baseball table tennis and eventually tennis. I started playing tennis when I was 13. And I was just obsessed with it. I want to do nothing but play tennis. And I ended up just devoting myself to that all through high school and training at the Regional Training Center College Park for a couple years. And then I moved to Florida to train more. And at that point, I was looking at some colleges. But because I started tennis so late, I really wasn't getting very many offers. I think I took an official visit visit to NC State. I went to West Point to see that school. So I was looking at college at that point, I had no plans to play professionally. I wasn't anywhere close to that. But the year that I graduated high school, they changed the rule where you could only take off six months in between, versus it used to be a year. So that combined with the fact that the University of Maryland lost their men's tennis team that year that I graduated was kind of the perfect storm to make me not go to college, because I probably could have walked on at Maryland, because I knew the coach because that's where I practiced. And I would play practice with the guys, I knew all of them, it would have made sense. But that wasn't possible because they got their tennis team cut. And then that combined with cutting the time down to six months, I basically had to sit on the sidelines even though I was young for my grade, I graduated early, and I was able to play for six months. And the next six months I basically just practiced and kind of looked at different schools I could play at wasn't really getting any offers. And then I was playing some practice tests with a friend of mine locally, who was having a little bit of success professionally. And I was just like I kind of wonder how I would do if I if I played some pro tournaments. So I got ready for it. Starting in January the next year, I said I'm gonna try some futures which are the lowest level tennis pro tournaments. That's what I did. And I got smoked and the first one and the next one and the next one. But I felt like I was close and I wanted to keep doing it. And I also figured that if I played for a little while then maybe I get some better College offers and one thing would lead to another, but then I actually got my first Professional breaking point that summer. And then after that shortly after I got my second one. And then it was always like, I guess the light at the end of the tunnel, I was like, Alright, I just beat this player, I just got this foreign this tournament, I'm, I'm gonna break through the next one. And I eventually got up to 900 in the world and had some some very good wins. And five years later, I was still playing. And at that point, when you're at 900, you're not really making enough money to support yourself. So I decided to retire at that point and go and work for my old coach in Naples, Florida. And that's when Ben's like, you should really revisit this pickleball thing because up to then I had refused to play like I would take with him to help him like train for US Open. But like I would tell him every time that's a stupid sport, for old people, I will never play, I'm playing a real sport. And I devoted my life to tennis. So it was not like I was gonna switch at the drop of a hat for this silly game, I didn't really have a following at that time. It's not anything like it was now. So I eventually, I gave in, I said, I'll give it another chance. And I was in April. So I had Simoni and Kyle there, among other people. And I would train after I'd play. I mean, I would work at the tennis academy, and then I would go ahead and practice and I wasn't really playing many tournaments. At that point, I played like one or two local ones. And then I actually got the assistant coaching job for the Gulf Coast University. I knew the the coach from before when I used to train there. So I dropped the academy job because at that point, I was working at a country club called medterra in Naples, so I had the military job. And then I had the FGCU job. And then between I would just train and I kind of had my sights set on US Open and I was training a lot with somoni. At that time, she was with prints, and she set up a conversation actually before us open to put us in contact. He says this is this is Ben's brother has a lot of potential. He has a pro tennis background, I think you should sign them. So she put in a really good word for me. I spoke to Curtis and we actually verbally committed before I even played. But it did help that I made the semi finals a singles that year. And last enticed me to semis. But after that I was able to sign with Prince. And that's what led me into the pickleball scene because I was able to travel to some extent and little brother. He's like, Well, you're not good enough to play with me quite yet. But I'll play a few tournaments with you.

But of course, he was working, he was working with me. So I think he played four tournaments that year together later that year. And I had moved back to Maryland for a job at Baltimore Country Club, because Ben knew the director there. It was supposed to be seasonal. And then eventually it turned into full time. I had to decide whether I wanted to go back to Florida. And I was like, Well, Ben lives in Maryland, my family still lives there. Even though I hate the cold. I'm gonna move back and see if I can leverage the training. So Ben was very thrilled about that. We ended up winning three of the four tournaments together. The next year, we played about half or I guess it might have been the COVID year I can't really remember now. But he phased me in slowly, we'll put it that way, where I was good enough to play a few tournaments, then half and now this year. It's everything. So that's kind of the whole tennis to pickleball journey. I guess in the longer

Thomas  8:11  

sort of explanation. No, no, that that's all. That's all good. I totally forgot your with prints. But that I mean, that was like less than a year ago. You're playing with the prince battle, right?

Collin  8:20  

Yeah, I played us open just one year ago with the prince. That was my last tournament. And yeah, I love playing with that paddle. It's a great company. And definitely they were talking to me about resigning. And I decided on the end of the Electrum was the best thing. But yeah, I can't say enough good things about the BattleTech prints guys, because they're an extension of patent tech.

Thomas  8:40  

Yeah, I used to say you had a pretty, pretty good advantage in that venger brother and you were training under Simoni every day. I mean, that's probably as good as it gets. Yeah, I

Casey  8:51  

mean, throw your luck.

Collin  8:54  

I mean, I when people asked me how I got good, I'm like, Well, let me tell you all the natural vendors that I had built, and like if I didn't get good, I mean, man. Wow. The President is like the two greatest players of all time. And of course, somoni was an integral part of me learning how to play and she used to beat the snot out of me and singles my first started, so I won't lie to you and say that I always beat her because she used to beat up on me.

Thomas  9:22  

Do singles is very is very frustrating because it seems like especially if you come from tennis. You think I'm gonna go in and oh, yeah, yeah,

Collin  9:31  

you're very cocky about it. And well, she kind of lowered the boom on me and deco because deckle he entered very soon after when I did and we played our first few tournaments together because naturally, both talented tennis players, but we didn't really know how to play so it made sense for us to play together. But I remember one instance where we were in Atlanta at one of our first tournaments I think might have been our first tournament, and somoni Beat him 11 01 singles and then she almost beat me 11 zero on singles. It was like what We are no longer on a tennis court. dako looked like a sad puppy. And I was like, What is going on right now? I thought I was getting better. Wait, so

Casey  10:10  

what do I do the what do I even do now? Right? You just question your whole identity. Where do I go from

Collin  10:17  

here? Yeah, I feel like it was a little bit easier for me than for deco because starting tennis so late and being really good at baseball up to that point, I kind of had a suck up really being bad for a while. And I was losing to like kids and girls. And it was just really frustrating. So I had gone through that once before, but for DECO, it was like, I've always been good at the sports that I play. This is real. This is horrible.

Casey  10:39  

Struggle. Yeah.

Thomas  10:42  

So how did you meet deckle though? So were you just like playing against him in tournaments? Were you training in the same area for tennis? Or how'd that come about?

Collin  10:52  

That is actually a funny story. I might just give you the short version. But we had the same housing in Vancouver, Canada, we were putting the features up there and sort of happened by accident. The people that we were staying within even tell me or deco that the other one was going to be there. And to spare you all the gory details. The housing was definitely on the weird side. They were like penalties about recycling and they had somebody living in their basement. And we had a bonding experience, me and Michael there to survive that weekend. And we just liked hanging out. And we ended up traveling next tournament together, practice together. And then shortly thereafter, I invite him to come to my house and train a little bit. And then we just hit it off. And he's been one of my really, really good friends throughout the whole tennis journey and also through pickleball

Casey  11:40  

Band of Brothers in a basement. Just do we have each other. We got to

Collin  11:46  

Yeah, you got to ask deckle about that story at some point, because he might give you the whole version. And it is it's we almost met her demise in that basement.

Thomas  11:57  

Well, so why, why don't you play singles. I feel like you're probably a nasty singles player.

Collin  12:04  

Well, I used to play singles. When I first started, it's easier for tennis players to adapt to singles. So of course, I did play that and it just felt like a small court relative to tennis court and I was still in great shape. And I enjoyed it more back then because I my tennis playing days were over but not long over. And I was definitely good i i gave Tyson a match on multiple occasions. I've never beaten Tyson. But I have given given him some some very good matches. And same with Ben, I had a couple match points on Ben one time last eliminate the third another time and then last at Nationals and three. So I could definitely handle myself on the singles court. And for a while I guess I would have been top five ish, singles player. But at some point, you want to kind of save the body and I realized I enjoyed doubles a lot more. And I've had some back injuries from tennis, and last year kind of flared up at a couple tournaments. And it was just a reminder of why should I sacrifice my body? Especially because now it's on the first day. Do I really want to be sore and risk injuring myself for the events that really matter to me. So that would be the reason I've really cut out the singles. So I've agreed to have one tournament a year where it's a guest appearance and I will go and take out as many people as possible. Just like last year, I played PGA championships and I said no backdrop. And I'm just going to try to take out as many people in the front row as possible. Would you get I took out Kyle McKenzie first round, AJ Kohler second round, and then I won the first game on J W. And then I ran out of gas and he came back and beat me.

Thomas  13:43  

Yeah, but secretly,

Casey  13:45  

you don't play singles because then this is his master plan. He's like, Look, I need calling as fresh as possible. To just be like the guy that is waiting and like frothing at the mouth to just destroy everyone because he's healthy. He's ready to go. From singles. Smart play by Ben. Listen, I own half of my singles money. Don't play singles. Double.

Collin  14:09  

Yep. And I definitely still keep bed sharp for singles. I'll definitely play some practice games with them. So it's not like don't play singles. It's just I don't play in tournaments.

Thomas  14:19  

Got it. You're just a really good brother. We'll give you that.

Collin  14:23  

Yeah, I'm here. I'm his training partner. Yeah,

Casey  14:26  

you guys by growing up because I have two boys that are 23 months apart. And they're almost I mean, it's coming to fistfights sometimes on the trampoline. If we're playing volleyball or basketball because they'll want to be like who's better dad? Who's better dad who's better and I'm like, you both suck and I destroy both of you. I'm humbled. But I'm guessing like even ping pong table yesterday I took him to play at our office I put my table over there and they're just like fighting immediately. Did you guys have that and kind of grow through it and then now it like kind of bonds you to be even a better doubles team because we know you guys Are is that kind of the process that it went through? Or are my kids just? Am I just screwed with my boys fighting?

Collin  15:06  

Well, the dynamic was a little bit different with me and man, because I'm six years older than Ben. Oh, some people do forget that. And six years is a chasm when you're younger. Yeah, he lost it everything under the sun. Like, I don't remember him winning at a game until he was like a teenager, like anything. And I was not the older brother that would let my little brother win. And so the problem we usually had that my parents had to talk to me about this, you have to let them win, or at least not crush him so badly to where he comes in crying every day. Yeah, keep him motivated. And he always used to hang out with me and my friends who were six years older than him. So he definitely had to be tougher, and he had to play up. And there was one great story. And I think they did a feature on an MLP where there was a home run derby in our backyard on my 11th birthday. And he'd be all of my friends who are like really good baseball players in the area. We're using these little tiny golf, golf ball sized wiffle balls, and with a little thin, wiffle ball bat, and he hit six home runs over our little homemade fence in the backyard, beat out all of my friends. And then I had to show him up and come out last and went on my birthday. So oh, he he always had to hang in there with like, older kids with me, he would come in crying from the backyard all the time, I'd beat up on him and ping pong, one of his favorite lines when he was really little as you're taking advantage of my shortness, because I would drop shot them and table tennis when he was like, four or five, six years old. He couldn't reach it, and he just would cry, and he'd have to be sent upstairs. But I think that has worked out well. In the end. He's definitely gotten tougher from that. And I think it's fair that I've never beaten them on the pickleball court and a real match. Because I beat him with so many things growing up.

Casey  16:55  

Yeah, credit to you that everyone makes sure you know that this column is the reason why I've been so good.

Collin  17:03  

Six years in a lot of years. Yeah.

Thomas  17:07  

What do you what do you think? So speaking of like tennis players coming into pickleball, and, and, and just kind of make well, the transition being pretty easy, assuming they played at a high level and kind of a wave that we're seeing, particularly I would say like in in men's singles. There. What, what's your take on that? And do you think that these guys who are in the wave is coming? It's starting? I think we're right at the beginning. Do you think they're just gonna like, take over singles pickleball? And then do you think it's just a matter of time, until they hone their craft and kind of move into the, into the doubles as well? Or just kind of what's your perspective on all that?

Collin  17:43  

Yes, and no, I think that you're definitely starting to see a lot more tennis players gravitate towards pickleball they're seeing the prize money's increased, it's getting more and more popular, it's more accessible. So you'll definitely see more tennis types coming in. And singles like I said, is the easiest way to adapt to big ball looks sort of like miniature tennis. But at the same time, as long as nothing major changes, were let's just say the paddle technology gets much, much better to where it's almost like tennis, I think that they're really going to have to have an adjustment period. And if you look at any of the top players right now, you don't really quite realize how long they've been playing. So someone like AJ Kohler, in doubles, for example, is considered to be a newer player, and he's been playing three plus years. So he knows his way around to pickleball court, it's not like he's unseasoned. And certainly not saying that in a good or bad way. I'm just bringing to attention a lot, a lot of people view new players, quote, unquote, as people that have been playing multiple years, so I think that trend is going to continue not that the new tennis players are not on their way. And they'll certainly be great candidates longer term. But pickleball takes a lot longer to learn than I initially thought and what Deckel initially thought, I mean, we took our lickings early on, and I had to learn a lot of different things and get a lot of tournament experience. And probably the single biggest thing in my mind is gaining experience against the top players, because misdirection plays such a big part. And if you've never played specific players, I've been good luck playing Jeff Warneke for the first time because you'd like he's holding it like a windshield wiper, and I'm just eating it every single time I tag his body. And if you don't have someone to guide you through or have the experience to lose to him a few times. It's it's very, very difficult. That being said, I mean, there's some great athletes out there on the tennis court that I feel like would be so so good as soon as they started. And it's just a matter of time before those players come over and make singles much deeper and then from there, they're going to transition to doubles. I just don't see anyone at this point with the depth we currently have taking over relatively quickly unless we're talking about like Federer and Nadal Djokovic are not going to waste their time at this point yeah, those guys give me like Federer Nadal for like two weeks. I'm like, the guy would beat anybody. Yeah, but But that's just me growing up like worshiping them as the tennis gods that they are like, that'd be good at anything.

Casey  20:06  

It's crazy because there's such a comparison with indoor volleyball too. It's like, the indoor guys go sign contracts are over a million dollars a season, it's all guaranteed. They've got the incentives. And then you got the beach volleyball guys who are like, in the limelight in the US, we got all the TV time we get the sponsors, and it's like fun, but you make less money and it's not guaranteed you got to earn it. And these guys are like, oh bro, I touch like 13 feet, I can come over and dominate a beach and you're like, cool, bro, why'd you come over and I'll beat you without jumping. Because you've never played in the when you've never not had shoes on and on in this weird new surface, you know what I mean? And the strategy around playing doubles versus like six on six, or like this big physical indoor game. It's so much different. And the misdirection is still the number one thing for us as well, it's like, Dude, I will manipulate your like shirt off by with my wrist and how I carved the ball and beach volleyball compared to indoor guys that are like gold medalists Come on, they just failed because they're like, you know, that's how I feel on the pickleball court like a baby giraffe. I'm just like, whoa, you know, you're working them without even really trying because it's such a even though it's the same name or game. And there's the same a lot of technique, it's so much different as well. And the misdirection and utilizing the elements is so much more of a strategy than the big guys think that you know, in tennis, it probably hit the winds will affect the ball, but not as much, you know, and then the court size and all those things. It's really cool to see the similarities in how that that evolution happens where guys are like, Yeah, I'm gonna play pickleball. And then you just get smashed. And the same thing guys will play for like, six years. And then they finally get like a top 10 Like, oh, my gosh, the rookie, the new guy on tour. It's like this guy's been playing as long as they finally figured out how to get tough. Talking about.

Collin  21:49  

Yeah, it's funny to hear the comparison to the sport, like, I have no idea. I don't know, beach volleyball nearly well enough to know that there's misdirection to that extent. So it's really interesting to hear that. And, of course, I'm sure it's like any developed sport where you need some experience before you can even finish close to the top, let alone at the very top.

Casey  22:10  

Yeah, the team dynamic is almost identical, right? The gaps the the different speeds in between an absolute smash of a forehand and then a dink right? All those little speeds in between are so valuable, right? And then the liens where you see guy in the periphery, if they're lenient, you can like expose it. It's all the same with with what we do. And so it's just a matter of throwing the paddle in the hand, which is the hard part. Because I'm just using it like, can I just put like, can I make like the first paddle hand and have it in my hand and I could just

Collin  22:44  

well, Preston, Preston always complains that he gets in the path of the ball, because he's like, I see a ball of him coming at me and I just my first instinct is to put my chest in front of it.

Casey  22:53  

Right off the shoulder. I'm like, You're easy. And I'm like, Oh, I just got bodybags again.

Collin  23:00  

You gotta fight that instinct. Yeah, it's more like sword fighting.

Casey  23:06  

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So that being said, What's the number one thing as you know, an upcoming right sider when you dude, your your slide and like counter, when guys speed up is like, I mean, someone needs to do like a loop of everyone you've ever done to like a hip hop song. Dude, it's so sick. I want to like a top 10 Slide backhand. When you when you do that, did you just like figure out that getting your body out of the way was like the number one thing? Or did you go through a while of just standing there and like, kind of didn't midline and taking it? Like when did you figure out that that was such a like, epic move? Did Ben kind of have that in mind? Or did you just kind of figure out that out through repping? I'm curious.

Thomas  23:50  

Colin, Colin, before you answer. So for anybody listening, I want to clarify what we're what we're even talking about. Because I actually don't know but my but I think what you're referring to is like in speed up, Colin will just take like a massive sidestep so that you can pick up a fuller swing and kind of tee himself up for the next shot. Is that where we're talking about here?

Casey  24:14  

And so he's smashing someone's speed up? Like he sees it ahead of time steps, right, gets his midline out of the way. And just backhand whooshes it down the middle. It's so fun to watch.

Collin  24:24  

Yeah, so yeah, that's what you're talking about where someone's speeding up usually from a cross court ball. So Ben's thinking crosscore That's the most common meet up and it should be said that everything about my doubles like a ballgame and men's was designed to complement that from the very start because more when I first started Ben's like, obviously you're really good tennis player, great table tennis player. You have me we're gonna play together eventually. I need you to develop everything to compliment me and I was like, done, like I'll do that. Whatever you need. You tell me. So that includes forehand. Thank you. In one of the most important shots that Ben put his finger on is the slide backhand. So fading, because he's going to be playing left and he's going to be covering metal at the forehand. Pickleball, as Ben likes to say, was not is not designed to be played 5050, you should not be covering 50% of the court, it depends on where the ball is. And in my mind, the perfect team is a lefty righty to where that could apply to both sides. But since we're both right handed, Ben's going to take more of the court and it's just the reality of it, it doesn't even necessarily come back to come down to that he's the better player he is. But it's more of, that's the way you need to cover the pickleball court. Because especially when somebody's feeding up, you don't want to have to guess forehand backhand, because that little split second, throws your timing off enough makes you late enough to where their follow up is going to be much better. So from the very start bends like I want you to work on this shot where you slide to the right, you sit on your back end, you know what's going to be a backhand and just leave anything to your right, because if you're far enough over anything to the right side, your body is going to go wide. So there's really nowhere to go. And he developed that with his other partners as well. So like Anna Lee, he has been teaching her how to do that. It's just nice that she has like the nastiest two hander on the planet, right. So here's, it's actually something I also learned from somoni. And not that she taught it to me, it's that when I was playing skinny singles with her and I would try to speed up at her, she would do the same slide with the two hander and I was like that looks like a good shot. I'm gonna try that. And I kind of combine that with the one hander that Ben taught me and of course playing with Ben, you get a lot of a lot of opportunities to hit it. And it's really just about shifting your body out of the way so that it's not a target. And the target zone is on a side that you know it's going to be on, namely the backhand because the back end just covers so much area. And it really just presents no open cord to the opponent. If bank keeps the deck low enough, and they're trying to force the speed up, I've got my corner covered with all backhand. So good luck trying to get it through. And if you go middle Ben's sitting there in the forehand, and the whole idea of that is designed to be it's designed to wind up to Ben's forehand, whether it's the first ball the second ball. So in an ideal world, I hit a clean winner on it if they speed up at me, but a lot of times the guys with good hands will get the next one back. But then the reply will go directly into the jaws of Ben's forehand, which is where we want the ball to go. And then it's good night. And that's exactly where we want to live. And if you want to try to roll the dice and go through the middle of the bends, forehand Good luck with that as well. So I feel like our system our slide system is one of the hardest to be and it's not that I'm the world's best counter puncher. But if you give me a back in and it it up, and we have been sitting there in the middle, it's it's a tough proposition. It's definitely one of the harder systems to be in the game. I feel like and I'm glad that we started out by practicing that.

Casey  27:52  

Basically like a Michael Jackson moonwalk with the sick backhand finished. I mean, that's just just flow out of the way and counterintuitive. I love that guy. He talks about the ownership of vintage in the middle too, because it's the same in our game. It's like if a guy's jumped at me and I got the tailwind like there's a crosswind. In my corner, we call like the hot corner, right? So I'm in the trenches here. And I just have to own that middle no matter what scenario happens if the ball is coming from that area. And that leaves so much more ability for us as a team to process. What kind of ball they're going to give us because we already know who has what ownership versus like the constant guests or when you play with people that don't understand the angle. And the trajectories. They're like, well, that's my middle. It's like, dude, if you just let me own this at all times, we would both be more competent to make a better decision long term and get ourselves out of these rallies or speed up rallies that happen because we have a job to do we have ownership in each scenario, because if it crosses over, you know, it changes the game goal that all adjust. But I love that you say that because I do that same thing. I go, Hey, my middle no matter what, even if a ball is like almost hitting his high left shoulder, I'm still owning that middle because we can count on that. And then I can we can make a better play as a team. It's cool that to have people understand that a little bit better even just through pickleball. Like, no, it's not like a 5050 game. We got to adjust and move and there should be ownership with that left side or being a right hander for sure. Like it's like a 7030

Collin  29:22  

Oh, yeah, that's so interesting, the parallels that apply on that as well. And I'll tell you something that also helped me on that, with that mindset is playing and teaching platform tennis at Baltimore Country Club where I worked. So I taught and played that for three years, and it's exactly the same size of the pickleball court, and there's chicken wire around the court, which you can play it off the walls, making it sort of like squash. But the parallel that I really found was the simplicity of the shot selection and whose balls whose anything over your partner's left shoulder is your ball. There's no deviation from that. Unless you're a lefty righty and even so it depends on the position of the players can't deviate. Because even though it might not look like you're putting your team out of position you are. And if you just stick to something very concrete like that, and you have a system, if you're not reaching for that one ball to the center, your partner so sure that ball is his that it just makes for a better system overall. Yeah. And it's interesting to hear that that applies to volleyball in the same exact way.

Casey  30:23  

Yeah, the same thing. Like, oh, let's minimize this effort and confusion and maximize look ownership and then control of that scenario. It's like, dude, the outcome is significantly better when we just have that structure. Right. And of course, there's the random audibles where, you know, maybe you can poach one and pick it off because the angles a little bit different. But that's such a good thing for people to hear and understand is like, look, this, you need to establish your, your structure and your team chemistry too. Because like you said, Ben's like, Dude, I need you to be this for me so we can maximize our potential. I think that's one thing that I've done too, with every partner, some guys like I'm better at the right side. I'm like, sweet, dude, I played both. And I'm not scared. I'll go over to the left, you know, and I'll deal with the left side, or this guy's like, dude, I'm really compact on the right. Alright, I'll go over on the right. And I think being able to, to systemize that for your partner and be elevate together. That's so huge. So it's cool that you guys train that way, like, specifically because we do the same thing. It's so

Collin  31:21  

yep. And definitely something where you don't want indecision. And yeah. And if you remove that entirely, I feel like that's part of the reason why Ben and I play so well together is we know who's Bowles who's at all times. And when he plays with other partners, once a while, you'll see it doesn't happen often because they're great players. But sometimes they take a ball that he wants, and I feel like I do a pretty good job of getting out of the way, which is part of the system. And it's not again, because I'm that much worse. It's because we have a system and we don't deviate from it.

Casey  31:55  

What's so rad. It's cool, because sorry, Thomas, I'm just I'm feeling it right now. I played it the first time I played with like a really elite, like I played a few Olympians, like, coming through the ranks and they would kind of be like, Oh, here's the young kid with the energies bring all the fire and, and they would pick me up and right and bring me to the main draw. And I went through a couple but then when I landed on this one in Jake Gibb, he is like, very, very similar to how you play calling where he's, you can make all his shots. He's super consistent, even keel. He's not like super high or low, he brings fire, but he's not like going to be in your face all the time. And what it did for me is it took me from being this guy that was just like all energy. And if it was, I was like a roller coaster, I was unstoppable. Or I was in the trenches, right? It helped me like, level out. And it's cool, because you can see like, you and Ben are both kind of similar in that way, but with the way that you your body language and your control is so like, like calming and balance that it makes. It's really fun to watch because I've personally seen and had a partner like that, where it was like, oh, okay, now that like calmness and trust level is so dialed, that I get to actually experiment and be super creative, because I know my guys is going to do his job he's going to, he's going to be there and then also gametime like that. I can't remember what match it was. It was like, I think it was set point in either one of the finals or maybe like a quarter semi. In the last event for the PVA, you get an Ernie I think for a winner to win the set. I can't remember was it that or to save one and I was like, there it is, dude, it's like he's just the friggin this steady, calm the do that just put them to work and then creative highlight reel. It was really cool to see. But I think that's something for listeners to, to really focus when they watch these matches to see how, like structured and stable of a player you are. It's so fun. Like for me that's like one of the coolest things to watch somebody who just like, over time, just does their job and plays it's such a high level that it's like, almost they don't recognize it because you're not flashing you're not like yelling and screaming and talking to the crowd at time. You're just like, you're there the whole time.

Collin  34:06  

So Oh, I love Thanks. I appreciate that. And I feel like I'm at my best when I can tell Ben just let loose go for your shots. I got you if you miss it's fine. I'm gonna be a backboard over here. And I've told him that in certain matches where he's maybe a little passive he's not bringing energy I'm like, go attack go light them up. I got my side guess Yeah, feel free to do that because you need somebody who's a little bit more aggressive more creative and somebody who's just never going to miss

Casey  34:34  

Yeah, just green light that's what my guy sent me a green light bro and I'd go back and Psalm serves when normally I'd be like nervous to keep it in and then we go on some like six point run. It'd be like green light, bro. I love it. Thank you. Thank you for being that like foundation for me to be able to be creative. I'm not worried. That's huge.

Thomas  34:53  

never apologize when you guys go on rants like that.

Collin  34:57  

It's obviously just yelling there.

Thomas  35:00  

Oh, that you guys just my mind was blown like five times over. I don't Okay, I've never played a professional sport. Well, I guess I've got you know, I got my two pro wins I'd like to bring up all the time in pickleball, but I'm not somebody who thinks that in depth or strategically about the way I play the game. So hearing you guys even just use words like design and system. In terms of like the way you're, you're thinking about how you play the game. It just it kind of like opens up a whole nother reality for Colin, what you said and what Ben said. The fact that Pickleball is not designed to be played 5050 words. It's not designed for each player to cover 50% of the court. That alone I think many people need to hear. And I think if they were to sort of like adopt that philosophy would make a massive impact on their game right off the bat.

Collin  36:04  

Yes, absolutely. And like I mentioned in my mind, I think eventually all the teams will be lefty righties similar to platform tennis, almost all the top teams are left here it is because it's just a massive advantage on so many different levels. And actually, I have a an article coming out in pickleball. Magazine next month on why you should always stack the lefty. So given that I'm not lefty, I can't do some of the things that I wish I could. So like arrays are easier, shakin bags, things like that. So in that case, you could play it more so 5050 Because you can do the same thing in the mirror image on each side. But if you're not lucky enough to have a lefty, like why would you play at 5050 when the geometry of the court dictates that the ball will come to the outer half and the middle part of the court so so many rallies and up and cross court thinking exchanges. So based on the geometry of the court, unless the ball is high enough to really get it down to the cross court, there's no way that they can attack the length to that outside half. So you really need to shift and especially when Ben's thinking his backhand crosscourt, why would he hang out in his corner, when he should be covering part of my side just simply based on the incoming angle of a would be attack. So something as simple as shifting properly plays into it. And if you have me as a lefty, doing the same thing, the other side, he should be more on his line, I should be covering part of his half just based on proper positioning, and definitely something that I feel like as the pickleball coaching manual becomes more mainstream. That'll be something that's just taught to everybody, and certainly something that I teach as a coach at clinics or to clients. I was like, no, no, you you are responsible for more than your half, especially when the ball is here or here. And I think the more people recognize that the better player they're going to be. Yeah,

Casey  37:55  

I agree. Because that do the righty lefty thing is the same thing in beach, right? You got two guys that can either go on to off a pass, or fake and set but they always have that strong side towards the middle and they're always facing the angle. The same in pickle, right? Like, all those angles that I bought that I can get because my arms are too long. And so I get in the way of guys, forehand and I'm like, sorry, that's not mine, but I can get it and so like I cut it off sooner than they can get to it a lefty, that same thing, dude, it's like a superpower. Because in every scenario, it's the same thing as having been just waiting licking his chops for that middle ball that's a little bit too high. Right? But then it doesn't like bounce out because it's always it's always an option with a lefty so you're like, Oh, crap, we got to really get good at playing the ball at the highest part of the net to try to work the backhand. And then you're just like, oh, trying to overplay hitting balls in the net. You're getting screwed. You're like, that's the hard part to play against a righty lefty. It's such a power.

Collin  38:52  

I love Yeah. Yeah. And we played a lefty righty in the semis of the last tournament. And I don't know if anyone noticed, but Ben's corner got played a lot like probably more than I can ever remember. And who was that?

Thomas  39:05  

Who was that against?

Collin  39:06  

It was against pace at Sione and Daniel De La Rosa. Oh yeah, part of the Yeah, they're able to do that is that there's a lefty in front of Ben and lefties are annoying in pickleball because it changes the vulnerable spots. So normally the chicken wing is on right hip right shoulder with right handers and the lefty is left hip left shoulder so it kind of changes where you like to hit your combos to and pace I did a really good job of countering bend attacks. I mean, he of course got them some of the time because he's a great attacker, but I felt like simply by him being lefty he slowed bend down enough to where they had the freedom to dig to his corner probably more than they normally would be able to

Thomas  39:44  

do I don't even you're speaking like basically another language right now. I'm really I bet like 25% of our listeners are like this is brilliant. And then 75% are like I'm like I have so much to learn about this

Collin  40:00  

There's a lot of

Casey  40:03  

Yeah, the dude, then the long play, right? Like, sometimes you're okay with playing something knowing that near the end to close out a match, you're going to expose the counter of what you've been setting up over time, right? Everything looks the same. Maybe we're thinking middle or we're third shot, we're dropping middle on a righty lefty and then in the end, we're just let's just go pin. Let's just go pin side on either guy. Maybe there's a cross breeze, let's really leverage that the last two, two attempts. And that's usually when you close it out. And guys, like what just happened?

Collin  40:32  

Yeah, so fun. Yep, a lot of times, because I don't attack a lot. I'm usually saving my favorite combos later in the match when I want to hit them. Now executing them at that time when I'm sort of cold on them is not always the easiest thing. But if they don't know it's coming, then it really gives me a little bit of an advantage though, because I don't attack as much. I feel like people read my attack less well, because I've dropped the ball. 100 times across, scored. And then when I finally do pull the trigger, it's like it came out of nowhere. And that sort of happened towards the end of the fifth game. I felt like and I got some more technical balls granted, but definitely they work better if you don't see them all the time. Unless you're Ben and somehow he finds some angle that nobody else saw.

Casey  41:16  

Yeah, the manipulator. Yeah, he find Yeah, and nasty. Yeah, of course. He found it.

Collin  41:20  

Yeah, of course he did again, or somehow he countered perfectly. And he's like, oh, yeah, I was ready for that one,

Casey  41:26  

too. Yeah, I set that up. You're like,

Collin  41:30  

yeah, I swear, I don't just say this, because I'm Ben's rather. But he hits shots that nobody else even would see. And I still don't know how he does it all the time. And definitely, he's very familiar with the left side of the court. And he's seen the highest level for a long time. But still, sometimes he hit shots. I'm like, How did you even attempt that? Let alone make it. Yeah, right.

Thomas  41:53  

You guys are in such a unique position in that. I mean, you guys are very much like architects of the game and the you're at the forefront at the highest level. And just based on the way you're talking. And you can tell you and Ben are constantly thinking about new ways to to innovate and create new strategies and push the limits and Ben's hitting shots that people don't see, you're playing a side of a court in a way that nobody else is. And you're creating these new systems where you're who's your own word, you're designing these new systems. And you're kind of like trailblazing where Pickleball is is going right now, particularly from a doubles perspective, men's doubles. I wonder if you know, there's there's any way to like, like, Will everybody sort of just fall in line and start doing what you guys are doing? Or is there some other sort of like, counter system that somebody's going to come up with down the line? Or is was this is this the way that the sport is? Sport is moving? I mean, it's gonna be interesting to see just like how it all all develops as new talent comes in. And new new perspectives come in. So

Collin  43:00  

yeah, and it could come down to something as simple as the equipment changes, or the the ball, the paddle, something the kitchen line gets moved back, it could be something that none of us saw coming. Or it could just be eventually some new great tall player comes in and now you can't think because he's seven feet tall. Yeah.

Casey  43:19  

That's my home. Every night I really my vegetables.

Collin  43:25  

Oh, yeah, the seven foot four wingspan. One of these days. One of these days, it's all gonna click, and you're gonna be like, Ben, this kitchen area is no longer available. Yeah, right. Yeah. I kind of wonder, I always wonder what Kevin Durant would be like on a pickleball court because there would be no kitchen anymore. I'm sure he could touch the net but his battle.

Casey  43:44  

Get the flexibility? Of course. It's like, this is adorable.

Thomas  43:48  

Is it seven feet? It's seven feet?

Collin  43:51  

Seven feet? Yeah.

Thomas  43:55  

I'm getting flexible is Yeah.

Collin  43:59  

I mean, you only have like six edges to begin with. I mean, with Casey, I mean, I've never hit with you. But I would imagine thinking to get the ball on the ground is quite difficult.

Casey  44:08  

Yeah, that's my, that's my goals are like get really, really good at the controlled volley in the air dinky, so I don't have to like that way I can like pressure, right? It's all about kind of giving you stress without really trying to speed up a ball where you're like, ooh, he got that one. And I'm not really doing anything, but just just getting it in the air. And then hopefully, they feel like they need to overplay a little bit, and then they'll end up in the net or too high and then I can kind of play the game. That's my goal now is just get there but it's crazy. Like you guys winning so many in a row. I had the same thing on the AVP. We went four in a row four and row five in a row like three years in a row and it was just like everyone's focus is on you and how to beat your system. And so you're constantly I'm guessing this is why Ben and I'm calling do this Thomas in my mind. It's, hey, we got to kind of stay ahead of the curve here because guys are going to start seeing patterns and so we Gotta have the ability to show that same pattern, but have a few like, A B options out of that pattern versus what's been working for so long because guys are going to use to it right now. It's like when you play someone over and over again, you get more confident, and you start to get calmer, and you start to see and recognize those patterns sooner. So for sure, that's what we had to do was like, Alright, we got to get ahead of this curve, let's experiment, maybe how we serve against teams, or in this scenario, let's attempt to push this here or use this angle there or this different speed. So that guys never get too comfortable, right? We just, and then at the end of the day, it's just you got to be a winner, right? I mean, like, you guys are developing this, but at the same time, you guys know that in these high pressure situations, you're probably the most comfortable in those. And that's how I always felt, I'm like that we're fine. You know, we're down three points, they have gamepoint, I'm fine, I believe, you know, and so we always came back and won those. But I think that's the, that's what I'm guessing is that you guys are just developing just to stay ahead of the curve, because that's the natural trajectory, guys are going to watch more film, they're going to get guys that are standing stuff, they're going to be prepping and like we would have practice where we have like, Alright, you're calling. And you're Ben, I need you to do these things in this scenario over and over and over until I get so comfortable, that now I can counter and start to fight back. So it's like, that's just the it's cool to see that progression and fight out, fight it off.

Collin  46:20  

Yeah, for sure. And you definitely see that coming to where people are trying to problem solve, whether it's switching partners or implementing new strategies, and AGN Riley in the last tournament did a great job of kind of changing the pattern that we've used against Matt and Riley. And it's also interesting that Matt and Riley tried to change the pattern by switching sides. So in the first tournament, they started with Riley on the left and mount on the right, and the next tournament, they had Matt play on the left pretty much the whole time. And they were problem solving to try to figure out how they can make that work. And then we played them again. And also they played straight up. So it's not like from lack of trying that they're they're not beating us. And certainly they can get hot and and hit some great shots and from both sides of the court, but they're trying to figure out what that pattern can be to beat our system. So it's a way of systems in a way because at the highest level, everyone can do a lot with the ball. But whoever has the higher percentage game plan is usually the one who wins. So I thought playing someone a team like AJ and Riley that we don't normally play that are two great players. They did a good job of of trying to hit some shots to make us uncomfortable. But like you miss mentioned, Casey, what really want us that match is the confidence to execute under pressure since we're always in the gold medal matches. Yeah, even though we were down eight, three in the fifth. I turned to Ben and I said we're good. We we can execute right now. And we found a game plan and a target that turned out to be good for us. And it's harder to slam the door than than people think. And if you're used to slamming the door, it definitely makes it a lot easier.

Casey  47:56  

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, you can feel that you're just like, I would do the same thing and be like, Dude, I believe like, we're fine. You know, I don't even that's, that's something that a lot of people. You don't see that because there's a little whisperings in timeouts or you know, after a ball is dead and you're shagging it's like, Dude, we're fine. Let's Greenlight this now go. Then you're okay. Unleash the change, bro. I'm here for you. Now you just go attack.

Collin  48:22  

Yeah, even if you're not playing your best to because I don't think anyone would have said that then played his best game and that final and but he found the shots when he needed them when it was important. So even if you're playing badly, I feel like when you're used to winning, you expect to the play your best when you really need it.

Casey  48:38  

Yeah. Yeah.

Thomas  48:40  

You are gonna you you mentioned I were you just throwing this throwing this out? Like, like, as a random example. You mentioned like the kitchen line being moved back. Is anybody suggested that seriously? Just quick aside. Okay. No,

Collin  48:52  

no, I was just throwing it out there. There's no movement in the PA inner circle that we must move the kitchen like that. Yeah. I was just throwing that out there as just a random thing that maybe no one would even consider right now. Right? Right. Okay.

Casey  49:08  

The reason that six inches they were gonna put at nine feet or like what, like all the time?

Collin  49:14  

Yeah, Ben, and I like it exactly where it is right now. So we're gonna, yeah,

Thomas  49:19  

so keeping it that way? Yeah. All right, you were talking about? You're talking about like equipment and how that might be able to change the game. I mean, you and I were talking at Dreamland the other day just kind of about paddles. And you know, which brands are pushing the limits, which might be illegal. So do you think that there are a you do think? Or maybe I could phrase it like this? Are there any equipment changes or innovations that you think would be within the limits that could actually changed the game quite a bit or make a big impact? Are there examples of that that you've already seen?

Collin  49:55  

Yes. So some of the paddles now and in the past year to I have gotten quite a bit rougher, the pedal technology across the board has gotten better. And certain companies have been ahead of the curve. And certain ones not to single anyone out have gone on probation for making pedals that are over the limit, including my sponsor electron before I was with them. They had a bad batch of paddles that were testing

Thomas  50:17  

over the limit you came in and you straightened him out. So good. Yeah,

Collin  50:20  

you know, the lay down the law. But certainly, in my mind, no foul play there. It was a bad batch, and they adjusted it. But there are paddle companies, my point is there paddle companies that are pushing the limits, as far as the friction goes. And that makes a big, big difference. Because you can start to do things with the ball and create angles that you're not used to seeing. And it's not just that you can snap your fingers and start to adjust. So if balls are falling in, that you're used to going out, you just you can't adjust on the fly that well. And now you have to start to cover things that you're not comfortable with and it throws off your whole game, people might say, well, I can't help that much. But it does help that much more on the mental side, because you start to second guess is that ball gonna go in is it going to go out in my position properly. And in my mind, there is a perfect amount of friction to have as far as like the limit goes. And if you put too much friction on a paddle people are going to get too good at attacking. And the points are going to be too short, your thinking is going to be more obsolete, not that or disappear entirely. But you'll see a lot less of that, and a lot more flips in combinations. And some people might say Oh, well, that might be good for the hands battles and entertainment, the sport. But to me, I think the points are gonna be too short. And there could be adaptions to that to where I'm wrong on that. But I feel like we're right at that threshold where the points are already pretty good, because you want some think rallies and people can play in that sometimes for too long. But to me, it kind of builds the tension, especially at certain parts of the match that are already tense. And you really start to see is this is this touch, they're under pressure. And some people, it's good, some people it's not. And then other people, they get twitchy, they speed it up. And that makes for cool exchanges. So to me, I feel like we're right at or maybe dial it back very slightly, maybe 5% 10%, to where you still have that element of slow play. And then you also saw some evolution of the past couple years on the syrup dispenser. And I was a proponent of taking that out. Because Pickleball is kind of unique that you can't win the point so quickly, and you see more of the longer drawn out rallies. So that's it, those are a few things that I feel like would be be good to take hold of right now so that it doesn't go in the wrong direction. Because if it starts to look more like table tennis where people get just roll anything with crazy spin, I don't think long term that's good for the rallies of the game.

Casey  52:52  

We do that beach volleyball we had we used to play on the indoor size court, which was massive with three feet bigger. So they took a foot and a half off the back end each sideline in beach because they wanted to create more rallies because guys were too offensively powerful. And the courts were like, you couldn't you couldn't stop me. It's like putting putting us on, you know, a 24 inch net. You're like, Dude, I can drive and hammer everything. I don't have to think why would I think and so they're like, alright, let's make the court smaller decree more rallies. Because long term, it was better for TV time, it was better for the spectators, they want that anticipation. And they want the build up of a point. But also have the power and the execution still there. So that's, it's crazy. Because of when I play with a paddle that has more grip, I'm like, Oh my gosh, it's like I'm at a whole different player. Like guys are hitting and drops. And I'm like attacking a third side job that is like really low. And and yeah, it has top and it's that it's catching. And I'm like grabbing it and just like flicking it off to the sideline on like the 10 foot line. And I'm like, Dude, this is such a difference between a paddle that's, you know, super slick and then one with it has the grip and the texture. It's crazy. So I think yeah, that's a that's an evolution that, that I'm glad you guys changed the surf. That whole thing was gnarly. It's like everyone's throwing, like, Texas tornados at me. I'm like, Dude, this isn't even like fun anymore.

Collin  54:14  

Oh, yeah. Because when you add an element of randomness like that, because eventually you're gonna be able to hide the surf better than they can read it. And at some point, you're just guessing. And to me, that's not a good thing. Because it's not about skill, you can hit a really good topspin serve, and they can see it coming. But that requires skill. Versus Yes, you can practice in your basement, how to spin the ball, and that's where they took it out in table tennis, where it's like it's impossible to read what the spin is. And now you have to show it the ball and table tennis you toss it up a certain amount. Yeah. And I think that's where pickleball should be personally and some people disagree, but that's where the PPE has taken the pros and I think the rallies are better for it. But also like you just mentioned, and like I spoke about briefly, there's certain thing when you add that friction where the players coming in are so shocked that you can attack that ball. They can't adjust their mindset, it's totally different throws off everything because they're like, Nah, now that's that shouldn't be possible. Like he's attacking a ball that is on attackable, quote, unquote. And whether that's a good or bad thing is a different conversation. But it can't be argued that it changes the game not just in a physical way, but also in a mental way.

Casey  55:22  

Right? Agree? Yeah, it's, it's, it's stressful. Like kitchen line. They're always like, fault. I'm like, boy, I'm four inches from the line. I know you always look at my feet. Oh, yeah.

Thomas  55:37  

All right, well, I have like this whole document of stuff we're going to talk about, but then you just blew our minds for like, 55 minutes straight. So I don't even know what to end with. But I did want to ask you, and this might seem kind of boring to some people. But I think it's interesting. We've talked a lot about like your game, why it's so unique, and what you're seeing that others aren't. But one thing I've noticed about your game is that on your returns, again, people are gonna think you might think this is boring, the nerds are gonna like this one, like, what are you? What are you thinking about on your returns? Because I feel like similar to like, a free throw like a repetitive, free throw routine that you see in the in the NBA, you hit the same return every single time. There's nothing fancy about it, and then you get in there. And then it's like, it's almost like just this involuntary action for you. What are you thinking about on returns? And what can people kind of like, learn from the way you approach him?

Collin  56:34  

So return of service specifically? Yeah. Okay. I would say part of that is just tennis habits die hard. And in tennis, you have to be able to replicate the same motion over and over and over. And having played so many years of tennis, it's probably easier for me to replicate the same thing over and over. But it's actually something I've been working on recently on the pickleball court where I'm trying to get my returns a little bit consistently deeper, also going to a little bit of a flatter return, maybe even topspin return. Because if you give the opponent's a lot of slice backspin, they're gonna have more topspin on their next shot. So taking that away by hitting a flatter return, and not necessarily a hard return, because that robs you of time to get in. But at least hitting it flatter to where you don't have so much topspin coming at you with the next shot is something I've experimented with recently. And then as far as direction goes, being really disciplined with the gameplay on on who we return to. So there's a cool Facebook page I'm sure you've seen with the pickleball stats. Jim Ramsay's running that, and I've actually been in contact with him a little bit. And he posted the amount of returns that we hit to Riley versus Matt in the final. And he's like, why was it so lopsided? Was it because they wanted Riley to take all the thirds, you guys decide before the match to hit rally all three turns? And I said, Well, it's an easy answer. We hit Riley every single return except we we hit one math like once in a while just to see if because he was iced. He hasn't hit one forever. Yeah, if he would miss one. But the only reason we deviated even once was for that reason. And we just agreed ahead of time, we are hitting every single return to Riley for XYZ. And as long as you have that as part of the game plan, it's relatively easy to execute. It's not like anyone's going to be bombing surge to the point where you can't at least put it on the half of the player you want to return to. And if you decide that's a better option in that particular instance, you'd really need to stick to that. So I feel like I'm pretty disciplined with what our game plan is. And if that means returning down the line because you're on the stack, where you have to deviate from that, that you need to but there's always a game plan that we have. And it's not just on randomly, we don't just hit left or right just because

Casey  58:51  

yeah, for sure did I love that because that consistent return over time to even if you were to throw, we do the same thing. It's like we're serving, we're gonna serve this guy the whole time. And then we're gonna just we're gonna throw one, we like to call them wrinkles. I'm gonna just throw in a wrinkle here. I'm gonna throw one short to the left side or care axis, you've been cold. He's in a rhythm setting. He's not been passing or attacking. Now he's going to overthink it because it's like, Oh, it's my one chance. I haven't hit one of these for a while. Right? So it's like this new feeling. And even throwing different speeds at the guy that we're serving over time. If you're returning to Riley and it's like that same flat one over and over and then you give him one that's like a knuckleball. It's like yeah, he's good enough to handle everything. It's just enough to maybe disrupt time just enough to get a ball that's an entire and then been put through it. You don't I mean, like those little wrinkles like that's the my I love that stuff because it's as a team and having that system like, Hey, we're going here. Every year we're going to find the one Riley and then we're gonna go over to Matt, you know what I mean? Just because that pattern is although they might not know they do, it's still real and that wrinkle just throws people off even at the highest level. Well, that's the fun part, dude. I love that.

Collin  1:00:02  

Oh, yeah, got him. Exactly. And to Matt's credit in that match he I think he made every single one of the ones that we did. He was, he was still ready. But we definitely purposefully threw a couple randomly to, just to check to see if he was ready. Yeah, I feel like our background via beds background in pitching from baseball comes into play where you don't always want to throw in the hard stuff. I mean, in a two Oh, cat, they're expecting a fastball. If you throw a changeup, they're probably gonna be out in front. So yeah, same idea. Let's be differential and pick a ball or where you return to.

Casey  1:00:36  

Yeah, yeah. I'm always like, if I'm not the guy getting served, I'm just like, constantly in that mindset, like, I dare you to serve me just so I was like, angrily ready. So I'm gonna make you pay. Because you know, it's gonna come from guys just gonna leave space and just chop and be like off balance, and I'm not expecting it. So I'm like, I'm always like, I dare you to serve. Let's go right now. Yeah. Gotta stay crisp. I love those little nuances throughout the game of like, the wrinkles and the different systems that you use. That's it's so like, the same thing. I just wish I was better at it.

Collin  1:01:09  

It was just interesting for me to hear how many parallels there are. So I'm sure that when we finally meet in person, we're gonna just have endless things to talk about.

Casey  1:01:16  

Oh, yeah. It's so fun. I know. I'm like why you do that? Why? No. Why? Okay. Yeah.

Thomas  1:01:25  

All right. I think if I were a listener, I'd be like, this is one of the best episodes, especially if you like playing and like thinking strategically about the game. This is this is great, Colin, Thanks for Thanks for joining us. Yeah, we gotta jump. We're we're over. It was a good episode. Yeah.

Casey  1:01:40  

Yeah. He's been holding his phone. I'm feeling bad on my Collins holding it. We got to give him a tripod with a little phone holder.

Collin  1:01:48  

Arm is not tech savvy. I've been switching hands the whole time. I'm glad you

Casey  1:01:55  

workout but the arm on the knee.

Collin  1:01:57  

Oh, yeah. Well, thank you both for having me. It's been fun. Yeah, so

Thomas  1:02:02  

sweet. Thanks, guys. So fun. See you guys.

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