MLP Player Letter. Film for Improvement. Political Pickleball. Todd Signing.
Just like most kids in France, Jay Devilliers spent his childhood dreaming that one day he would make it to SportsCenter's Top 10.
The Flying Frenchboy's dream has become the Flying Frenchman's reality. Coming in at number five on today's countdown is a Devilliers ATP from the PPA Championship in Las Vegas. Watch here.
Last night's dud of an NFL game had sports fans on the lookout for an alternative form of entertainment. Sports commentator Darren Rovell made the push for more pickleball on Twitter and DraftKings Sportsbook carried the motion.
DraftKings then deleted the tweet. Here's our theory as to why (*puts on tinfoil hat*): the social media manager, not knowing there were beans to be spilled, spilled the beans on a deal that's actually in the works as we speak.
It's rumored that DraftKings will be the official sportsbook of the PPA, but nothing is official yet. Safe to say the social media manager hasn't been privy to the negotiations, so the tweet was likely just a coincidence. Whoops!
3, 2, 1, GO!
Lights, Cameras, Pickleball
Time to face the music. Break out the GoPro, dust off the camcorder or just lean your cell phone against the fence. Whatever you do, get yourself on tape playing pickleball.
It might be a little jarring at first. Kind of like hearing your voice in a recording for the first time. Watching yourself play pickleball can be a humbling, but ultimately rewarding experience.
When you review the tape, don't just be on the look out for ATPs and bodybags. Keep an eye on these fundamentals:
∙Footwork - Good form starts from the ground up. How does your footwork look on points that you lose?
∙Paddle position - Is that paddle dipping down below your waist in between shots? Quit it!
∙Recovery - How long does it take you to recover? Do you spend a little too much time admiring that last ball?
∙Shot Selection - The first step towards solving a speedup problem is admitting you have one. Assess your tendencies and see if your speedups and drives result in points won or points lost.
After you accept that your swing is a little more Charles Barkley than Tiger Woods, break down those fundamentals. The fastest way to level up is to be extremely consistent with the basics.
While you're in the film room, take a look at your partner and opponents. An analysis of their game will only help your ability to anticipate. It is much easier to recognize patterns and tendencies when there is no threat of taking a ball to the chest.
And as always, if you capture anything good, send it into @thedinkpickleball on IG.
Everything You Need For Pickleball Under One Roof
Rhino Pickleball has paddles, balls and portable nets perfect for players at all levels. It's 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.
MLP Releases Player Letter
Major League Pickleball is calling an audible for 2023. There will be a new format, an increased prize pool and we could even see the PPA roster back in the league.
A letter to players outlined the updates for 2023:
∙Expansion from three to six events
∙Increase from $1M to $2.4M in prize money
∙A new four day tournament style format
∙Individual awards and payouts including $30k Player of the Year Award
The biggest surprise is that PPA-contracted players might be eligible to be drafted and participate in the events. The six events will be spread throughout the year and culminate in a championship event in December.
Each four-day event will consist of a traditional tournament with mixed doubles, gender doubles and singles Thursday-Saturday, but there's a twist: players can't play with the same partner in more than one event. On Sundays, the MLP teams will compete in three MLP-style matches that contribute to their season-long record. The top 8 teams at the end of the year will play for the championship.
Rob and Stone covered the letter in more detail on this week's 'It Feels Right' podcast. They react to the news and share a player's perspective on the announcement.
Team Selkirk Signs Parris Todd
Selkirk has been snatching up pro players left and right. Their latest signing might be their biggest of the year. Parris Todd, one of the top pros in the game joins #TeamSelkirk.
Todd is one of the few players in the game that has a title on the APP Tour, the PPA Tour and in Major League Pickleball. The tennis prodigy is still in her rookie year of pro pickleball so the sky is the limit as far as potential is concerned.
Pickleball Politics in North Carolina
Pickleball advocates in North Carolina have fought to add more courts in their community. This week they flooded city council meetings in both Chapel Hill and Asheville. "Wear a white shirt and bring your paddle" was the message to supporters that would attend the meeting in Chapel Hill.
In both cities, the goal was to influence funds toward pickleball courts in public parks. USA Pickleball ambassadors recruited players of all ages to attend the meeting including members of the pickleball club at UNC.
The community aspect is one of the most powerful components of pickleball. Displays like this are a great example of how the game can bring people together and influence a community.
PPA Championships Singles Recap
Day one of the PPA Championships is in the books. Anna Leigh Waters and Ben Johns have both punched their ticket to Championship Sunday.
The massive 76-player men's draw has been whittled down to two. In a fitting finale, it will be JW Johnson who will take on Johns for the singles title. It is must watch pickleball when these two meet. Their battle at the US Open was one of the best pickleball has ever seen. Don't miss the rematch on Sunday.
Dylan Frazier has quietly had one of the best seasons in 2022. He rounds out the podium here with four top-notch wins in the losers' bracket. He defeated Federico Staksrud in the bronze medal match that went to three games. Staksrud had one of the biggest upsets of the day. He took down the #1 seed, Tyson McGuffin, in the quarterfinals.
Catherine Parenteau will face Waters on Sunday after a pair of gritty wins in the quarter and semifinals. She went to three games in both matches and had to fight back from an 11-0 game-one loss in her semifinal match against Parris Todd.
Parenteau and Johnson will team up for the mixed doubles competition today. If they are able to fight through their side of the draw they could face the combo of Waters/Johns a second time on Championship Sunday.
Salome Devidze brought home another PPA medal yesterday. She had tight matches in the losers' bracket against Mary Brascia (17-15) and Anna Bright (11-8, 12-10). Devidze also took bronze at the PPA Baird Wealth Management Open last month.
The mixed doubles broadcast is scheduled to start at 1:00 PM ET on PPA TV.
Headlines & Quick Hits
∙Blame, threat and clash: the war between pickleball and tennis players is escalating
∙8 new pickleball courts coming to Monroe County parks
∙Pickleball Fever Meets High Style At California's Carmel Valley Ranch - Forbes
∙Looking for a PB partner? Try the pickleplay app
∙LeBron James Could Take Pickleball—Yes, Pickleball—to the Next Level - TIME
The one way ticket to Chelan, WA is booked. If you have this in your backyard, there is no reason to ever leave. Big shout out to the mind behind this homecourt, it does not get much better than this.