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Pickle participation is breaking records

by The Dink Media Team on

4 words for better games. 2022 stats. Better leaders play pickleball.

If you know anyone who can build a pickleball court, now's the time to get on their good side.

The latest count of pickleballers is higher than anyone could have expected, except...us. Our guess: it's still an underestimate. Either way, this sport is en fuego.

But who knows how happy we'll be when the wait time between games starts skyrocketing, too...

After last issue, it became abundantly clear that people would appreciate free paddles for life (who wouldn't?). So, in addition to earning free paddles for life via our referral program (find your unique link at the bottom of this issue)...

We're also offering free paddles for life to two lucky winners. Click here to enter.

Let's go!

4 Simple Words to More Efficient Pickleball

Coach John Cincola has four words for you: Ready, React, Execute, Improve.

These four steps apply to every shot on the court. Each is made easier by properly carrying out the preceding step.

Ready - Ready position is the first step in this journey. You should be balanced, feet shoulder width apart, paddle up. Cincola describes it as a neutral body position.

React - While your opponent is executing their shot, it's time to react. Move into position, beat the ball to the spot, and decide on forehand or backhand.

Execute - Time to shine. Hit the shot.

And this one is our favorite...

Improve - Improve is the piece that is far too often overlooked. It is the first to go when you start playing lazily or lackadaisical (is my vocab good enough for you now, Mrs. Williams?). Too often we're distracted watching our own shot and not thinking about the next one.

After each shot, there is a chance to improve your position. That could mean advancing toward the kitchen line or shifting side to side to cover the middle/sideline. Take the opportunity to improve your position. Even if it's a baby shuffle step.

Just remember to put on the brakes before your next shot. Leave yourself enough time to start the cycle again and get into ready position.

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.

Pickleball Player Count Skyrockets

Remember when we reported CNBC’s estimate that there’d be 40 million pickleball players by 2030? That figure came out at the end of October and it’s already destined to be inaccurate.

Why? Because according to the 2023 APP Pickleball Participation Report, 14% of Americans 18+ played pickleball between August 2021 - August 2022. That equals 36.5 million pickleball players!

This is even more of a significant number if you consider that most estimates for 2022 participation numbers fell between 6-8 million.

The 36.5 million number accounts for players that have played at least once between August 2021 and August 2022. Of those 36.5 million, 45% say they are likely to play even more in the next six months.

The study also estimated that 8.5 million of those players hit the court more than eight times in that same period. If you feel like everybody is playing pickleball, it's because they are.

Read the full report here.

On Pickleball & Leadership

A contributor to Inc. recently realized that business leadership is no different from playing pickleball. Is it a stretch? You be the judge.

Jay Steinfeld, author of “Lead from the Core: The 4 Principles for Profit and Prosperity,” lists in his article seven commonalities between the two.

Below are a few of the most significant (and admittedly somewhat cliche).

Expect outside interference: Prepare for unexpected elements like glare, wind, etc. by making higher percentage shots to avoid unforced errors.

Reckless betting is fun but doesn’t tend to pay off: Obviously, it's usually better to take calculated risks instead of risky ones. Having fun is important, too, but business is business.

Brute force isn’t always the key: “In business, brute force can work if you have enough money, but it usually takes a more patient incremental approach, with an occasional blast,” Jay writes. “In pickleball, you hit soft short shots until your opponent eventually pops one up so you can smash it.”

And just in case it's been too long since our last dad joke: We know it isn’t possible to earn an MBA in pickleball, but we still think Jay deserves an honorary degree!

Learn Something New Every Day

Start your day off right with Morning Brew - the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable.

Every morning, Morning Brew summarizes the top news stories and delivers them straight to your inbox so you can quickly get caught up on the way to work or over your morning coffee.

Unlike traditional news which can be boring and dense, Morning Brew is fun to read and easy to understand. The best part? It’s completely free and only takes 5 minutes to read so you can get all the most relevant updates and move on with your day.

It’s no wonder over 4 million people read Morning Brew. Try it for free.

The State of Pro Pickleball

In order to anticipate what pro pickleball play will look like in 2023, we need to examine stats from 2022. Thankfully, Jim Ramsey of Pro Pickleball Stats studies pro matches closely to draw valuable insights from them.

We wanted to highlight three of Jim’s statistics that seem to tell a story about where the game is headed.

Read our article for all three – but we’ll share what is arguably the most telling stat with you here:

At a competition in Georgia in 2022, 57% of the rallies were comprised of nine or fewer shots. At the 2019 US Open, only 42% of the rallies were nine shots or fewer.

Meanwhile, only 3.8% of rallies at that Georgia event in 2022 lasted 30 shots or more, while in 2019, 7.7% did.

These numbers speak to the idea that pro pickleball players are more willing to take risks on the court than ever before.

In short: pickleball is steadily growing less “patient” and more aggressive. While that may upset some, we have to admit: it’s good for the highlight reels.

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.

Headlines & Quick Hits

Highlights

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A stroke of genius. This homecourt haven comes complete with its own hitting wall on the baseline for the rare occasion when people aren't beating down your door to play.

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