IN PICKLEBALL AUGUST 2023 / ISSUE TWELVE
TRAVEL THE ISSUE AMAZING DESTINATIONS TO PLAY AND STAY
ON THE PICKLEBALL COURT WITH THE GOLDEN BACHELOR
HIGH TO LOW IMPACT FOOTWEAR
COMFORT AND STYLE - THE PERFECT MATCH! —
DENISE AUSTIN, FITNESS EXPERT
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issue 12 2023
6 / IN-STRUCTION Coach Steve Dawson shows you how to master the important (but often overlooked) fourth shot 10 / WELLNESS Pack your diet with these 10 nutrient-rich foods to power your performance on the court 14 / PLAY FOR GOOD tournaments in all 50 states to help fight ALS 18 / ASK THE COACH Top instructors explain how to keep opponents at the baseline, improve your backhand, and more 44 / QUIZ Test how much you know about pickleball pop culture, including a new movie in the works 46 / FINAL SERVE Meet pro Lindsey Newman, frequent mixed doubles partner of her brother Riley Two friends are on a mission to hold
27 PERFECT PLAYCATIONS FEATURES
Grab your paddle and head to one of these four gorgeous destinations 36 10 WAYS The ultimate guide to being a better player. Learn how to do effective drills, find the best gear, be in sync with your partner, and more TO IMPROVE YOUR GAME
COVER PHOTOGRAPH BY PETER CROSBY
YOU ALREADY KNOW A DINK FROM A DRIVE,
YOU ALREADY KNOW A DINK FROM A DRIVE, YOU JUST WANT TO GET BETTER.
YOU JUST WANT TO PLAY BETTER.
“BETTER” IS WHAT WE DO. The Art of Pickleball is a catalog of videos and tools created by pros exclusively for pickleball players who want to improve their game. The Art of Pickleball is a catalog of videos and tools created by pros exclusively for pickleball players who want to improve their game.
Learn more at artofpickleball.net Learn more at theartofpickleball.net
GAME CHANGER: THE FOURTH SHOT
It’s often forgotten, and that’s a big mistake, says coach Steve Dawson. Here, he shows you how to make a fourth shot your opponent won’t see coming. BY PAM O’BRIEN
videos, classes, and coaching. “The fourth shot gets neglected.” To be clear, the fourth shot is your response to the third shot, which is coming from your opponent. And we often aren’t set up to do it properly or effectively, Dawson says. “You have to be smart about what you do with the fourth shot or you’re going to lose the point,” he adds. THE TECHNIQUE To execute a good fourth shot, you need to hustle up to the kitchen line after making the second shot of the rally, get into the ready position, and prepare yourself mentally for the third shot. “Your opponent is either going to drive the third shot at you with a lot of power, or they’re going to hit a drop shot at you as effectively as they can,” Dawson says. Since you won’t know what’s coming at you until you see it, “you need to be ready for a drive, which gets to you faster,” Dawson says. “If you assume they’re going to hit a soft drop shot but instead they drive the ball back hard, you’ll be caught off guard.” When you return the fourth shot, the key is to hit it in such a way that your opponent can’t attack it and smash it back at you. So how exactly do you do that? Follow Dawson’s pro advice at right.
THE ONE THING you really need on the court but probably don’t have is a fourth shot strategy, says Steve Dawson, owner and head coach at Bobby Riggs Racket & Paddle in Encinitas, California, and a national pickleball champion. “Most instruction seems to stop after the third shot and then picks up again when everyone’s at the kitchen,” says Dawson, who is also involved with developing The Art of Pickleball, an online resource offering instructional
STEVE DAWSON is a highly acclaimed coach, multiple US Open and USA Pickleball champion, two-time Canadian National Pickleball champion, and winner
of the Huntsman World Pickleball Championship.
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MASTERING THE MOVE
DASH TO THE KITCHEN LINE Hit the second shot, which is the return to your opponent’s serve, only as hard as you need to (but not too hard!) to buy yourself some time to get up to the kitchen line quickly.
PREPARE FOR A DRIVE Plant your feet at the kitchen line (legs should be wide, knees slightly bent). Put your paddle in the ready position, up in front at chest height. While your opponent will hit either a drive or a drop shot, prepare for a drive because it will reach you faster, Dawson says. Once you see what the shot is, you can adjust accordingly.
PUNCH THE BALL BACK If your opponent’s shot is a drive, use a firm, short, controlled swing, almost like a punch, to hit it. You don’t want to drop the ball into their kitchen—you want to push it back with some force. 3 4
RESPOND ACCORDINGLY If it’s a drop shot—and a floating high ball— go at it with a swing that has as much length, follow-through, and backswing as possible, Dawson advises. Smash the ball as hard as you can. If their drop shot is a good one, you can try to drop shot their drop shot, Dawson says. “Make sure the ball lands in front of them so they can’t take your shot out of the air.”
ILLUSTRATIONS BY JASON PICKERSGILL
butter or a handful of nuts. They also contain potassium, an electrolyte that helps maintain proper muscle function and fluid balance, Hill says. An Appalachian State University study of trained cyclists found that bananas were more beneficial than sports drinks because of their fiber, potassium, and vitamin B6. GREEK YOGURT PACKED WITH: Protein, which can aid in muscle recovery and repair. “It also provides calcium, which supports bone health, and probiotics that can support gut health and boost the immune system, potentially aiding in recovery from intense exercise,” says Hill. The International Society of Sports Nutrition encourages the consumption of probiotics by athletes because they decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol, reduce GI disturbance and severity of respiratory
POWER FOODS FOR PICKLEBALL PLAYERS These nutrient-rich options will help you play stronger and longer. BY ALISON GWINN
S SALMON PACKED WITH: Anti- inflammatory omega-3 fats, as well as muscle-building protein. “The goal is at least two to three fatty fish meals per week,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D., a certified specialist in sports dietetics and author of The Superfood Swap . “Omega- 3s have been associated with reducing inflammation, supporting cardiovascular health, and aiding in muscle
recovery and joint health,” adds Jordan Hill, lead registered dietitian nutritionist at Top Nutrition Coaching.
infection, and improve nutrient absorption and athletic performance.
BANANAS PACKED WITH: Carbs for
BERRIES PACKED WITH: Antioxidants called polyphenols. “They can help combat inflammation and oxidative stress caused by intense physical activity,” says Hill. A 2022 meta-analysis
energy. “Bananas are one of the best grab-and-go pre-exercise foods since they are easy to digest—so they won’t weigh you down,” says Blatner, who suggests pairing them with protein like a smear of almond
10 InPickleball • ISSUE TWELVE / 2023
important for energy production and bone health,” says Hill. A 2017 University of Illinois study supported eating whole eggs, finding a 40 percent greater post-workout muscle response in people who consumed 18 grams of protein from whole eggs rather than egg whites.
LEAFY GREENS PACKED WITH: Nitrates,
of 29 randomly controlled trials concluded that polyphenols from fruit—particularly berries and cherries—significantly improved exercise performance.
“which turn into nitric oxide in the body, opening blood vessels to increase the flow of energy, nutrients, and oxygen to working muscles,” Blatner says. Leafy greens are also loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, boosting energy production, muscle function, and recovery. A 2021 study in The Journal of Nutrition found that eating just 1 cup of leafy greens every day may improve muscle strength and function. NUTS PACKED WITH: “Plant protein to support muscle health, unsaturated fat to support heart health, and fiber to support digestive health,” says Blatner, who recommends salted nuts since they contain sodium, which can lead to better hydration.
OATMEAL PACKED WITH: Complex
carbohydrates that provide a steady release of energy, plus fiber, which keeps you feeling full during long days on the court. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends oats for their beta-glucan, which slows the absorption of carbs over two to three hours. HYDRATING FOODS PACKED WITH: Water. “You can stay hydrated during pickleball matches by consuming water- rich foods like watermelon, cucumbers, oranges, and celery,” Hill says. “These foods not only help replenish fluids but also provide vitamins and electrolytes.” Exercise physiologists at the Georgia Institute of Technology
YOU CAN STAY HYDRATED DURING PICKLEBALL MATCHES BY CONSUMING WATER-RICH FOODS LIKE WATERMELON, CUCUMBERS, ORANGES, AND CELERY.” —JORDAN HILL
AVOCADOS PACKED WITH: Anti-
found that fluid loss can lead to a decline in cognition and more
inflammatory fats, antioxidants, fiber, vitamin E, potassium (an avocado contains even more than a banana), magnesium, and other electrolytes, which are good for muscle function. Plus: A 2022 study in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that eating one avocado a day not only lowered LDL cholesterol but also didn’t cause weight gain.
errors during exercise.
EGGS PACKED WITH: Protein and choline, a nutrient that may enhance muscle performance and improve stamina during strenuous exercise, as well as vitamins B12 and D, “which are
12 InPickleball • ISSUE TWELVE / 2023
PLAY FOR GOOD
ACING ALS ORGANIZATION FOUNDERS MOTIVATION To create a 50-state pickleball challenge to raise awareness and money for ALS BY PAM O’BRIEN BECKY WETZEL KRISTEN SEGAL
B BECKY WETZEL KNOWS THE TERRIBLE COST of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. She lost her father and grandfather to the disease, and her aunt has a form of dementia that’s linked to ALS. Because the gene runs in her family, Wetzel has a 50 percent chance of getting ALS. So she decided to fight back. “I want to do everything I can to help the ALS community while I’m able to,” she says. In 2021, with her
close friend Kristen Segal, Wetzel started Acing ALS, a national campaign that holds tournaments to raise money—$236,000 to date. (Acing ALS originally included tennis and paddle tournaments, but the campaign now focuses on pickleball.) All
Becky Wetzel and Kristen Segal of Acing ALS; players at a pickleball fundraiser in North Carolina; Wetzel with her beloved dad, mom, and brother.
proceeds go to the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI), a biotech nonprofit dedicated exclusively to ALS research and the development of possible treatments. The idea of using pickleball to help fund ALS research was partly inspired by Wetzel’s mother’s love of the game. “Seeing how fun pickleball was made me realize it could be a great way to get people to come out and have a good time and help make a difference,” Wetzel says. It’s also a tribute to her dad’s love of sports. “One thing I love about pickleball is that it’s so accessible,” Wetzel says. “It’s not a country club sport; you can play it in your driveway. That was something my father was big on: sports everyone can play.” This past May, Wetzel and Segal launched the 50 State Challenge for ALS, with the goal of having
pickleball fundraising tournaments in every state. Anyone can host a tournament, and the team at Acing ALS/ALS TDI will help plan and promote it. “The 50 State Challenge has raised an extra $40,000 for ALS TDI so far,” Wetzel says. “With something extremely sad like ALS, it helps to have an event like a pickleball tournament that brings joy,” she adds. “When ALS patients can attend tournaments where they’re surrounded by happiness, it’s a wonderful thing.” To learn more about the 50 State Challenge for ALS or to host a tournament, go to https://als.net/acingals50.
14 InPickleball • ISSUE TWELVE / 2023
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ASK THE COACH
TOP PICKLEBALL INSTRUCTORS ANSWER YOUR TOUGHEST QUESTIONS, FROM COURT TECHNIQUES TO TRICKY SITUATIONS.
It starts with the return of serve, says Rommie Maxey, renowned instructor and USA National Champion. “If you hit a shot with depth, it keeps your opponent back and gives you the opportunity to get to the non- volley line [NVL],” he explains. “Getting to the NVL is critical because it means you have more control. From there you can continue to hit deep shots to keep your opponents at the baseline. That gives you a distinct advantage to win the point.” In addition to depth, says Maxey, think directionally. “Hit the ball to a spot in front of the weaker opponent. And as soon as you can, hit an angle shot to the baseline. Your opponents will have to move fast to get it, and that can help you put the ball away.” HOW CAN I KEEP MY OPPONENTS AT THE BASELINE?
“I hear this kind of complaint a lot,” says Melissa Kildow, a PPA-certified instructor and 5.0 player who won gold in women’s doubles at the 2022 US Open. There are three ways to handle it, she says. “First, you can just ignore it.” But this is hard to do, she acknowledges, especially when it keeps happening. Second, “You can take the person aside after the game and politely say, ‘Listen, I’m here to play and compete. I’m not here for a lesson and I didn’t ask for your advice. Please just keep your comments and instructions to yourself.’” Finally, if the message still isn’t getting through, you can turn the tables on them. “Give him or her some advice,” Kildow suggests. Like, ‘Hey, you should bend your knees,’ or ‘Next time you need to get that ball when it goes down the middle,’ or whatever. That will help them see how annoying it is. Sometimes people don’t understand how it feels until they experience it themselves.” I PLAY IN A LEAGUE, AND ONE PLAYER ALWAYS GIVES ME UNSOLICITED POINTERS ON THE COURT. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
ROMMIE MAXEY, Ph.D., is an InPickleball ambassador, a Houston-based national/international instructor, and a 2019 USA National Champion. Maxey, who is also InPickleball ’s Expert in Residence, appears in the new movie Pickleball Princess , the first- ever feature film about pickleball.
MELISSA KILDOW is an InPickleball ambassador, an instructor in Grand Blanc, Michigan, and a 2022 US Open winner in women’s doubles.
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ASK THE COACH
HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY BACKHAND?
“First, turn your body sideways so it is perpendicular to the net and your dominant hand—with the paddle—is on the side next to the net,” says certified instructor Terri Attinello. “Then before the ball comes, move your paddle back—near your back hip. Too often people wait too long to move the paddle back so they’re late in hitting the ball and they’re making contact behind their body. You want to get your paddle into position before the ball comes and then follow through to make contact at your front hip area. You’re not just punching the ball; it should be a smooth shot with a slightly upward trajectory so it clears the net. As you’re swinging, shift your weight from your back foot to your front foot to generate more power from your body momentum. Keep your nondominant arm up for balance and control.”
It depends on the regulations in place at the facility where you are playing, says professional pickleball player and instructor Michelle Esquivel. “If they are not posted, ask other players what the general rules are. If you’ve reserved the court, you can just take it and wait for the [fourth] person to arrive,” Esquivel says. In that case, you can do drills or play two-on-one. “If it’s a court with open play, other people might see you need a fourth person and you can ask them to play with you until your fourth arrives,” she adds. “That happens all the time.” I PLAY IN A GROUP OF FOUR, AND ONE OF US ALWAYS ARRIVES LATE. IS IT OK FOR JUST THREE OF US TO GRAB A COURT?
TERRI ATTINELLO is an InPickleball ambassador and an IPTPA-certified instructor in Franklin, Massachusetts.
MICHELLE ESQUIVEL is an IPTPA-certified instructor and director of pickleball at the Craneway Pickleball Pavilion in Northern California. She has medaled in numerous pro singles and doubles tournaments on the PPA Tour.
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AMBASSADORS! IN PICKLEBALL INTRODUCING
Compelling local stories from our ambassadors become national with us—and vice versa! Ambassadors’ students get access to exciting InPickleball promos and giveaways. Students will also receive discounts on great products and services. We have partnered with a major dating app, transforming clinics into meet-ups—which will bring new pickleball students! INPICKLEBALL ’S REACH NOW EXTENDS TO HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF ACTIVE, RECREATIONAL PICKLEBALL PLAYERS! WE ARE SO PLEASED TO BE RECOGNIZED AS THE PREMIER CONTENT PROVIDER AMONG RECREATIONAL PLAYERS. IF THERE’S AN INSTRUCTOR IN YOUR COMMUNITY YOU’D LIKE TO NOMINATE TO JOIN OUR NETWORK (OR IF YOU ARE ONE YOURSELF), PLEASE EMAIL RICHARD PORTER AT RICHARDP@INPICKLEBALL.MEDIA IN PARTNERSHIP WITH OUR FRIENDS AT ACACIA SHOES, AND SPEARHEADED BY OUR EXPERT-IN-RESIDENCE, ROMMIE MAXEY, INPICKLEBALL HAS LAUNCHED A NETWORK OF TOP-NOTCH CERTIFIED INSTRUCTORS WHO WILL COLLABORATE WITH US IN SEVERAL WAYS:
Best Pickleball Paddles of 2023
Selkirk Power Air BEST SPIN: An excellent paddle for intermediate to advanced A widened paddle face and excellent power potential make this paddle perfect for overpowering opponents. players. A great option for both finesse and power shots. The longer grip provides room for two-handed shots. ProKennex Black Ace Pro BEST POWER: J OOLA Ben Johns Perseus 16 BEST OVERALL: One of the hottest paddles of 2023, it offers a crisp and controlled response perfect for intermediate to advanced players.
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THESE SPECTACULAR DESTINATIONS OFFER ENDLESS OPPORTUNITIES TO GET YOUR GAME ON. WHETHER YOU WANT TO CRUISE DOWN THE DANUBE, EXPLORE WINE COUNTRY, OR IMMERSE YOURSELF IN NATURE, WE FOUND LUXURIOUS LOCATIONS TO PLAY AND STAY. PHOTOGRAPH BY PETER CROSBY
YOU ARE HERE
WYLDER WINDHAM WINDHAM, NEW YORK Not your typical Dirty Dancing -style Catskills resort, the Wylder is made up of seven historic lodges—from a reimagined 19th-century farmhouse to riverside balcony rooms—in a stunning 20-acre location along the Batavia Kill River. After playing on one of the two new outdoor pickleball courts (or joining a weekend class), take a dip in the heated pool, join a yoga class, indulge in a wood-fired sauna, and end your day roasting s’mores at an outdoor fire pit. When not pickling at this all-seasons resort, you can go biking in the spring, fly fishing in the summer, hiking in the fall, or skiing on nearby Windham Mountain in the winter. (Rooms from $215/night; wylderwindham.com) AMAWATERWAYS DANUBE RIVER CRUISE Imagine volleying on the top deck of a cruise ship while enjoying breathtaking views of the European countryside. The AmaMagna from AmaWaterways, which is twice the width of traditional river ships, boasts a brand- new regulation-size pickleball court on deck, along with a pool and fitness studio, and offers five- and seven-night cruises on the Danube River. (From $2,160 per person for a five-night cruise and $2,960 for a seven-night cruise; amawaterways.com) Trip Tip: You can use a boutique concierge travel service (pickleballtours .com) to design and customize unique group trips for you and your pickleball-playing pals.
CRUISE TO VICTORY Play fellow passengers on the AmaMagna’s deck-top pickleball court (top left) as you float down the Danube. Top right: Signs point to all the fun at Wylder Windham.
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T THE WYLDER SITS ON 20 LUSH ACRES IN UPSTATE NEW YORK AND INCLUDES SEVEN HISTORIC LODGES, INNS, AND COTTAGES, INCLUDING A RECONCEIVED 19TH-CENTURY FARMHOUSE.
LET’S PLAY The Wylder’s new pickleball courts are surrounded by 20 acres, with views of Windham Mountain.
K KNOWN AS ‘THE GEM OF THE CATSKILLS,’ THE ALL-SEASON WYLDER WINDHAM ON THE BATAVIA KILL RIVER NOW OFFERS PICKLEBALL, ALONG WITH HIKING, FISHING, TUBING, AND BIKING.
G GRAND HOTEL LIVES UP TO ITS NAME. OPENED IN 1887 ON MICHIGAN’S MACKINAC ISLAND, THE NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARK OFFERS OLD-FASHIONED ACTIVITIES LIKE BIKING, HIKING, CROQUET, AND AFTERNOON TEA, PLUS NEWFANGLED FUN, LIKE PICKLEBALL.
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GRAND HOTEL MACKINAC ISLAND, MICHIGAN The old meets the new at this venerable resort, which lives up to its name for lakeside grandeur. Calling itself “a new kind of old-fashioned getaway,” this National Historic Landmark hotel opened in 1887 as a summer retreat on Michigan’s Mackinac Island. Along with such timeless fun as croquet, golf, bicycling, horseback riding, and garden strolls, the hotel has recently added two dedicated pickleball courts, open to both guests and day visitors, with occasional instruction optional. After a game, enjoy a traditional afternoon tea, accompanied by live music. (Peak-season rooms from $740/night; off-season rooms from $400/ night; grandhotel.com) THE RUSE HEALDSBURG HEALDSBURG, CALIFORNIA Located in Sonoma wine country, this sleek boutique inn offers relaxation and recreation in equal parts. Six pickleball courts allow you to play at your leisure, and tournaments are hosted throughout the year. You can also take on the other guests in bocce, practice your hole-in-one skills on The Ruse’s expansive 18-hole putting green, take a dip in the pool, and visit a nearby spa. Of course, you’ll want to devote plenty of time to tasting the wines the area is known for. After a game or two of PB, spend the day visiting the many nearby vineyards by car or bike (The Ruse staff can hook you up with cycles). Later, dine at one of Healdsburg’s acclaimed restaurants and browse art galleries and boutiques. (Rooms and suites $595–$895/night; theruse.com)
Take a carriage ride at the Grand Hotel; modern meets Victorian charm at The Ruse in California, where you can play on one of six pickleball courts.
SOAK IT IN Swim some laps in The Ruse’s pool, or relax in the hot tub and enjoy views of Sonoma’s rolling hills.
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T THE RUSE, IN CALIFORNIA WINE COUNTRY, HAS SOMETHING SPORTY FOR EVERYONE, SPREAD OVER 3 ACRES. GET YOUR GAME ON AT ONE OF THE INN’S PICKLEBALL COURTS, TAKE A SUNSET DIP IN THE POOL, OR HIT THE 18-HOLE JACK NICKLAUS–DESIGNED PUTTING GREEN.
GAME TO IMPROVE YOUR WAYS
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“Beginner players are usually passionate about the game, but they often don’t work enough on proper mechanics,” says pro player and instructor Michelle Esquivel. “If they want to improve, they need to work on several things.” How to get into the ready position. “This is an athletic stance where your feet are shoulder width apart with your knees slightly bent and your chest leaning forward a bit,” says Esquivel. “Between shots, you should go back to this position. Your paddle should be in front of you, at chest height, just above the net.” How to hold the paddle correctly. “Right away, I introduce my students to the continental grip. If you put your hand out for a handshake and wrap your hand around the grip, you’ve got it. The edge of the paddle should be facing up. From this position, you can switch your grip around for other shots. And don’t hold your paddle with a death grip—over- gripping can cause tendinitis.” How to not overswing. “Beginners tend to just whack away. But you should be working on getting consistent with your shots, like getting a serve in 10 out of 10 times or placing a return 10 out of 10 times. We’re programmed to think balls in the air are kill shots, so we overhit. I always tell people, ‘Less is more.’” LEARN 3 THINGS EVERY BEGINNER NEEDS TO KNOW THESE FUNDAMENTALS WILL SET YOU ON THE RIGHT PATH.
Seek out a teacher who is certified. “A lot of folks who teach pickleball are not certified,” says Rommie Maxey, Ph.D., InPickleball ’s Expert in Residence. “But there are good certification programs from places like the Professional Pickleball Registry or the FIND A GOOD INSTRUCTOR IF YOU WANT TO UPGRADE YOUR PLAY, THE RIGHT COACH CAN REALLY HELP. HERE’S WHAT YOU SHOULD LOOK FOR. Get referrals. “When you meet a good player, ask them if they’ve ever worked with an instructor they could recommend,” Maxey says. Look for flexibility. “Your instructor should have a lesson plan each time you 1
meet, but they also need to be able to shift gears. I always ask things like, ‘Is there anything you want to work on today that’s giving you trouble?’” Move on if needed. “Probably 80 percent of all instruction is at the beginner and intermediate level,” Maxey says, “but once you move to the next level, you may need to switch to a higher-level instructor.”
International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association,” which require a written test and skill testing. Consider a group class. Just starting out? “You don’t have to spend as much for a class, and you’ll get a couple of hours of instruction,” Maxey says. “You can get a lot of valuable information in just two hours and then decide if you want private instruction.”
WHEN YOU MEET A GOOD PLAYER, “ASK THEM IF THEY’VE WORKED WITH AN INSTRUCTOR THEY COULD RECOMMEND.” —ROMMIE MAXEY
3 Pickleball requires a lot of repetition and that’s why drills are so useful, says Constanza Gorches, a pickleball instructor and the operations director at Toss and Spin in Chicago, which offers lessons, clinics, and events. “Drills build muscle memory and hand-eye coordination and teach you control,” she says. Here, three she recommends: Hold your paddle using the continental grip. Bounce the ball up and down on top of the paddle forehand until you can control it without dropping it, then switch to backhand and and repeat. Do for: 5 to 10 minutes. Stand 6 feet away from a wall. Hit the ball forehand against the wall, keeping it right in front of you, as if you were hitting it over the net. Do this for a bit, then hit it backhand. Finish by switching between forehand and backhand shots. “This teaches you control because, basically, you’re dinking,” says Gorches. Do for: 10 to 20 minutes. Place a target on the repeat. Next, alternate from forehand to backhand ground and stand 25 feet from it. Throw the ball to the target several times to get the feel of it. “This is the movement you’re going to do when you hit a drop shot,” Gorches says. “Then grab your paddle, drop the ball in front of you, and hit it to the target. Repeat.” Do for: 10 to 15 minutes. DO DRILLS THAT BOOST SKILLS PRACTICE THEM SEVERAL TIMES A WEEK FOR THE BEST RESULTS.
SHOP FOR PICKLEBALL SHOES THAT PROVIDE ANKLE SUPPORT, A SOLID MIDSOLE, AND GOOD TRACTION ON THE COURT. CHOOSE THE RIGHT SHOES THE PROPER PAIR CAN HELP KICK UP YOUR GAME.
result of a collaboration with multi-championship player Tyler Loong to produce shoes that offer superior traction, stability, and durability, these have a wider toe box, flexible support, and a contoured outsole. Comfort features of the shoes include ergonomic insoles and ventilation channels for maximum air circulation. $140; acaciasports.com KSwiss Pickleball Supreme Targeted to competitive players looking for responsiveness, these shoes have a flexible upper for fit and protection, the brand’s Surge 7 premium cushioning system designed for maximum energy return,
To stay nimble and safe on the court, you need shoes with good traction for your quick stops and starts, ankle support for all those lateral movements you’ll make, and a solid midsole. Try on a few different kinds, and consider the three new options below, to find the best fit. Easy Spirit Dilli Designed by fitness expert and devoted pickleball fan Denise Austin to provide traction, lateral support, durability, and comfort, the Dilli has a cushioned footbed to absorb shock, a reinforced stitched forefront, a
traction-dimpled outsole, moisture-wicking lining, and a breathable leather upper. $95; easyspirit.com Acacia Tyler Loong Signature II Cloud The
and a durable, high- density molded rubber outsole that guards against abrasion. $120; kswiss.com
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KEEP UP WITH THE RULES THERE ARE A LOT OF THEM!
WHEN BUYING A NEW PADDLE, LOOK FOR A COMFY GRIP AND WEIGHT, THEN CHECK OUT THE SPIN AND VIBRATION CONTROL. UPGRADE YOUR PADDLE THESE NEW MODELS OFFER A RANGE OF INNOVATIONS TO HELP YOUR GAME.
5 Players must avoid wearing clothing that closely matches the color of the ball. Players should not question HERE’S A SELECTION OF NEW 2023 REGULATIONS FROM USA PICKLEBALL. appeal a rally- ending line call to the referee before the next serve. The serve must be made with only one hand releasing the ball, and the server should not impart spin on the ball. Before the serve occurs, any player may ask the referee for the score, the correct server or receiver, or correct player position—and may challenge or confirm the called score. If the wrong score is called, the referee or any player may or comment on an opponent’s call—but any player may stop play before the return of serve to correct the score. The rally should be replayed with the correct score called. If any player suspects the ball is cracked or broken after the serve, play must continue until the end of the rally. In non-officiated matches, if both teams agree, players may replace a degraded, soft, broken, or cracked ball before the next serve. In the case of a cracked ball only, if the players agree it impacted the previous rally, a replay occurs. If they do not agree it impacted the outcome of the prior rally, it stands as played. Players should call any type of fault on themselves as soon as it happens; the call must occur before the next serve.
“inelastic micro spheres” inside the “kinetic” handle to absorb vibrations and reduce fatigue, and a redesigned oval head shape with a higher sweet spot. $250; prokennex-pickleball.com The Evo Hybrid 2.0 Max by Selkirk Designed for both power and control, it works for beginners and more advanced players alike. With a large sweet spot and comfy handle, it also has Selkirk’s The Quadra by Veloz Known for its “seamless carbon fiber wrap” and edgeless design, the Quadra has a rectangular shape with a generous sweet spot and high level of control and touch. The Quadra is also handcrafted with a surface that provides lots of friction. $239; velozusa.com SpinFlex spin surface for more ball control. $ 100; totalpickleball.com
If you want to change up your paddle, try a few out first. InPickleball Expert in Residence Rommie Maxey says to consider four things: Is the grip comfortable? Is the weight right (not too
heavy)? How long is the handle? (If you lack mobility, you might need extra length.) Does it provide spin and control vibration (to allay tennis elbow)? Four paddles we love: The Tempest Wave Pro v3 by Paddletek The Pro v3 has a large sweet spot and balanced weight. Made
from the company’s ICED carbon fiber, the paddle offers Perma-Spin technology. $210; paddletek.com The Black Ace LG (DLR Special Edition) by ProKennex The Black Ace paddle contains not only ProKennex’s replaceable Air-O- Guard bumper system but several other innovations, including
40 InPickleball • ISSUE TWELVE / 2023
TRAIN YOUR BRAIN WINNING TIPS TO MASTER YOUR MENTAL GAME.
“Talent and ability obviously play a huge role in how successful an athlete is. So do hard work, preparation, and knowledge of the game. But your attitude fuels everything you do,” says Darrin Donnelly, best-selling author of Think Like a Warrior and the Sports for the Soul book series. Here, some strategies from Donnelly for the game of pickleball. Psyching yourself up before a game: “The key is taking control of your inner dialogue and making sure your
self-talk is positive. Don’t worry about everything that could go wrong. Instead, tell yourself you are strong and confident. Envision yourself succeeding.”
BE IN SYNC WITH YOUR PARTNER FIVE SIMPLE MOVES WILL ENSURE THAT YOU WORK WELL AS A TEAM.
Staying in there in a close game: “Don’t listen to the thoughts telling you how tired you are; tell yourself you have a lot of energy. It might sound silly, but it really does work. Your body will follow your thoughts.” Not giving up if you’re losing badly: “Focus on only what you can control. There’s nothing you can do about what has already happened. All you can control is your effort and attitude in the moment. Take things one play at a time. Once you recognize what you can control, it frees you up to put all your energy into that.” Having fun: “Realize you can have fun even when you’re working very hard. When you push yourself to new levels, that’s what brings us joy.”
Make suggestions—but gently. When your partner is less experienced, communicate before the first point is served, Ansboury recommends. “I might ask a question such as, ‘What can I do to make you feel more comfortable?’ I might also suggest something like, ‘When I am on this side of the court, I’ll take the middle. OK?’” Stay positive. “Regardless of who I’m playing with, I always practice managing my emotions,” Ansboury says. “Am I showing my partner I have given up or am I conveying I am still in it to win it?” Let the last point go. “Develop selective amnesia. Train yourself to forget the bad shot you just hit.”
“Learning to communicate is key on the court, especially with people you don’t know,” says Sarah Ansboury, director of pickleball at Palmetto Dunes in Hilton Head, South Carolina, and author of the ebook Be the Best Pickleball Partner You Can Be . Here are a few of her tips: Call “yours” or “mine” during games. Ansboury advises: “These two every point. “It could be a paddle tap that signifies ‘Great shot!’ or one that implies ‘We’ll get the next one.’ The meaning is abundantly clear: We are a team. We can do this.’” simple words can win a lot of points for you.” “Paddle tap” after
42 InPickleball • ISSUE TWELVE / 2023
CREATE YOUR OWN COURT NO ROOM IN YOUR BACKYARD? SET ONE UP ON AN EMPTY ROAD OR PARKING LOT! Set up a portable net.
RECOVER FROM A GAME
TAKING A BREAK CAN BENEFIT YOU IN THE LONG RUN.
This is all you need to know: Look for a quiet, non- trafficked asphalt area that can fit a temporary court (44 feet long by 20 feet wide). Lay down the lines. You can use sidewalk chalk, masking tape, green FrogTape and other specialty tape (such as Court Line Tape,
Wheeled versions, like the Franklin Pickleball Tournament Net ($180; totalpickleball.com), make it easy. For effortless storage, Selkirk makes one that folds down into a nylon
It can be tempting to play pickleball for hours every day, but time out for recovery is important—and it can help prevent injury. “We have to allow our muscles to repair themselves and to replenish our fluid and electrolyte stores,” says Michele Olson, Ph.D., FACSM, senior clinical professor in the department of sport science and physical education at Huntingdon College in beforehand. Do a dynamic warm-up with lunges, cariocas (sideways running drills), and backwards arm circles, Olson advises. Practice proper technique. Shoulder, arm, and core strength are important. Learning the correct playing technique, such as using your legs and hips to help generate power, and strengthening your core, will help to alleviate and Montgomery, Alabama. To recover right: Warm up prevent injuries, Olson says. Take a day off. Skip a day between playing sessions, especially when you’re first starting out, Olson suggests. It’s fine to stay active—go walking or biking—but give your body time away from the court. Consider a little support. Some players like to wear recovery sleeves, like the ones from Incrediwear (incrediwear .com), during games to help with muscle soreness.
carry bag ($150; selkirk.com). Extras: For spectators, consider getting a sun-shading canopy (like L.L. Bean’s Sunbuster Folding Shelter, $140; llbean.com) and portable chairs (like the Coleman Portable Camping Chair, $52; amazon.com), plus a smart speaker to play hype music (such as the OSD Audio AP650 outdoor speaker, $195 for a set of two; walmart.com).
$14 for 200 feet; pickleballcentral .com), or temporary nonslip lines (like Wilson EZ Court Lines, $31; totalpickleball.com). Make it even easier by buying an entire court kit (like the Franklin Sports Pickleball Court Marker Kit, $25; amazon .com, or the Wiffpoint Insta Court Pickleball Temporary Court Lines, $100; amazon.com).
ALL YOU REALLY NEED TO SET UP YOUR OWN COURT IS A GOOD SPACE, A NET, AND CHALK OR TAPE TO MAKE THE COURT LINES.
HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT PICKLEBALL POP CULTURE? Pickleball has bounced its way into our daily lives. There are themed restaurants and bars, multiple PB podcasts, and a growing market for pickleball-inspired items, such as housewares. And now, the sport is taking on a starring role in TV and films. Are you up to speed on its latest act? Test your knowledge.
DURING SOME OF NATURE’S MOST CHALLENGING CONDITIONS (HEAT, WIND, RAIN) TO SEE WHO CAN PERSEVERE TO WIN THE MOST GAMES— AND KEEP THEIR RELATIONSHIP INTACT. A) True B) False 5. WHAT’S THE NAME OF A PICKLEBALL MOVIE CURRENTLY BEING CONSIDERED BY FILM PRODUCERS? A) Pickleballs!—The Movie B) Dink or Die C) Paddled D) Kitchen Impossible 6. WHILE ON TOUR IN 2022, WHAT SINGER PLAYED PICKLEBALL WITH HER BAND EVERY DAY BEFORE THEIR SHOWS? A) Beyoncé B) Shania Twain C) Maren Morris D) LeAnn Rimes 7. WHICH CELEBRITY CHEF LOVES PICKLEBALL SO MUCH THAT SHE OR HE HAS COOKED UP PICKLEBALL- INSPIRED DISHES ON TV?
Dan Beeman, a self- described pickleball evangelist, discovered pickleball while leaving a yoga class several years ago. He was instantly hooked. “The sport is inclusive, fun, and dynamic,” says Beeman, who suffers from the skin condition vitiligo and says he sometimes feels “socially awkward” because of it. The pickleball community welcomed him, and in 2019, Beeman got the idea to write a movie about the sport to help promote it. Pickleballs!—The Movie is a comedy about two aging former tennis champions who are down on their luck and start playing pickleball together on the senior tour to raise money to pay off their debts. The pair travel across the country in an RV and, Beeman says, adventures ensue. The script is being reviewed by a production company, and Beeman has high hopes his movie will come to life. While he would love to see Will Ferrell and Sacha Baron Cohen star in the film, Beeman wants to make one thing clear: “Pickleball is the true hero of the movie.”
3. WHICH STAR HAS NOT PROFESSED A LOVE FOR PICKLEBALL? A) Emma Watson B) Ellen DeGeneres C) Will Ferrell D) Julia Roberts 4. HOLLYWOOD IS DEVELOPING A REALITY SHOW CALLED PICKLEBALL IN PARADISE , IN WHICH COUPLES GO TO AN ISLAND AND BATTLE IT OUT ON THE PICKLEBALL COURT
1. WHICH RECENT TV SERIES PROMINENTLY FEATURED A PICKLEBALL GAME IN ONE EPISODE? A) Succession B) The White Lotus C) Ted Lasso D) Shrinking 2. WHAT LATE-NIGHT SHOW HOST HAD HIS OWN CELEBRITY PICKLEBALL TV SPECIAL?
A) Jimmy Fallon B) Jimmy Kimmel C) Stephen Colbert D) Seth Myers
A) Bobby Flay B) Ina Garten
C) Gordon Ramsay D) Martha Stewart
44 InPickleball • ISSUE TWELVE / 2023
LINDSEY NEWMAN It’s a family affair for the former college tennis player, now 32, who ranks 6.0 in mixed doubles. She plays with her brother, top pro Riley, often while her husband and two young daughters root them on.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PICKLEBALL DEBUT? When my brother Riley and I entered our first tournament, we didn’t have paddles, didn’t know how to keep score—we knew nothing. But we signed up for the 5.0 pro division and won it all. WHAT WAS IT LIKE PLAYING PREGNANT? I have two daughters— Cora is 2½ years old and Oakley is 1. With Cora, I played until I was seven months pregnant; with Oakley, I was just under six and a half months pregnant when we won mixed doubles at Nationals. But I’d say to others: Take it easy and don’t do anything silly. No ball is worth the health of your kids. WHAT’S IT LIKE PLAYING WITH YOUR BROTHER? I’m busy with my life, and he’s busy with his, but the fact that we can work as a team is really cool. But sometimes matches aren’t left on the court—it’s easy to stay mad at your brother because you know, deep down, he’s gonna love you.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT? I love jumping on the trampoline, using my weighted jump rope, running, and lifting 30- or 40-pound kids! ANY PREGAME RITUALS? The deejay on the PPA tour knows I really like Keith Urban, Florida Georgia Line, Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, Eminem—anything with a fast beat. I also like watching the 3.0 or 4.0 players because they’re all having such a good time, laughing and smiling. That puts things into perspective for me.
46 InPickleball • ISSUE TWELVE / 2023
PHOTOGRAPH BY G L ASKEW II
SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL SECTION
COACH’S AND PHYSICIAN’S CHOICE:
Cooling PCM For Pickleball Injuries By Mitchell Abrahamsen, PhD P ICKLEBALL IS AMERICA’S FASTEST GROWING sport, and the fastest way to the doctor’s office for players without the right cooling protocols for injuries and post-game recovery. The low cost associated with pickleball makes it an attractive sport for all ages, but many underestimate the sport’s physical demand. The lack of physical conditioning among beginner and older players greatly increases the likelihood of injuries.
“People become quickly addicted to pickleball and want to play all the time, but many haven’t been this physically active for years. The fast ramp up can cause muscle sprains and injuries,” said Dr. Rommie Maxey, national and international pickleball pro and instructor. “The key is to get players the right cooling protocols so they can manage their pain and get back in the game quickly and safely.” Maxey, a PhD in biomechanics, recommends cool therapies that allow for active recovery like ONYX COOL that are safer and easier to use than ice or frozen gel packs. Research shows the optimal temperature for cool therapy is 52-59°F. ONYX COOL’s wearable therapies are formulated to 58°F to deliver safe, soothing pain relief without the risk of ice burn and tissue damage. ONYX COOL’s plant-based cooling phase change material (PCM) pulls heat away from injuries, and maintains consistent therapeutic temperatures for about an hour without restricting healthy blood flow, which is needed for healing. “Ice is too cold, can damage tissues and delay healing,” says Tammy Lee, founder and CEO of ONYX COOL. “Unlike ice therapy, which has to be cycled on and off, ONYX COOL PCM can be worn continuously and directly on the skin. Players like the comfort and ease of use. Coaches and doctors like the safety and effectiveness of the product.”
36 million players in the US Injuries related to pickleball: 366,000 outpatient visits 9,000 outpatient surgeries Estimated cost: $377 million (source: UBS Analysts)
Englewood Hospital in New Jersey tested the cooling PCM against circulating water devices for patients who just had knee replacements. Patients wearing cooling PCM recovered faster, used fewer pain medications and had fewer follow up visits. According to Dr. David Abramson, Englewood Hospital’s former Chief of Medicine, “ONYX COOL is now the standard of care for our total joint replacement patients and spine surgeries. Nurses and patients prefer these devices over other ice-based therapies.”
• Safe to wear directly on skin • Safe for long duration treatments • Better pain management = fewer pain meds Benefits of Cooling Phase Change Material (PCM) for Athletes
ONYX COOL reactivates in the refrigerator in 30 minutes. The portable devices stay cold for hours in a cooler so players can use them between and after matches. Dr. Maxey noted, “Cooling PCM is a lot less expensive than ice-based devices and easier to use. Players consistently using these products recover faster from injuries and may avoid costly surgeries.”
Scan and Shop ONYX COOL | InPickleball Special: Save 20% | Promo code InPickleball20
SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL SECTION
INside the Shoe Box: Q&A Interview with Major League Pickleball champion Tyler Loong
I NPICKLEBALL CONTRIBUTOR AND AMBASSADOR DIRECTOR Rommie Maxey chatted with pro player Tyler Loong fresh off his back-to- back Major League Pickleball championship wins to go INdepth about his collaboration with Acacia Pickleball, and look behind the scenes at how the all-new Signature II Cloud Edition Pickleball shoe was made.
about innovating to be at the forefront of where the sport is going. Acacia is actively listening to feedback and incorporating insights from the pickleball community into its process to make its products better everyday. They’re constantly testing new materials, technologies and designs to be the most pickleball- specific shoe on the market. RM: Thanks for taking the time to catch up. Any parting words of wisdom? TL: It’s been a pleasure. My advice is to invest in the right equipment. It can truly elevate your game and allow you to focus more on the strategy and enjoyment of playing.
Rommie Maxey: Congratulations on all your exciting achievements: two MLP Championship wins, a new Signature Pickleball shoe with Acacia Sports, the launch of your “King Of The Court” podcast, a partnership with the PICKLR, and a new Signature paddle with Vulcan, among other things. Tyler Loong: Thanks, it’s truly an exciting time to be “In Pickleball,” pun fully intended. RM: Can you talk about how you became the first pro pickleball player to have a signature shoe? TL: A few years ago Acacia and I connected under the shared aspiration for creating a game- changing shoe that would be very specific to pickleball. I saw that they had the vision, expertise and understanding of the game to do something different, and that’s where we began collaborating. RM: It sure makes sense that the reigning “Erne King” himself would have valuable insight about shoes. Can you elaborate on why it’s important for pickleball players to have specialized footwear? TL: For pickleball, proper footwear is one thing that you must have right, not only to optimize performance but also as a matter of protection.
You need a shoe that can keep you secure during the rapid side-to-side movements, pivots and unpredictable changes in direction that are part of the fun of the game. If your shoe doesn’t have proper lateral and heel support, you run a higher risk of an injury or ankle roll. RM: What are some of the specific features of the Signature II Cloud that make them different from other shoes? TL: The word “Cloud” does a good job at capturing the qualities of the new shoe. The shoes have a lightweight quality that gives them a cool, airy and plush feel. Another unique aspect is the CloudGel insole, which you really have to try on to experience. Functionally, the insole’s unique design improves airflow, while also stimulating different pressure points on the feet to provide relief and cushion. The shoes also have a wider-fitting toe box that allows for a more comfortable playing experience. There’s also an optimal balance of cushion and support to absorb impact, reduce fatigue and minimize joint strain. RM: Can you speak to the design and development process? TL: Acacia is deeply immersed in pickleball culture and cares a lot
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