Pickleball: Paddle Dos and Don’ts

I haven’t written about pickleball in a while and today I thought I would talk about one aspect that most players probably take for granted. Before I get into the detials however, let me explain something about stagecraft.

When a theater production is prolonged and continues for months, every week or two weeks, the crew, actors, stage managers, director, etc. would conduct a walk through of the play to see if anything has inadvertently been changed. They recite the dialogue and compare it to the written script. They want to ascertain if any words have been altered, if all the the props are in their precise location and if the blocking (marks where actors are to stand) have remained intact. All of these are checked and double checked.

The reason this is important is because over time, simple changes seem to creep in and even though they may not be huge deviations, when added together, they can alter the production.

Now back to pickleball…

How many times have you reviewed how you hold the paddle when you are playing? Is it possible that your grip has gotten a bit off kilter? Is the face of your paddle in the correct orientation when striking the ball?

Mark Renneson of Third Shot Sports has an interesting video about keeping the paddle in the proper orientation when hitting the ball.

Sarah Ansboury also shares some thoughts about proper paddle placement/orientation in a recently penned essay. She goes on to explain

“One of the biggest differences between an advanced and intermediate pickleball player is where they hold their paddle…”

And she goes on to offer further details. You can read the entire essay, Pickleball Bulleye: You Have One on Your Chest, at her website.

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More Pickleball Videos

To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 – JBRish.com



Pickleball: Slow It Down

In my last pickleball post, I included a link to an article which explained that there doesn’t necessarily have to be dinking in any given pickleball game. If you missed that essay, you can catch it at this link:

There’s No Dinking in Pickleball

Below is a short video explaining the opposite view, i.e. why you need to use the slow game (which includes dinking).


Top 3 Reasons You Should Slow The Game Down | Pickleball Quick Tip

 

If you are convinced that this is something you would like to learn, Deb Harrison explains the general technique in the video below. At one point, she was a proponent of what she referred to as the “elephant dink.” She has since revised her thinking and is now a proponent of a slightly different dinking style.

Here is a video explaining her revised, new technique for hitting the dink.



NOTE – One of the key points she makes is to ALWAYS FACE THE BALL. This is good advice for all shots as champion Sarah Ansboury advocates.

If you would like to improve your soft/slow pickleball skills, here are three videos by 5.0 player Jordan Briones to help you practice dinking.


Pickleball Dink Drill | Straight On Dinks

 

Pickleball Dink Drill | Forehand Dinks

 

Pickleball Dink Drill | Backhand Dink

 

I hope you have found these helpful and that you are inspired to try to improve your dinking!

More Pickleball Videos

To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017


Pickleball: Thoughts about the Soft Game and Drop Shot

I have written about the third shot drop shot and the soft game on JBRish a number of times. This is a wonderful skill to develop to help win pickleball games…but to be consistently good takes lots of practice. I can hit one every once in a while, but that percentage isn’t going to win many games.

Pickleballers who don’t have a great third shot drop shot, or perhaps a poor soft game overall, need not despair. Jennifer Lucore has an interesting take on drop shots and dinking in pickleball.

I would encourage you to read the entire article:

There’s No Dinking in Pickleball

In summary, however, this is what she concludes:

“So, to summarize there is NO RIGHT OR WRONG way to play pickleball when you are talking about dropping the third shot or a powerful, driving ground stroke. (emphasis mine)”

PS – Some of the comments under the article are interesting as well!

More Pickleball Videos

To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017


Pickleball: Third Shot Drop – Something to Think About

What is a third shot drop shot?

This is a pickleball stroke that goes softly over the net into the opponent’s half of the kitchen (NVZ) close to their side of the net. This will force them to hit the ball UP.

Why is the third shot drop shot such a coveted skill among pickleballers? What exactly does a good third shot drop shot do?

  • Is it to make your opponents move?
  • Is it to make your opponents miss the shot?
  • Is it about getting your team to the net (NVZ)?

If you haven’t decided, perhaps you will appreciate Mark Renneson’s nuanced explanation. It is interesting to think about as we consider our shot options after the return of serve. BTW, Mark is the founder and Head Coach at Third Shot Sports.

Here is the link to Mark’s article – It’s Not What You Think: Myth-busting the Drop

 

More Pickleball Videos

To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017


Pickleball Video: Dink Disguise for Hard Drive Surprise

Mark Renneson of Third Shot Sports, offers a hint to help catch our opponents off guard.

While watching the video, also notice how Mark uses his whole body to execute the dink. The movement is subtle, but his legs and torso give a motion of “lift” to the paddle/ball.

Another good hint he provides is to use a short back swing to help keep the shot soft.

Sepaking of dinking, here’s another hint. Many players already know this, but just in case…

I hope this helps with some new ways to think about the dink!

 

More Pickleball Videos

To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017


Pickleball Video: Hate Practice, BUT Love Doing Better


I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.' Muhammad Ali
picture quote Via

I like to revisit Muhammad Ali’s quote above because I find it motivating. Whenever I am involved in a competitive endeavor, I like to do the best that I can and I am sure many pickleball players want to move their game forward even if they are just playing to get the exercise without consideration of winning or losing. Of course most people would prefer to win.

Winning can be hard because to maintain the winning edge, there needs to be PRACTICE. Professional athletes practice almost every day. Even on game day they have some practice. Pro players are people who are generally in excellent physical shape and some of the best in the world at their skill set and yet every day they practice. To maintain skill levels, there needs to be practice. To improve needs even more practice.

As Ali states above, training and practice may not be fun, but it helps to make a person better at the thing they are practicing. Sometimes you may be motivated to practice, but you can’t find someone else who wants to practice, i.e. “No partner, no practice?”

Well pickleballers, Joe Baker is here to show us how we can practice alone and do a good job with it. All you need is a wall. It can be a wall in a gym, a racquetball court, a handball court, etc. I have even seen videos of people practicing in their garage against a piece of plywood they set up for the purpose.

If you want to practice your pickleball skills and don’t have a partner, perhaps these drills can provide the repetition you need to improve your play.

Backboard Wall Drills for Pickleball

More Pickleball Videos

To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017


Pickleball – Coming to Rose Mofford Sports Compled, Phoenix

On the heels of good news that new pickleball courts are being planned for the Paseo Highlands Park, (see Pickleball Expanding in Phoenix we have been made aware that the Rose Mofford Sports Complex will have three pickleball courts available once the the park renovation is completed

Here are some pictures of the signs provided by a member of our pickleball community:


Pickleball Sign at Rose Mofford Sports Complex


Pickleball Sign at Rose Mofford Sports Complex


Pickleball Sign at Rose Mofford Sports Complex

For a larger picture, Click HERE

For those who may not know where the Rose Mofford Sports Complex is, here is a screen shot taken from Google Maps.


Pickleball Sign at Rose Mofford Sports Complex

Rose Mofford Sports Complex
9833 N 25th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85021

The grapevine has it that construction was planned to start after July 5, 2017 although the sign indicates late spring.

As always, we would like to thank and acknowledge the City of Phoenix and the Parks and Recreation Department for their efforts on behalf of the Phoenix Area pickleball players.

Pickleball Videos

To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)


**********

 

All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017


Pickleball – The 3rd Shot “Drop” Is Not Always the Best Option


Sarah Ansboury Pickleball Champion

Photo of Pickleball Champion Sarah Ansboury Courtesy of naplesnews.com

Pickleballers who have competed for a period of time and who have investigated how to improve their skills, have probably been given the impression that the third shot drop shot is the holy grail of pickleball championships.

In a recent blog post, Sarah Ansboury explains that although the third shot drop is very important and is a necessary skill for those seeking to move upward beyond average pickleball play, it isn’t the only option.

In part, she explains:

“Remember, the goal of the third shot drop is to give you and your partner time to get to the non-volley zone when the other team is already there. However, if your opponents are not yet all the way to the net your best bet is to keep them back. Hitting a hard, flat ball to the deeper player is always a good option. In fact, dropping it into the non-volley zone will actually give them time to come forward. When you can capture the net before your opponents, you have the advantage. Don’t invite them to join you! Keep them back.”

You can read the entire article on Sarah’s website:

The Third Shot Drop is Important…But Not Your Only Option

Sarah Ansboury has won many pickleball championships. She is a coach and player who shares her hard-earned knowledge of pickleball via her blog. You can read more about her HERE.

 

More Pickleball Videos

To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)

Pickleball Video- Not All Backhand Volleys Are Equal

Many beginning players have difficulty with their backhand, but very often they manage to develop a fairly reliable backhand groundstroke. That is the good news.

The bad news is that there is more than one type of backhand shot and to be a top player, you may need to develop several different techniques for the backhand volley. The video below shows backhand options for players in a position to hit a volley.

The two volley techniques demonstrated are:

  • The backspin soft shot that can be effective in putting the opponents in a vulnerable position.
  • The topspin shot which keeps the ball low and difficult to return.

Watch Mark Renneson of Third Shot Sports demonstrate these techniques.

NOTE – It has been my experience that if I hit a “good” topspin backhand at the net, the ball has a tendency to stay low and will “skip” (take a very low bounce) which frustrates opponents.

Hint – You can read the comments below the video for further clarification.

Thanks to Mark Rennison and Third Shot Sports for producing this informative video.

Pickleball Expanding in Phoenix

Paseo Highlands

It is always exciting to anticipate new opportunities related to areas in which we have a vested interest. I would like to report about one such happening in the N. Phoenix area pickleball community.

PLEASE NOTE – This is a preliminary report and items presented here are in the planning stages. Given the uncertainties with municipal budgets, priorities, emergencies, etc. any of the following my be revised, changed, etc. Kindly keep this in mind as you read further.



Last week, I met with Jan Sherwood, Recreation Supervisor, Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department, City of Phoenix Landscape Architect, Tom Byrne and several other area Pickleball Ambassadors to preview preliminary plans for new pickleball courts at Paseo Highlands Park.



** About the Park – Paseo Highlands Park (Geolet A.C. Beuf Community Center), 3435 W. Pinnacle Peak Rd., 35th Ave. and Pinnacle Peak Rd. (Located adjacent to Geolet A.C. Beuf Community Center)

Amenities: A 40-acre regional Park with two lighted softball fields, lighted soccer field, lighted basketball court, lighted volleyball court, playgrounds, restrooms and picnic areas, grills, ramadas, and the Geolet A.C. Beuf Community Center.

**Excerpted from the City of Phoenix website.



Some of our pickleball friends have noticed signs in the area which outlined the project.



The plan is to build six outdoor pickleball courts.



The photo below is NOT of any identified pickleball court, but is to show the colors of the courts as the preliminary design and plan currently details.



Here are some of the specifics as I understood them. Please remember, that these plans are still fluid and preliminary.



  • There will be fences/barriers separating all of the courts. This should cut down on ball chasing.
  • The circles represent trees to be planted as part of the development process.
  • There is an existing ramada that will remain; located north of the westmost court (rectangular structure).
  • The courts will be lit with timed fixtures that will go on automatically.
  • For the four courts to the east, entry gates are located in the middle of the quad.
  • The two westerly courts have gates at the northern corners.

Pictured below is the general location for the development.



Bathrooms are located relatively near the courts.



There is a parking lot located a bit east of the courts. It has eleven spaces plus one space for handicapped parking.



It was 100 degrees plus the day we met and I walked from the community center to the area shown on the plans and it was not a far walk.

This is a picture I took while standing near the parking lot looking back at the community center



and here is a photo taken standing on the steps of the community center looking back at the area (with gravel/granite) where the new courts will be placed.



For those who want to see a wide view of the general area, this is the link to the larger image (panorama)

Click HERE

The question that might be on the minds of most readers is WHEN will these courts be finished or when can we begin playing on them? A “guesstimate”, keeping in mind that there are some “ifs” involved, is that we are looking at some time after the new year, 2018!

Until then, it is something nice to think about!



I would like to thank Jan Sherwood and the City of Phoenix for keeping our pickleball community in mind and for allowing us to learn of the projects as they begin unfold.


I hope to see you on the courts!