Pickleball: Between Games Don’t Just Wait

When you are playing in a non-tournament situation what exactly is your goal? Is it to get exercise? Is it to have fun? Is it to do your best? Is it to do everything you can to win? Whatever your goal may be, I think we all want to do well.

The question then arises…If you are at a club and there is a ten or fifteen minute wait between games, what do you do with that time? I think depending upon your answer to the goal question above, you may have a couple of different answers, but some coaches suggest that there are several things to consider doing.

* If there is space, can you get on a practice court and stay warm?

* Is there a wall you can use to hit against? You can practice your dink or reflex vollies.

* Can you do some in-place movement to stay limber?

NOTE – The ideas above were excerpted from the article 3 Pre-Game Tricks to Play Better Matches by Mark Renneson. While his essay focuses on those in tournament or more serious play, I believe we can all benefit from his admonition that between games “Don’t just stand (or sit) there.”

If you are a serious, competitive player, you might want to check out the article linked above.

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Jeff Shank’s Pickleball Strategy – Time Out, Dinking, Ego

We are continuing our series based on Jeff Shank’s YouTube video about pickleball strategy. In this segment Jeff explains why, when playing in a tournament, it is important to take time outs at certain points, the importance of dinking and how to handle your ego.

Dinking – A love-hate relationship

There are those who do whatever they can to avoid the dinking game. Sometimes this leads to unforced errors because although a return dink may be the best option, a player may lack confidence or run out of patience and try to hit a hard line drive return.

The good news and bad news about dinking:

Bad news first…It is a big part of the game when your skill set gets you into the 3.5 and above playing levels. Skilled players dink to win.

The good news…It isn’t that hard to gain proficiency in dinking.

Jeff offers a number of tips:

  • What type of foot movement does he suggest?
  • What stance should the player have when waiting for a return dink?
  • What is the problem with cross-stepping?
  • What is the best dink option that provides the largest margin for error?
  • What are the advantages to taking a dink as a volley if possible?

No room for ego

After the dinking lesson, Jeff explains why pickleballers (as well as other team sport members) need to play with no ego. What that means is, recognize when other players (i.e. your partner) are better and let them take certain shots. Also…listen to information that other players might have about your opponents.

NOTE – When I play doubles, I will usually discuss our opponents with my partner. I try to tell them who has a spin serve, who is good at lobbing, etc. I also like to explain that if I run to their side of the court to cover a lob, they should move over to my vacated side. I will often yell “switch.”

Weak partner, strong partner relationship

If you play in tournaments or at very competitive venues, listen to what Jeff has to say about the weaker-stronger partner relationship.



For a refresher video about how to perfect the dink shot, click HERE

NOTE – To find out about this series of posts, i.e. 100 Pickleball Strategies by Jeff Shank, read the first post HERE


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 – The Voice of Experience – Hammer and Lucore

Alex Hammer and Jennifer Lucore write the column Around the Post for Pickleball Magazine. In the December, 2016 issue, they wrote an article:

What Did the Gold Medalists Learn at Nationals VIII?

The article provides bits of wisdom garnered from the tournament participants. Here are two examples:

“Never stop being a student of the game: As the game and players continue to evolve so must your game; what worked last year probably won’t be enough this year. There is an endless amount of video at your fingertips; study individuals to see what mechanics and shot selections worked and which did not in each situation.”

Matt Staub – Gold: Doubles 19+; Bronze: Open Doubles & Mixed Doubles 19+

“I think the best lesson I learned was about recovering from a close loss. After you get all the way to the semi-finals or winners bracket final and you have a close loss, it’s hard to get motivated and reset for that next match. It’s never over in pickleball though so you’ve got to let that first loss go and keep fighting. In that same vein, you’re never out of a game. I came back twice from being down 10-7 (match point) in this tournament and a few other times from being 6 or 7 points behind. Just focus on playing each point well, and good things can happen.”

Daniel MooreGold: Doubles 19+ & Singles 19+; Bronze: Open Doubles & Open Singles

Due to space limitations, there were hints and ideas that could not make it into the magazine. Jennifer Lucore has published the more detailed article (including the two tidbits presented above) on her website and you can read it here:

What Did the Gold Medalists Learn at Nationals VIII?



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: USAPA Nationals VII Exciting Video

Wow, what a powerful video highlighting the excitement and the fun of pickleball;what a sport! One usually doesn’t see this much engagement by players and spectators alike at a sporting event. The video exudes the excitement and pace of the 2015 Pickleball Nationals VII.

  • 32 Pickleball Courts
  • 38 States
  • 3 Provinces
  • 764 Players
  • 2,038 Matches

From the YouTube posting:

Published on Dec 10, 2015

“The USAPA Nationals VII was a powerhouse of pickleball! The action and agility on the courts was amazing. You won’t believe all the cool shots from multiple matches that Pickleball Channel was able to capture! Check out this footage of some of the greatest moments in the tournament including aerial shots and super slow mo. If you were at Nationals this year, you just might see yourself on the court!”