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5 Ways To Keep Your Opponents Guessing In Pickleball

5 Ways To Keep Your Opponents Guessing In Pickleball

The most reliable way to win at pickleball is to minimize errors and play in a consistent manner. Let’s say you’ve developed a solid level of skill, though. What can you do to take your game to the next level?

There are a few ways you can surprise players on the court while reducing opportunities for them to counter your plays. Take a look at some of the tips below to keep other players on their feet and have them asking for your secrets!

1. Spin

One of the clearest differences between a newbie and an advanced player is their ability to put spin on the ball. With proper technique you can bewilder other players as your volleys cause the ball to change direction after a bounce or even mid-air. Proper topspin also allows you to keep the ball low.

Using spin forces your opponents to pay attention to how you’re hitting the ball, rather than simply watching the ball itself.

2. Focus On Soft Shots

Some players constantly “slam” the ball, hoping to eventually overpower their opponents. This might work well against beginners, but there’s a reason 90% of the shots pros make are dinks. Power players are easily countered with well-placed volleys or soft dinks.

Patience is a virtue while dinking, as you need to maneuver your opponents until you can create the opportunity for a more offensive shot. Of course, many players make mistakes on their own when forced to dink for extended periods of time, so this can be turned to your advantage.

3. Use Lobs Strategically

You rarely see lobs at higher levels of play, but they do have their place. You can shake people up by suddenly sending them a lob after you’ve been dinking back and forth. If you need extra time to recover from a short ball, using a lob can also give you the time you need to reposition.

Lastly, if your opponents have gotten into the rhythm of running up to the NVZ after the return of serve, you can shoot them a surprise lob to send them scurrying back to the base line and give your team the advantage.

4. Hit Between Your Opponents

Some players say, “The middle is your friend.” If you can consistently send the ball between your opponents (usually the center line of the court), they may clash paddles or get confused regarding who should hit the ball.

If the other team is particularly coordinated and they are able to return the ball, then the good thing is that you’ve still opened up their coverage of the sidelines for more chance of a winning shot.

5. Vary Pace And Placement

This tip has been hinted at in the all the others, and is the best way to outmaneuver other players: keep them guessing. If your opponent has gotten used to you putting spin on the ball, start hitting direct shots. If they’re ready to dink, send them a lob. If you’ve been dinking to counter slams, send a volley whizzing past their feet.

Adjusting your technique to your opponent’s style of play will always ensure you have the edge and can turn a game around.

As you continue to improve your game this year, we wish you luck finding ways to outplay and outwit other players!

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Learning the basics of pickleball

Learning the basics of pickleball
Certainly! In this article, we'll cover three effective ways to learn how to dink in pickleball, with a focus on technique, equipment, and drills. We'll also explore how our unique hemp carbonlite paddles can help you improve your dinking game and introduce you to our resident pickleball expert, Amy.

When it comes to mastering the dink shot, technique is key. Here are some tips to help you improve your technique:
Positioning: The first step to mastering the dink shot is to position yourself correctly on the court. When dinking, you want to be standing outside the kitchen, or non-volley, zone. This is the area of the court that is closest to the net, and it's where most dinking takes place. Once you're on the kitchen line, get into the ready position by bending your knees slightly, positioning your feet shoulder-width apart, and holding your paddle with a loose grip.
Contact point: Aim to make contact with the ball at the same height as your wrist. Use your shoulder as a pivot point to contact the ball and to flick the paddle and create a gentle, soft shot that lands in the opponent's kitchen. It's important to keep your shot low and controlled, without hitting it too hard or too high.
Follow through: After making contact with the ball, follow through with your paddle, extending your arm and wrist. This will help create a smooth and consistent shot.

Using the right equipment can make a big difference in your dinking game. Our hemp carbonlite paddles are designed to provide the perfect balance of power and control, making it easier to execute the dink shot. Here's how:
Lightweight: Our hemp carbonlite paddles are incredibly lightweight, making it easy to control your shots and create the precision you need for effective dinking. The lightweight design also reduces fatigue, allowing you to play longer and improve your overall game.
Comfortable grip: Our paddles feature a comfortable grip that allows for better control and a more natural feel. The grip is also designed to reduce vibration, which can help reduce the risk of injury and improve your overall performance.
Durable: Our paddles are made from high-quality materials that are designed to withstand the rigors of intense gameplay. The carbon fiber and hemp construction provides a perfect balance of durability and performance, ensuring that your paddle will last for years to come.

Incorporating drills into your practice routine can be an effective way to improve your dinking skills. Here are a few drills to try:
Two-on-one drill: In this drill, two players work together to try to keep the ball away from a third player who is positioned in the kitchen. This forces the two players to use dinks and other soft shots to keep the ball in play and avoid giving the third player an opportunity to attack.
Drop shot drill: In this drill, players take turns hitting soft shots to a designated area on the court. This helps develop control and precision when dinking.
Third-shot drop drill: This drill involves hitting a soft, controlled shot to the opponent's kitchen after the third shot of the game. The objective of the drill is to practice placing the ball in the kitchen with a soft shot, which is essential for effective dinking.

Amy Brown - Our Pro Pickleball Expert
Meet Amy, our resident pro pickleball expert. With years of experience playing and coaching pickleball, Amy has the knowledge and expertise to help you improve your game. Here are some tips from Amy on how to improve your dinking skills:
Practice, practice, practice: Dinking is all about consistency and control, and the only way to improve is through practice. Set aside time each week to work on your dinking skills, and use the for 15 minutes each day to go to the next level in your game. Continue reading

2023 USA Pickleball Tournament Schedule

2023 USA Pickleball Tournament Schedule

The 2023 APP NYC Open is the headline event of the 2023 APP Tour.
Taking place at the iconic Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City, NYC from May 23 – 28, the event will feature over 1,400 professional and amateur pickleball players, competing in one of the world’s greatest sporting venues.
Demand for the event has been higher than ever, but registration is still open, so to book your place at this incredible event, go to right now.

2023 USA Pickleball Tournament Schedule
**In addition to this list, CLICK HERE to see the full list of USA Pickleball Sanctioned Tournaments**

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Take it from the No. 1 player in the world.

Take it from the No. 1 player in the world.
But just last month, the APP said that 36.5 million adults played the fastest-growing sport in 2022.
So what is it… 361616.5M or 45M?
No matter what the actual answer is — we believe that both are low.
Because pickleball is awesome! Don’t believe us?
A weekly thought from pickleball’s GOAT Ben Johns Hey what’s up Pickleball Clinic Newsletter readers! This is Ben’s Bulletin where I’ll be sharing my thoughts, answering questions, and talking about all things pickleball in every newsletter!
For my first-ever bulletin, I wanted to talk about why I love pickleball:
1. It’s the most strategic sport I’ve played
2. It’s a combination of a lot of other sports I enjoy including tennis & table tennis.
3. It has unmatched variety in so many ways. Player styles, doubles vs singles or mixed doubles, metagame game style changes, people, and more always keep the game interesting.
4. In a lot of ways, pickleball is what I call an “unsolved sport” in that we’re all figuring out and developing ways to get better without previous players and coaches to guide us through it like most other sports. That unsolved nature makes it very exploratory and experimental.
See you all for my next bulletin!
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Key Pickleball Stats For 2023

Key Pickleball Stats For 2023
Pickleball is a sport that has seen a surge in popularity in recent years, and as such, the need for statistical analysis has become more pressing. In 2023, the sport has continued to grow, and the availability of technology has made it easier to track and analyze pickleball stats.
Pickleball is growing WAY faster than even the media is portraying.
What are we talking about?
On Monday, Morning Consult came out with data that said 15% of adults in the US (45 million people) have played pickleball at least once.
Overall, the availability of pickleball stats in 2023 allows players, coaches, and fans to better understand the sport and make informed decisions. As the sport continues to grow and evolve, so too will the importance of statistical analysis in helping players reach their full potential.
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