Dinkville Teams Up with the Nashville Predators for Pickleball Night at Bridgestone Arena

Dinkville Teams Up with the Nashville Predators for Pickleball Night at Bridgestone Arena

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Dinkville Partnered with the Nashville Predators for Pickleball Night on Sunday Nov. 26th

What a fun night at Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville, TN to support the Nashville Predators Pickleball Night on Sunday November 26th. Dinkville had a booth setup with Selkirk Paddles and Balls for people to hit and chat Pickleball! Had over 100+ new sign ups to Dinkville which is incredible!!! So be one the look out for any new players out on the courts!

Had a lot of great conversations and will have some cool things coming for everyone Spring of 2024! More details coming soon so Giddy Up!

Today In Pickleball Brought To You By The Dink

Up Your Game

Not Quite a Drive and Not Quite a Drop

John Isner holds the record for the fastest serve in pro tennis at 152.7 mph. When yielded by his 6'10 frame, the racquet (or paddle) could be considered a deadly weapon.

You might think all of that power would translate to his pickleball game, but not so much. At the PPA Team Championships in Las Vegas, Isner relied less on his power and more on a seemingly proprietary drive-drop combo.

With a check swing, Isner would ‘push’ the ball just over the net, allowing it to drop right at his opponent’s feet. It’s not quite a drive, and it’s not quite a drop. It’s somewhere in between.

We've all heard the third shot drop advice: "It's like underhand tossing a ball into the kitchen" yadda yadda. Isner’s stroke resembled more of a shovel motion, giving the ball the perfect trajectory. 

Check it out here and try it out for yourself:

Focus on that swing path. Isner adds enough slice to make it challenging to return. He then finishes with his paddle out in front instead of over his shoulder.

Remember: with thirds, consistency is key. Top pros land thirds in > 90% of the time; amateurs, not so much.

Stop driving ambitiously into the net. Play a well-placed, consistent ball like Isner does here.

Salary Cuts for PPA, MLP Pros

After Jill Braverman’s puzzling tweet yesterday, we knew something was about to happen.

So we spoke to a number of key figures, and eventually came into possession of an email from MLP to its roster of talent and some information from PPA’s side.

Here’s what we found out:

  • PPA & MLP are requesting that players consent to compensation reductions (it turns out $15m per year in salaries isn't exactly sustainable for either organization)
  • Ben Johns & Anna Leigh Waters have both agreed to six-figure pay cuts, and other PPA-contracted pros have agreed to lesser pay cuts
  • The proposed MLP pay reduction is 40% and will reduce work obligations proportionally. Current MLP contracts stipulate 200 days of work (ex. player salary is $100k, new salary would be $60k with 120 work days).
  • MLP players who consent to the pay reduction will be guaranteed 10 "slots" in PPA events
  • MLP players who don't consent will not be allowed to participate in PPA events and will instead be placed in a 'development program', which consists of clinics, camp and appearance requirements that will count toward their work day obligations (no competition outside of MLP events)
  • MLP has parted ways with Commissioner Brooks Wiley

There’s a lot to unpack there, and we’ve done so in our full blog. But none of this is ultimately that surprising (except Brooks’ departure from MLP).

Zane Navratil & Thomas Shields of the PicklePod frequently speculated (49:00) that both the PPA & MLP would ultimately seek to renegotiate player salaries heading into the new year.

It doesn't take a financial guru to recognize that allocating $15 million per year for extremely inflated, well above-market salaries isn't the most fiscally conservative strategy for a startup.

Theoretically, this move paves the way for a more sustainable model and makes the organizations less reliant on raising more capital.

The Real Housewives Try Pickleball

Pickleball is on reality television once again — this time, on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Potomac.

Shelby Bates & Amanda Hendry of the DC Pickleball Team coached the first-timer pickleball players during the minute-and-a-half segment in the show’s most recent episode.

The team at Dill Dinkers, the pickleball facility turned TV set, says they were surprised when Bravo reached out.

“While reality TV wasn't on our brand's radar, our vision is to spread the joy of pickleball nationwide, and TV is a great way to get the word out,” VP of marketing Erika Spalding says.

“It's clear from the episode that the Housewives threw themselves into the sport. And, despite the drama, everyone had fun playing.”

In case you’re wondering how the cast of characters did on the court: let’s just say there’s room for improvement.

The Final Countdown

The APP Tour wraps up its year this week in Chicago: the U.S. Indoor Championships mark the end of the 2023 season.

Andrei Daescu looks to cap a historic season with two more gold medals, assisted by partners Rob Nunnery and Susannah Barr. The big man then has a quick turnaround to compete in the MLP Playoffs in California on Monday morning.

The women's singles field is lighter than usual as some players have already gone into offseason mode. Barring any upsets, Dominique Schaefer should have a smooth road to gold.

This is also the last chance for some players to state their case for the 2024 MLP draft. A strong performance to end the year could go a long way toward improving their draft position for next year.

Tune into the Indoor Championships starting Saturday at 1pm ET.

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Landon Hallam

Dinkville President

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