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Elevate your game with a Dinkville Instructor
Looking to take your game to the next level? Reach out to our Dinkville Preferred Instructors who would love to work with you! Use Key Word: DinkvilleDiscount to get a special rate! Click here to see our instructors
Last Weekend of Fall Leagues
Fall leagues are coming to an end this weekend so make sure to connect with your opponents to get your matches in. If you can't get all your matches in by the deadline, still schedule them and send them to me to record. Appreciate all of you coordinating with each other to make these leagues happen!
100+ Teams Compete at Rachel's Garden Charity Pickleball Tournament
What a fun weekend at Peay Park in Goodlettsville, TN for Dinkville's Rachel's Garden Charity Pickleball Tournament. We saw over 300+ people over the weekend come out to play and support for this wonderful charity. With multiple Food Trucks, Free T-Shirts, and Selkirk Prize Give-A-Ways, Everyone had a wonderful time! Dinkville was able to raise $7,500 for Rachel's Garden Playground which should be built in 2024 at Peay Park. For more information on Rachel's Garden, click here.
Up Your Game Sponsored By Selkirk
How to hit the best pickleball returns of serves — Tips from pro Catherine Parenteau on Selkirk TV
In a new 7-part series on Selkirk TV, Catherine Parenteau is breaking down the elements of a successful singles game. In Episode 6, Catherine teaches players how to hit winning returns that challenge their opponents.
Strategies for pickleball returns
As a general rule, you want to hit your return as deep to the baseline as possible. This will put you in a position to make a great following shot that allows you to move forward to the kitchen line.
The easiest way to get to the kitchen line quickly is to hit your return to the opposite side of the court from where your opponent is serving. Doing this makes your opponent run the full width of the court, causing them to scramble from the start of the point.
While it can be an effective strategy to hit this type of return often, make sure to switch up your returns every once in a while to keep your opponents on their toes.
If you notice they’ve picked up on your strategy and have started cheating to the opposite side of the court after their serve, it’s time to try a different return. Rather than hitting your return to the opposite side of the court, wait until your opponent starts cheating to the opposite side, and instead hit a return down the line behind them. If you’re successful, they will likely quit cheating to one side or the other after their serve.
It’s also important to position yourself in a spot to receive your preferred shot. For example, if you are right-handed and prefer to hit a forehand, cheat to the left side of the court so that you have more space to hit a forehand.
It’s inevitable that your opponent will hit a serve that you weren’t prepared for. When you’re scrambling to return a serve, remember: You can never go wrong with the middle.
Aim to hit the ball as deep as you can in the middle of the court. Then, reestablish your footwork to hit your next ball in a place that allows you to move to the kitchen line.
Drills to improve your return of serve
Now that you have a basic understanding of return strategies for singles, it’s time to work on the skills involved.
Return to the middle
Have your partner serve balls at you at varying speeds and locations on the court. No matter whether you’re hitting forehand or backhand — or are steady or off-balance — hit your return as deep to the baseline in the middle of the court as possible.
Move the server
Have your partner serve the ball to you and practice hitting a return that is on the opposite side of the court from where they served. This will get your opponent moving from the very first shot of the rally.
Once you feel comfortable hitting cross-court, practice hitting some shots at the exact spot your partner served from. This will help you switch up your shot selection when your opponent thinks they have your cross-court strategy figured out. As they cheat over after their serve, you can hit your return back behind them.
Now that you’ve practiced hitting returns to various spots on the court, it’s time to practice getting to the net. Have your drilling partner serve the ball and hit a return to any spot of the court you choose.
When your opponent (or in this case, your drilling partner) is scrambling, start moving toward the net. As soon as you see them start their motion to hit the ball, perform a split step and prepare to receive the shot.
A split step is a small jump with both feet that gets your hips square to the net. This gets your body centered to react to the shot coming toward you properly. After you split step, you’re better positioned to move laterally across the court.
You do not have to get to the net after your first return shot. Just like in doubles, you can gradually work your way to the net. You will likely stay back to hit a shot that is deep and low. Wait for a shot that is shorter and/or higher to start your approach to the net.
Keep up with previous episodes
Follow the 7-video installment to learn everything you need to know to dominate the singles game. Check out the previous episodes below:
- Episode 1: When to use your two-handed backhand
- Episode 2: Unlocking winning groundstrokes
- Episode 3: How to target your opponent’s weaknesses
- Episode 4: How to warm up for a singles match
- Episode 5: Best serving strategies
Download the Selkirk TV app HERE to watch the complete episode and many other Selkirk TV original shows, podcasts, lesson series from the pros, and much more.
Get to know Dinkville Member Andrew Young
Who are you? Moved to Nashville in November 2022. Account rep for a software company in the healthcare realm.
When did you start playing? 2003. We played in high school. I played on and off since.
When did you join Dinkville? August 2023
Why do you love Pickleball? Ping pong with cardio
What is your favorite shot? I like to loft it over the charging opponent.
What is your goals this year? Lose a lot of weight. I injured my back badly 6 years ago and packed on so e pounds.
Advice for new players? Do not take anyone lightly despite your first impressions. This game will humble you.
Today In Pickleball
Pickleball Misses the Olympic Boat
It absolutely astounds me that flag football is on the list of sports in consideration for the 2028 Olympics – but not pickleball.
No offense to anyone who takes that sport seriously…but up until now, I had no idea it was played outside of middle school gym class.
Five sports have been proposed by the LA28 Organizing Committee for inclusion at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 2028, pending approval from the International Olympic Committee…and somehow, none of them are pickleball.
Instead, they are:
- Squash (Olympic debut)
- Flag football (Olympic debut)
I don’t want to harp on it, but…one of those things is not like the others.
Baseball? International appeal outside its home country, especially Japan and the Caribbean. Check.
Cricket? Already appeared in the Olympics once in 1900 but somehow wasn’t included again, despite earning over 2.5 billion spectators worldwide in recent years. Check.
Lacrosse? One of the oldest team sports still widely played, dating back to the year 1100. Check.
Squash? It’s a wonder Squash was never included in the Olympic catalog before. Over 20 million enthusiasts play regularly in over 185 countries.
But Flag Football…who’d have thought it?
We did some digging and as it turns out, lots of people take Flag Football very seriously. In over 70 countries, Flag is expected to overtake tackle football worldwide this year in terms of organized participation opportunities.
I suppose this means a bitter “Congratulations!” is in order. Fine. Well done, Flag (if it’s approved).
But 2032? We’re coming for you.
The MLP Shuffle Before Dallas
Between each MLP event, Challenger Level teams have the opportunity to adjust their roster in the Shuffle Draft. Teams are able to draft from a pool of available players. The draft order is based on the teams’ rankings.
After MLP Atlanta, five teams decided to change course. The LA Mad Drops led the way with a complete overhaul.
- LA Mad Drops: Selected Allison Harris and Andreas Sjilestrom and placed Olivia McMillan and Jordan Kinney on waivers
- LA Mad Drops picked up Cierra Gaytan-Leach as a substitute for Brooke Buckner, who will miss event two of Season 2
Below are four other teams who elected to shuffle the deck:
- Milwaukee Mashers: Selected Callan Dawson and Riley Bohnert and placed Pesa Teoni and Christa Gecheva on waivers
- Florida Smash: Selected Mariana Humberg and placed Dominique Schaefer on waivers
- New York Hustlers: Selected Kelsey Grambeau and placed Sarah Ansboury on waivers
- California BLQK Bears: Selected Erik Pailet and placed Marshall Brown on waivers
Learn more about the new additions to the league here.
A Look at the Weekend Doubleheader
PPA Championships in Las Vegas, NV
In Vegas the house as always wins, and in pickleball, the same holds true for Ben Johns and Anna Leigh Waters. Things may have felt unusual entering the weekend, but the results turned out exactly as expected.
It was another double-triple weekend for the game's top players. ALW and Catherine Parenteau won in four games against Lucy Kovalova and Callie Smith. Then the partners faced off in one of their best singles bouts this year with ALW winning 11-4, 7-11, 11-4.
Unfortunately, James Ignatowich and Anna Bright were forced to withdraw from mixed doubles due to an ankle injury from Ignatowich. This gave Waters and Johns the title with no contest.
Johns' path to gold was just as dicey as Waters'. He ended the Cinderella run of 23-seed Aanik Lohani without much difficulty in singles but went 5 games against JW Johnson and Dylan Frazier in men's doubles.
The Johns brothers lost the first two games and this epic firefight before roaring back in game three. The match was back to the Johns’ methodical style of play in games four and five giving the brothers the win.
The PPA Tour has an extended break through October until MLP and Nationals in November. Until then, you can read more about the weekend here.
APP Dallas Open in Dallas, TX
Megan Fudge and Hunter Johnson headlined the weekend for the APP Dallas. Fudge turned in another double gold performance in women's singles and doubles.
Bobbi Oshiro and Milan Rane knocked out the top seed Parris Todd and Simone Jardim in doubles on their way to a silver medal. Their upset cleared the way for Fudge and Susannah Barr to bring home another title.
Hunter Johnson earned his gold in singles and alongside Parris Todd in mixed doubles. The pair got a big win over Andrei Daescu and Susannah Barr to reclaim the mixed doubles crown.
Daescu and Rob Nunnery teamed up for another gold in men’s doubles, this time beating Stefan Auvergne and Daniel De La Rosa.
The most impressive performance of the weekend was reserved for the men's senior division. Singles GOAT Mattias Johansson picked up a unique double gold of his own.
Johansson won gold in Vegas at the PPA Championships on Thursday, then hightailed it over to Texas where he picked up another singles gold at the Dallas Open on Sunday.
The APP has two weeks off before the Houston Open later this month.
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