Pickle and the GOAT

Pickle and the GOAT
Picture of the Week: Dinkville members James Blasingame and Haley Rhoads meet up to drill in East Nash from communicating in the Dinkville Discord.

Dinkville's Fall Leagues Begin

Dinkville's Fall League has begun and members are starting to coordinate their matches all around Nashville.  There are 18 different leagues this season to make sure all levels, locations, and type of play is met for all members.  THANK YOU everyone for your support and feedback on League Play!  See below some pictures from Week 1.

Women's Team Doubles League Patty Harman, Sherry Hipps vs Kelly McDonnell, Beth Herbers
Women's Team Doubles League: From Left to right, Catherine Morahan, Wren Franklin, Robin Shackleford, and Brannon Penrod.
Men's Singles League; Case Miller and Robbie Melton battling for victory!


Help bring awareness and the demand for Pickleball courts and upgraded tennis courts for Nashville.  Michael Poindexter, Nashville Pickleball Facebook Group Organizer, needs everyone's help and support to get the Parks Department to take action for Pickleball.  Please send an email to john.holmes@nashville.gov and Dillon.Hoyt@nashville.gov and let them know what you want for your local community.

Tom Brady Buys Major League Pickleball Team

MVP and 7x Super Bowl Tom Brady 

Tom Brady, also known as the Greatest of All Time (GOAT), has bought a Major League Pickleball Team.  He now joins Lebron James and Kevin Durant of some of the Professional Athletes investing into Pickleball.  Click link here to read article.

Get to know Dinkville Member Alex Tran

Who are you?  My name is Alex Tran and have been in Nashville for ten years this fall. I played four years of tennis in high school and then very sporadically as an adult. Before discovering pickleball, running was my primary fitness hobby. I had a bucket list goal of running all six World Major Marathons but now need a pickleball equivalent.

When did you start playing pickleball? June 13, 2021 was the date that launched my pickleball career (i.e. obsession). That was when I played at a Chicken N Pickle in Oklahoma City with some coworkers and got hooked. But I technically played pickleball for the first time in high school PE.

Why do you love pickleball? It's a combination of things. I love how much nuance and strategy there is to the game. It looks like checkers but plays like chess. It's a very social, welcoming sport with a low barrier to entry. Regardless of age or skill, a fun time is almost always guaranteed. I can't think of many other sports that have that characteristic.

What’s your favorite shot in pickleball? I'm starting to get a reputation for my sharp, cross-court forehand dinks. There is something oddly satisfying about hitting a clean winner on a slow dink as opposed to a fast speed-up or drive. 🤣

What’s your goals this year in pickleball? Add another layer to my game. Take my patient, dink-first style of play and introduce a more aggressive mindset. Get better at attacking more balls instead of just dinking or resetting them back.

What’s your advice to new players? Figure out what you love about the game and find people that feel the same. Basically, find a community of like-minded players (Dinkville is a great vehicle for that!). If you're in it for fun and exercise, find those people. If you care about strategy and rapid improvement, find people that like drilling. If you love testing your might, find tournament players.

Nashville Tournament October 28th-29th

505 Tournament October 28th-29th Nashville, TN

505 is hosting a Pickleball Tournament on October 28th-29th.  Please complete this quick survey by next Wednesday, October 26, to confirm your spot for the tournament.After we have everyone confirmed, 505 will send out a follow-up email with all of the details you will need prior to the event. Confirm your spot here

Also, Halloween costumes are encouraged but not necessary on Saturday, October 29. We will have prizes for the best costume and the winners of both the upper and lower brackets.  Can’t wait to see you all there. Details to come early next week in a separate email.  Contact Sheridan Foody for any questions regarding the tournament.  sheridanfoody@gmail.com

Up Your Game Brought to you by The Dink:       RIP Dead Dinks

Dead dinks no longer have a place in pickleball. A dink that bounces high and has no spin is called a dead dink. It's dead because it has no life, no action. It's like offering your opponent a gift-wrapped, silver-plattered bodybag. And guess who's going in that bodybag?

Ok, this section is getting a bit morbid, but hey, it's almost Halloween.

Eliminate the dead dink from your game. We repeat, if you are dinking without intention or simply to 'get it back over the net', then you are doing yourself a great disservice. And, news flash, your opponents love playing against you. Instead, dink with intention.

There are 81 different dink combinations at your disposal if you vary:

  • Spin (flat, backspin, topspin)
  • Speed (slow, medium fast)
  • Depth (shallow, medium, deep)
  • Placement (straight ahead, middle, cross-court)

Sometimes it's easier said than done, particularly in the heat of the moment, but here's an easy go-to that will help you avoid that dreaded dead dink: the push dink.

The push dink is a safe, but aggressive dink that will place some pressure on your opponent. The objective is to minimize the risk of error while also upping the ante with increased pace and depth.

Tyson Push Dink

To learn the push dink, Tyson McGuffin recommends a drop-and-hit drill with a ball in your armpit. Yes, your armpit. Holding the ball against your body forces you to keep your form compact, use your hips, and follow through from 3 o’clock to 9 o’clock.

Drill instructions:

  • Place a ball under the armpit of your paddle-arm
  • Drop another ball in front of you with your offhand
  • When it reaches its apex, perform a push-dink, focusing on “pushing” the ball toward that pressurized spot at the rear of your opponent’s kitchen line
  • Keep your form tight, focus on using your hips to help push
  • Repeat 10 times, then switch sides to backhand

Use the push dink as your default, and once you're in the groove, step it up with some variation in spin, speed, depth and placement. You’ll know you’re doing your job well if your opponent starts to pop the ball up out of indecision.

Watch the demonstration here.

Today in Pickleball Brought to you by The Dink

There's Nothing Else Like It

Major League Pickleball capped off its 2022 season with the championship match in Columbus Sunday night. BLQK faced off against the underdog Hard Eights for $100k and a chance to hoist the Pritchard Cup.

The Hard Eights went on a heater after a near elimination in the quarterfinals. They beat Florida Smash and the defending champ Ranchers to advance to the final, but their luck ran out in the championship as they succumbed to the talent and experience of MLP's first dynasty, BLQK.

BLQK has won three of the four MLP events and Irina Tereschenko has led the team for each title run. Rafa Hewett and Zane Navratil exhibit the right balance of enthusiasm and strategy to make a run through the MLP gauntlet. The MVP award went to Parris Todd who won nine out of her ten games on the weekend and finished with the best point differential in the field.

  • The weekend saw the invention of a new shot, the Mary-go-Round, Mary Brascia's around-the-head block volley that took over social media
  • Eight Dreambreakers (the singles showdown used to decide stalemates) were played over the weekend, including two in the quarterfinals
  • The Mayor of Columbus popped in to see what the MLP hype was all about.

This event was the last of the MLP original format. Starting in 2023 the teams will be redrafted, four new teams will be added and the new format will go into effect. More big news is coming.

PS...for those also stumbling through every pronunciation of 'BLQK', it's a coffee brand and can be pronounced as "black."

Pickleball’s Growth in 5 Stats

CNBC recently dropped a video explaining pickleball’s success to the uninitiated, and as you might expect, their main points were that the sport is accessible, affordable, and has a fairly low learning curve - preaching to the choir. But the video also included some fascinating statistics.

Let’s recap some more impressive figures here:

  • 40 million – number of predicted pickleball players by 2030
  • +11.5% – average annual growth of players over the last five years (tennis grew by +4.2%, badminton actually went down by -3.7%; ping pong is down by -1.2%)
  • 45.1% – of pickleball players make over $100,000 in annual income; 37.9% make between $25,000 and $74,999
  • $256.2 million – predicted value of the pickleball paddle market by 2028; it was $152.8 million at the end of 2021
  • 70 – number of countries pickleball is currently played in (to qualify as an Olympic sport, it needs to be played in at least 75 countries)

Round'em Up

The stars of the PPA Tour shined bright in Frisco, TX over the weekend in the doubles-only event that was preceded by a celebrity athlete pro-am featuring Jordan Spieth, Dirk Nowitzki, John Isner, Scottie Scheffler and Tony Romo in the booth.

Inclement weather turned Championship Sunday into Championship Saturday and the mixed doubles final was not finished until after dark. Notable absences included Anna Leigh Waters and Ben Johns.

Riley Newman ended the weekend with two gold medals. He and Catherine Parenteau won a fiery duel against Jessie Irvine and Jay Devilliers.

Newman racked up his second gold medal with partner Brandon French in men's doubles. The pair went undefeated in their journey to gold and were gifted a victory via withdraw from Tyson McGuffin and Devilliers in the final match.

Wait, who is Brandon French? He's a 31 year-old Dallas attorney that rarely competes in sanctioned events. French is one of those guys that all the pros know; they've played him in rec, and he has a reputation. Described as a raw talent with a knack for upsetting some of the game's elite, French has been touted as the best player nobody knows about...until now.

Round-robin pool play established seeding for the single-loss elimination brackets for each event. Jessie Irvine and Lea Jansen went undefeated in pool play and continued the run straight to a gold medal. They faced Jansen's usual partner, Parenteau, and Meghan Dizon in the finals.

No time off for the PPA Tour, they are back on the grind in the nation's capital for the n2grate DC Open this week.

Major League Pickleball - Columbus

From left to right, teammates Zane Navratil, Parris Todd, Rafa Hewett and Irina Tereschenko celebrate their 2nd 2022 MLP Championship in Columbus, Ohio.

PPA Round-Up Results

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Landon Hallam, Dinkville Commissioner, Landon@dinkville.com

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