Hey there Picklers! 

In this edition, we’re going to visit some pickleball basics–maybe you were taught a certain way, maybe you had lessons or just picked up the basics from other players during open play, but one thing for sure we all need to be schooled–pickleball is changing. 

It’s not your grandma’s pickleball game anymore. 

On September 7th, senior pro Scott Tingley held court on courts 5 & 6 and gave lessons. The biggest takeaway for me?

Get more aggressive and look for an opportunity to turn your defense into offense as quickly as possible. 

Debbie Dove’s was, don’t come crashing into the NVZ too quickly and don’t give your opponent a shot that your opponent could speed up. 

Michele Varian said, long low dinks for 3rd shop drop and form.

Heather Fisher’s biggest thing was to slam the ball whenever given that opportunity–as well as fix her backhand return from the kitchen. 

All of this might seem logical, right? But according to Tingley, it’s all much more important than ever. 

Pickleball has gotten faster, more strategic and (dare I say?) more exciting. 

Just watch a match with Anna Leigh Waters or Ben Johns–this is the new pickleball and it’s not going anywhere soon. 

We’re also getting a little more social! Were you there for the ladies mixer held on Saturday, September 9th? A great bunch of lady picklers, some terrific games, a few snacks and Jeff Gregg showed up with the margarita machine, dang they were good!

Speaking of socials, mark your calendar for our next one–Wednesday, October 18th at 4 PM at the courts! I’m thinking it might be a bit “spooky”. 😉 

Don’t forget, the ladies round robin is every Monday at 2 PM led by Dawn Kuhn. Dawn would love more ladies for the round robin–if you know how to keep score and have a good grasp on the game, sign up on SignUpGenius! Don’t be intimidated, just come play pickleball with your new besties!

AND, it’s nearly tournament time–if you haven’t submitted your registration, you have just a few days left (September 15th) to get ‘er done! Here’s the link to register: https://tinyurl.com/CFPickleballClub

So let’s dig into the new basics–it’s back to school time!

Your editor,

Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the nation for the 5th year in a row. With 48.3 million adults playing (that’s 19% of the adult population, y’all!), it’s no wonder it’s tough to get a court!

As popular as it might be, most of us just want to get better and that’s why it’s crucial for newbies and seasoned players to acquaint themselves with the evolving dynamics of the game. 

Today, we’re going to delve into pickleball basics, touching on how old school techniques have been reshaped and the core strategies that stand the test of time. 

Let’s serve it up, 0-0-2!

The Evolution from Old School Pickleball

In its fledgling stages, pickleball was a game grounded in patience and meticulous strategy. 

Old-school players leaned heavily on cautious play, utilizing soft shots and calculated movements to maneuver their opponents into precarious positions. The game was more about consistency, less about power and speed. 

However, as the sport matures, a fusion of agility, power, and precision has become the mainstay of modern pickleball strategies, giving the game a more dynamic and exhilarating edge.

3rd Shot Drops: A Transformation

One of the most apparent transitions in modern pickleball is the alteration in the execution and strategy surrounding the third-shot drop. 

Traditionally, the third-shot drop was a delicate shot, aimed to land softly in the opponents’ non-volley zone, buying time to approach the net and establish a favorable position.

Today, the third shot isn’t merely an arced, gentle drop; it’s evolved into a dynamic shot and is served up low according to Scott Tingley–and it might not even be the third shot, maybe it’s the fifth? 

Players have become more creative, sometimes opting to drive the ball hard and low, aiming to catch their opponents off guard. The third-shot drop has morphed from a defensive play into an opportunity to seize offensive control.

The Art of Dinking

Dinking still stands as a critical tactic in pickleball — a soft shot, typically executed with a gentle paddle stroke (let your shoulder to do the movement), that sends the ball just over the net into the non-volley zone of the opponent. The objective of dinking of course, is to keep the ball low, forcing the opponent to hit upwards, and eventually eliciting a mistake or setting up an opportunity for a winning shot.

Understanding and mastering the strategy of dinking can be a game-changer. And if you played for any period of time, you know how deceptively easy dinking looks and how much harder it is to execute when in the heat of a match. 

It’s not merely about hitting soft shots; it is a strategic maneuver requiring vision, anticipation, and soft hands to direct the ball strategically while anticipating the opponent’s next move. 

The very essence of dinking is about control, not power, creating a delicate dance between opponents, a battle of wits and skills at the net. Its softness and its precision is one of the best strategies a player can have in his or her skill stack.

In Conclusion…

As pickleball continues to evolve, so do its strategies and techniques. While the heart of pickleball remains the same—a game of skill, strategy, and fun, its tactics are ever-evolving, making it a continually fresh and exciting game to play and watch.

From the transformative approaches to third-shot drops to the fine art of dinking, pickleball is a game that encourages creativity, precision, and strategy. 

If you feel your game could use a bit of refreshing, talk to Deb Richter about a lesson! We are fortunate to have a seasoned, certified instructor right here at our home courts. Reach out to her via email sacredspace2003@yahoo.com 

The Ladies Mixer

And a good time was had by all! 

We’d like to give a big thanks to Jeff Gregg for coming out and mixing up the best strawberry margarita a girl could ask for! And thanks to Debbie Dove and Karen Wolf for organizing. 

Here are some pictures from the mixer–we’re hoping to do this a little more regularly, what do you think? Feel free to send feedback to me at my email, lulucooks@gmail.com



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Tournament Registration Ends

The Tournament Is Almost Here!

Some brackets are closing and the clock is ticking! Are you ready to represent? Get your registration handled NOW–time is of the essence! 


That’s it for this edition–see you next month! 

Pickle ON!

Connestee Falls Pickleball Club

Let’s Play!