Should You Want to Win in Rec Play?

Recreational play means a variety of things to picklers depending on who you ask. Almost everyone would prefer to win even in rec games, but individual goals range from simply wanting to have fun, improving one’s skills, enjoy some exercise or taking an opportunity to review habits.

Are any of these aims more legitimate than the others? We personally don’t believe so – everyone has unique reasons for playing pickleball, and so long as your focus is making you happy and fulfilled, that’s all that matters. Of course, when your goals come into conflict with those of a partner or opponent, that can make things more complicated.

Pickler taking a swing

(Credit: Darryl Kenyon)

It’s generally for the best if you find a doubles partner with a similar mindset so you don’t get frustrated with one another outside of competitions. If your partner just wants to “zone out” and hit some balls without really focusing on bettering their skills while you want to talk strategy and adapt to the other team in the midst of things, it will be more difficult for everyone to leave the court saying they had a good time.

Beyond making sure you’ve found someone on the same page, the fact remains that you can only control your own mindset and feelings. If another player is joking around and only playing at 50% of their ability while you’d prefer they put in max effort, a competitive league might be a better fit. Or you could always focus on being consistent, perfecting your own shots and looking at the game as a sort of extended drill rather than a chance to prove your abilities.

Winning is almost always fun in rec play – but it can be important to look behind everything that went into a win and decide if it was really worth it. Did you have fun throughout the game, or were you stressing the whole time? Did you pay attention to your decision making, work on getting better and remain considerate of your partner’s well being?

Sometimes winning isn’t worth the sacrifice if it means everyone leaves frustrated due to poor sportsmanship, but perhaps you’ve been taking it easy and want to focus on more opportunities to improve. Whatever your goal, keep it at the forefront of your mind during rec play and you’ll be sure to get more out of every game.

What sort of outlook do you have when playing rec games? Is winning your top priority or something else?

Three Fans Pitch Pickleball and Win Support for Local Courts

Here’s a unique and interesting way several individuals have gained support for pickleball: The art of the pitch!

In this case we don’t mean a “pitch” as in baseball but through public speaking. In an event called the Vesuvius Coworking Pitch Night Competition, Robin Able, Cheryl McKinney and Jessica Jones won over $4,000 which will be used to bring pickleball to Madison County.

Vesuvius Coworking was started two years ago by Shane Bivens as a program to “encourage and financially support the work of Central Indiana inventors, creatives and idealists.”

Vesuvius

This year the applicants were asked to focus on community engagement and ideas that would create positive impact among many people with only a few thousand dollars.

Bivens stated that, “We started this as part our programming to allow entrepreneurs a stage for the community to see we have a lot of amazing things going on here that no one knows about.”

Six finalists were asked to present their ideas out of 20 original applicants last Friday, all selected by a group of entrepreneurs and business experts.

It’s no surprise to us that the panel found pickleball to be a wise investment for the community’s happiness and sense of unity. Congratulations to these brave pickleball advocates!

“We want a large enough facility that we can offer clinics and have space for lots of courts, and then outdoors, weather providing. We’ve been playing for a year, for free already, and we want to pass that opportunity on not just for learning the sport and the health benefits, but for the community it has provided for us,” says Able.

You can view the contestants’ winning presentation below starting at 44:43.

 

Previous winners have used their winnings to open a restaurant offering whole foods and a Fit2Fly center that uses bungee cords for low-impact exercise routines.

Have you ever had to give a presentation to support pickleball, such as at a city council meeting or contest like this? Let us know about ways you’ve found unique support for the sport!

Mumbai’s JMD Youth Club Funds 2 Courts to Expand the Game in India

Our friends at AIPA (All India Pickleball Association) got in touch to share some exciting news about the construction of two new outdoor courts within Mumbai, which has helped to drive newcomers to the game in addition to supporting pre-existing high level players.

Congratulations to the JMDYC and the Indian pickleball community on the continued growth! Chetan Sanil of AIPA’s media cell has written up a summary of the celebration that took place to commemorate the courts:

JMD Courts Front

The new JMD courts

It was a dream come true for members of Jal Mangal Deep Youth Club (JMDYC) when a glittering function was held on Valentine’s Day to celebrate the opening of two dedicated pickleball courts at the residential complex of Jal Mangal Deep Housing Society (JMDHS).

JMD Housing Society is located in the western suburbs of Mumbai at Bangur Nagar, Goregaon West. Bangur Nagar is a huge locality consisting of more than 40 residential housing societies, shops, schools, temples, church, parks and more, with a population of around 30 – 40k people. JMD holds around 500 residents itself.

They are a close-knit group of people who celebrate each festival with fun and vigor be it the Ganesh Festival, Diwali, Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s or Holi. They also organize an annual sports event called “JMD Khel Mahatsov” for their members which is spread over 45 days culminating in a prize distribution ceremony held on the Republic Day (January 26th).

JMD Courts

JMD Courts

Pickleball was introduced to members of JMDYC by Manish Rao, India’s goodwill ambassador for the game, on April 15, 2017. They started playing the game on a makeshift cemented area between two buildings with a badminton net tied at ground level. Many enjoyed the game and took to it like ducks to water. Most of the players were office goers who would play the game after work from 8 – 10 pm on a daily basis.

Seeing them play, others joined the group and slowly became addicted to the game. They started participating in tournaments in Mumbai and other locations in India. They even won several medals in those tournaments.

The pickleball community in India started to take notice of the talented players from JMDYC. At that point, the JMDYC felt they could really use a proper court to practice and play in properly. It was decided to construct two courts on the small ground in the complex. The members approached the managing committee and obtained a grant of Rs 1 lakh from them.

JMD Ribbon Cutting

The ribbon cutting

Construction of the court began, but the expenses ended up costing much more than the sanctioned amount. This did not affect the resolve of JMDYC’s members to build the court. They chipped in with their own money to generously fund the project. After much struggle, the twin courts were finally ready.

The group decided to celebrate this huge achievement by organizing an opening ceremony. They invited AIPA office bearers and members of other pickleball clubs in and around Mumbai. They chose February 14th as the day for the celebration since Valentine’s Day would help  showcase the love and passion JMDYC has for this lovely game called pickleball.

The program started with a dance seeking blessings from Lord Ganesh performed by the female members of JMDYC. The traditional lamp was lit by members of the managing committee from the housing society and one of the chief guests, Mr. M.G. Suvarna, an ex-FIFA referee. The ribbon was cut by Ashok Mohanani, President of AIPA, and Sunil Valavalkar, Founder Secretary of AIPA.

Ashok Mohanani

Ashok Mohanani

They were later congratulated by JMDYC along with the members of various pickleball clubs of Mumbai. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Mohanani congratulated JMDYC for creating the twin courts. He said he was sure that they would influence more people from the neighborhood to take up the game.

Mr. Valavalkar also congratulated JMDYC for their resolve and determination in completing the court despite the various hurdles that arose. He was very happy to see bonding within the community partly as a result of pickleball. He requested all the members to start playing the game to help them in stay fit. The new JMDYC logo was also unveiled.

The program continued with songs and dances performance by the youngsters of JMDYC and ended with a sumptuous dinner organised for the occasion.

JMDYC new logo

JMDYC’s new logo

The newly laid pickleball courts are a testimony of the vision and effort of JMDYC. Going forward, they are planning to take the game to the next level in their community and ensure more and more people are introduced to pickleball.

The Importance of Coordinating Colors for Indoor Pickleball

Playing pickleball indoors provides several benefits: You get to stay out of harsh weather, never have to worry about wind interference and enjoy bouncier pickleballs that provide extra time to respond.

Despite all these perks, there are few potential downsides that might dampen your fun when moving games indoors. Aside from making sure low ceilings won’t affect your play. the primary topic that throw picklers for a loop is color—or more specifically, its affect on visibility.

Where it’s typically easy to see balls and court markings outdoors, certain lighting can make it more difficult to see the action when you’re inside, in addition to any reflective flooring causing additional glare.

Dealing with these setbacks is a little like dealing with direct sunlight in your eyes, but instead of wearing a hat, we recommend tinted glasses to help negate these problems.

Tourna Specs

Tourna Specs in yellow

Tourna Specs come in both blue and yellow tints which can help to reduce shine and make it easier to see pickleballs in motion.

If you’re not a fan of eyewear but are still having trouble following the action, then you may want to try altering your ball color outside of the typical yellow, orange or white options. We carry several more unusual choices in our Midnight Indoor Pickleballs, including indigo, pink, black and red.

Many players tell us the red is easiest to see when playing indoors, so give them a try if the standard colors have given you trouble. They have the same gentle feel and high bounce as the popular Jugs Indoor Pickleballs, so you won’t be missing out on quality.

When dealing with court markings, many players resort to using tape when they can’t paint permanent lines, and you’ll find both yellow and orange colors on our site. But sometimes a light, bright option is the only thing that truly stands out. For that, we recommend Liquid Lines.

This unique product is a temporary paint which you can quickly lay down and then remove just as easily. The white lines simply wipe away with water after you’re finished playing.

Do you have a favorite product or color which seems to stand out against your indoor courts? Everyone’s location is different, and sometimes it can take a bit of experimentation to find the products which perfectly complement your environment.

Mother/Daughter Team Defeats Jardim/Carr at Florida Grand Slam

In an incredible match at the Florida Grand Slam, world-class players Simone Jardim (US Open Triple Crown Winner) and Corrine Carr (Jardim’s US Open partner) were defeated by Leigh Waters and her daughter, Anna Leigh Waters, who is only 12-years-old.

There is an outstanding group of young picklers flocking to the game and performing at high levels, but to see an upset like this is a reminder of pickleball’s versatile nature and the ability for anyone to be a top contender regardless of age.

Waters/Waters and Jardim/Carr at the FGS (Credit: ProPickleball)

The Waters make an incredible duo and are certainly ones to watch in this year’s tournament circuit.

For those curious about the youngest competitor: Anna Leigh has a background in tennis and was introduced to the game in 2017 after moving from Florida to Pennsylvania due to Hurricane Irma. She originally began playing with her family as a way to pass the time and have fun.

She ended up winning gold in her first tournament 2 months after starting the game and clearly hasn’t slowed down since!

You can watch the showdown in the video below. There is some stuttering but if you skip ahead a few seconds at those points you will be able to see the action again.

 

Jardim and Carr performed admirably in the close matches and are sure to come back stronger than ever the next time they get the opportunity to play against the Waters.

We love it when things get shaken up in the world of pickleball and look forward to seeing more from all of these fantastic players!

GAMMA’s Dart Hits the Mark with Its Low Cost and Precision Placement

GAMMA’s Dart Paddle has reached our shelves and with its price efficient yet high quality features it’s already winning admirers. The clean black and yellow design stands out with its sleek looks, but what does it have to offer when it comes to play?

We connected with GAMMA to better understand the Dart’s best qualities and share what makes it a great buy.

Tennis-Style Grip

GAMMA knows that many pickleball players are entering the game from other racquet sports like tennis. To try and recreate a familiar feel in their equipment, GAMMA gave the Dart’s handle angular edges and used a gel-textured grip to create traction without feeling overly sticky. It provides just enough cushioning and draws sweat away from your skin.

The result is a firm hand-paddle connection that won’t slip or waver during play. It also looks just as polished as it feels thanks to the matching bee-like colors that mirror the face.

Adaptable Weight and Texture

The GAMMA Dart is a trim 7.4 oz which lends itself to easy maneuverability and control, but it’s not so light that you can’t add power when needed. The composite face is the same used in the GAMMA Mirage and Pin paddles, which offers a light texture for added spin.

Davon Martin with the Dart

Davon Martin with the Dart

GAMMA-represented player Davon Martin (4.5) shares that, “The texture… is perfect. It allows you to achieve really good under spin when slicing and awesome top spin when rolling the ball corner to corner or down the baselines.” The company adds, “The Dart’s composite face allows for the extra punch needed for groundstrokes and smashes.”

Touch-Centric Feel

The Dart uses a polyester core which is suitable for a broad spectrum of players. GAMMA mentions that many of their pros took to the paddle quickly at Nationals and appreciated its speed and pop. The face shape isn’t especially rounded so that picklers can use that extra bit of surface space along the edges to return difficult shots when required.

Davon adds, “The paddle hits exceptionally well… the Dart allows you to generate more power with less effort. Ground strokes came naturally with the DART, and I could really lay into my back hand from the base line when I need to. The DART offers lots of touch, which helps to keep balls low, to redirect shots, and with blocking and handling dinks.”

Davon Martin and the Dart

Davon Martin and the Dart

At only $69.99, the Dart offers a lot of value at a reasonable price point. If you’re looking for a paddle that’s versatile enough to support both slams and dinks, with a quick speed and gentle touch, it might be the right choice for you.

Take a look at the GAMMA Dart for yourself and see if it hits the bullseye for your pickleball needs!

Meet The Pros – Katie Dyer

Meet the Pros – Katie Dyer

Katie Dyer Scheels Gold

2018 Scheels Capital Classic – Gold KaSandra Marie Gehrke/Katie Dyer, Silver LeEllen Lane and Erin Parriott, Bronze Camille Hughes-Strope and Stephanie Shouse Lane

Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?

2018 USAPA Nationals, Women’s Doubles Age 35+ with Mary Helen Atkins– Gold
2018 USAPA Atlantic South Regional, Women’s Doubles with Sarah Parker – Gold
2018 Texas Open, Women’s Doubles Age with Kasandra Gehrke- Gold
Women’s Doubles Pro with Kasandra Gehrke – Bronze
2018 Scheels Capital City Classic, Women’s Doubles with Kasandra Gehrke – Gold
2018 Colorado Open, Women’s Doubles with Stephanie Lane – Gold
Mixed Doubles with Jesse Taylor – Silver
2018 Logan Stanley Memorial Classic, Women’s Doubles with Stephanie Lane – Gold
Mixed Doubles with Jesse Taylor – Silver
2018 Trussville Charity Classic, Mixed Doubles with Jesse Taylor – Gold
2018 Grand Canyon State Games, Women’s Doubles with Mary Helen Atkins – Silver
Mixed Doubles with Dave Glendenning – Bronze
2018 East Naples Winter Classic, Women’s Doubles with Joanne Russell – Silver
Mixed Doubles with Jesse Taylor – Gold
2017 USAPA Atlantic South Regional, Women’s Doubles 4.5 with Gretchen Ratchford – Gold
2017 Georgia Mountain Fall Classic, Women’s Doubles with Leanna Camper – Gold
2017 Pickleball Nashville Labor Day, Women’s Doubles 4.5 with Kristin Parvin, – Gold
Mixed Doubles 4.5/5.0 with Jesse Taylor – Silver
2017 Battle on Beech Mountain, Women’s Doubles 4.5/5.0 with Noa Geyne – Silver
Mixed Doubles 4.5/5.0 with Joshua Cook – Silver
2017 Atlanta Open, Women’s Doubles 4.5 with Noa Geyne – Gold
Mixed Doubles 4.5 with Joshua Cook – Gold

Katie Dyer action shot

Katie Dyer with her eye on the pickleball

What paddle do you play with and why?

I play with the Selkirk Amped Epic. The paddle gives me great touch at the kitchen line as well as power and control. The longer handle is perfect for my two handed backhand. I also prefer a very thin grip, which I believe gives me more feel and precision with my shots.

What is your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?

I played college softball and love playing practically any sport. Four designated pickleball courts were built in Collegedale, Tennessee, one mile from my house and another mile from my work. My friend, Chuck Daniels, encouraged me to try out the new sport, sending me weekly text messages with the entry-level wooden paddle link on Amazon. After four consecutive weeks of messages, I ordered the paddles and have been hooked ever since.

Katie Dyer Texas Open

Jeanne Stasny Follow · January 9 · Jeanne Stasney with Celeste Pafford, KaSandra Marie Gehrke, Katie Dyer and Lisa Naumu in Dallas, Texas.

What is your preference – playing indoors or outdoors?

I only play outdoors. After a long day of working indoors, I am always ready to get outside and play with friends.

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

I definitely prefer doubles. I enjoy the teamwork aspect that doubles brings to the table as well as the strategic part of the game.

Katie Dyer and Maryhelen Atkins

Katie Dyer and Maryhelen Atkins, Gold, 2018 USAPA Nationals at Indian Wells

What is your favorite place to play? Why?

My favorite place to play is Indian Wells, California at the 2018 USAPA Nationals. It was my first Nationals and winning a gold metal certainly was the highlight for me.

What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

My two-handed backhand is my signature shot. I love generating topspin, dropping in the kitchen or holding a misdirect shot until the last moment. I encourage players to play with many different types of pickleball players, whether bangers or dinkers. Play your game. Often times we find ourselves falling into our opponents’ style of play. Know what your strengths are and stick to them. Improve your weaknesses during drilling practice.

What is your day job?

I am a pharmacist at a specialty compounding pharmacy, Solutions Pharmacy, in Ooltewah, TN. We are licensed in 23 states and ship out all over the country. I meet patients all over the United States, and I am personally rewarded with the ability to affect a patient’s quality of life.

How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?

I play three to four hours approximately three to five days a week. I do not get off of work until 5pm or 6pm and am eager to get to the courts to exercise and enjoy quality time with friends.

Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?

I do not have any lucky rituals before a tournament. I do, however, focus on hydration and getting plenty of rest before the tournament. I practice diligently the week prior to the tournament on third shots, dinking, and quick hands drills.

Do you have any pickleball goals you would like to share?

I would love to win an open pro event in women’s and mixed doubles.

Anything else you would like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?

I would like to thank my family for their continued support and encouragement. I would also like to thank Selkirk Sports for their sponsorship in helping me spread the love of this amazing sport.