Get The Skinny On Slender Singles

If you’ve been playing pickleball for a while you’re probably already familiar with Skinny Singles. But have you heard of Slender Singles?

We’re not talking about a new dating site, cheese or type of currency! We’re sticking to pickleball 100% here with some creative ideas for different ways to play the game we all love, get a great workout and improve your pickleball skills.

Slender Singles

Skinny Singles?

In Skinny Singles, you only use half the court: either using diagonal courts and changing the diagonal side with each serve, or using half the court directly across from your opponent. There tends to be more dinking and doubles-like strategy in Skinny Singles, but with only one player on each side of the net. It’s a great way to help your doubles game and work on your skills since you really have to focus on ball placement.

What about “regular” singles? For many pickleball players, especially those coming from tennis, a singles match is a super fun way to enjoy competing against another player while getting an excellent workout, pounding out groundstrokes and making passing shots.

Singles is great for working on shot depth and control, aiming for the sidelines to keep your opponent moving. But for many people (especially those of us getting on in years who might have a few injuries or not be at our peak fitness levels), covering a full 20-foot wide court without a partner is a big ask. Sure, it’s much smaller than a tennis court, but it’s still a lot of ground to cover!

Try Out Slender Singles

Here’s where the new game of Slender Singles comes in! Using an 18-foot net (instead of the 22-foot regulation size pickleball net), players who would like to play full court singles but could use a break from all that extra running have a perfect solution.

By taking four feet off the court width and making it 16 feet instead of 20 feet wide (with the typical 1 foot of net extending beyond each court sideline), players can enjoy a regular singles match and last much longer since they have 20% less court to cover. Slender singles opens up the fun of singles to a much larger population of players who might otherwise feel that singles is just too darn hard.

Slender Singles Dimensions

The MultiNet System

It’s easy to see how the many benefits of playing singles stack up. You have to hit each ball and cover more area, so the cardio benefits result in a great workout. In addition, your consistency and accuracy will improve, which will in turn help your doubles game as well. The MultiNet 18’ Practice Net System is the perfect solution for Slender Singles.

Originally designed as a “Red Ball” tennis net for junior tennis, this net allows pickleball players with limited space to set up a slightly narrower court for singles or doubles drilling and match play. The net height can be adjusted from 30” all the way up to 68” tall, providing a versatile multi-sport solution that works for badminton, beach volleyball and other games, and an interesting training aid for working on pickleball lobs.

Slender Singles Match

If playing Slender Singles sizzles your senses, you might also want to consider an oversize or elongated paddle to help you reach those passing shots your opponent will surely be serving up. You’ll find over 20 of the most popular oversize paddles listed on our website here.

4 Amazing Long Points from Pickleball Matches You Have To Watch

They say that unforced errors are the key to the game, so in an ideal world pickleball points should last through endless hits as players return ball after ball. Of course, that’s not exactly how it plays out in real life, but among top level competitors you do end up seeing some truly epic rallies that last for over 50 strikes.

If you’d like to learn how to be more prepared, consistent and precise… or if you just want to see some pickleball action at its finest, watch these videos to see how pros keep the ball in play for as long as possible.

 

2018 Vegas Open 68 Shot Rally

This point is from the men’s doubles semi-final at the Las Vegas Pickleball Open. It involves Kyle Yates and Ben Johns vs. Callan Dawson and Tyler Loong. There are a nice mix of dinks and volleys as the players jockey to find openings and position their opponents. This match went to 3 games and they also faced one another in the gold medal match afterwards.

 

2019 Golden State Championships 174 Shot Rally

In this tense showdown Kyle Yates makes another appearance with Lindsey Newman as they face Jeff Warnick and Jessie Irvine. The point truly shows how much patience can make or break your game. Many of the hits are gentle and controlled as both sides wait for the other to make the tiniest mistake The point drags on in what may be one of the longest rallies ever! The final hit is unexpected as Warnick reaches near the center line to steal a ball out of the air and put it between his competitors.

 

2016 USAPA Nationals 55 Shot Rally

This video has the shortest amount of hits on the list, but it’s probably the most exciting. Wes Gabrielsen and Kyle Yates (should we deem him the Long Rally King?) battle against Matt Staub and Daniel Moore. The pace hardly lets up as these fantastic players alternate between calculated dinks and lightning fast volleys. It’s amazing that the point isn’t even lost as the players are drawn out of position, but because of an overly powerful shot that flies out of bounds!

 

2018 Practice Match w/ Glenn Lucey 67 Shot Rally

Glenn Lucey is something of a legend among the pickleball community for posting long and impressive rallies involving him and other pro players. Although his videos are “only” from practice matches, they’re no less passionate and fun to watch than those at tournaments. In fact, since the players are often taking more risks, you get to see some unique choices at times. Stick around after the long point to see Dave Wage go to his knees to rescue a ball—multiple times!

Get Free Pickleball Training at Home from Simone Jardim

Simone Jardim is one of pickleball’s top players and has won over 70 gold medals in competitions like the USAPA Nationals. Normally you’d have to attend her Peak Performance Pickleball Academy in Florida to receive training from her, and that would only be if you were lucky enough to catch her between her busy tournament schedule… but now you can practice with her for free from the comfort of your own home!

Starting in late March this year, Simone started posting a series of drill videos on Facebook. She’s going to livestream another drill set tomorrow, Thursday 4/2 at 6:30pm ET / 3:30pm PT. Watch her in real time and you’ll be able to ask questions and comment as she demonstrates. Be sure to tune in if you have the opportunity!

In the meantime, check out her prior videos so you can get up-to-date on these useful techniques. Most of these drills can be done alone but some can be done with a partner as well. You can even watch how Simone stretches and cool down to ensure proper care of your body after practice. These videos are all 40+ minutes long so you’ll get to enjoy some meaty strategy talks and demonstrations!

Simone Jardim – At-Home Pickleball Exercises – Part 1

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In this 2nd video Simone discusses the importance of positioning around the kitchen, how you can read your opponents’ movements and the best ways to respond to different shots. Some of the Q&A focuses on footwork and describes common mistakes players make so that you can move more quickly and efficiently across the court.

Make sure you’re taking breaks and drinking water, as some of these drills can be intense and require quick actions. Go at your own pace to avoid injury and grow accustomed to new movements.

Simone Jardim – At-Home Pickleball Exercises – Part 2

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At the end of the third stream, Simone gave away a free Prince paddle—so all the more reason to watch her live tomorrow. That being said, if you watch this video you might hear about a special offer from Prince you can still use now…

Her warm-up in this video involves ladder work for your lower body and transitions into more wall drills that focus on placement and touch.

Simone Jardim – At-Home Pickleball Exercises – Part 3

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Enjoy these wonderful workout/training videos and we hope to see you tomorrow on Facebook! Follow Simone today so you can join in the fun and improve your skills.

Top 5 Drill Videos to Improve Your Game

Playing pickleball with friends is always fun, but sometimes the best way to improve is simply to buckle down and work on drills. They can be repetitive, but if you focus on proper techniques during training, the same movements become second nature in competitive play.
So if you’re stuck at home right now, don’t let your skills get rusty! Get in the zone and hone your abilities so you’ll emerge better than ever when you reunite with fellow players.

The first video we have with pro player Glen Peterson is ideal for those who don’t have a lot of space and want simple but effective ideas for strengthening their game.

The others we’ve included make use of ball machines so you can work on a wider variety of skills, although if you don’t have enough room or budget for a ball machine, you can recruit a family member to send pickleballs your way instead!

Solo Wall Drills

In this video Glen shows how anyone can use a pickleball, paddle and wall to greatly improve consistency and accuracy. You’ll also want some brightly colored tape to mark off your target(s). You can start simple by attempting to hit 10 shots in the same place, then stretch it out to 100! These drills are simple in theory but difficult to master. Work on both forehand and backhand hits to become a more versatile player.
Tight quarters with these drills can actually be beneficial, as they’ll improve your reaction time when playing at the kitchen.

Third Shot Drive & 5th Shot Drop

Pickleball champ Simone Jardim uses a Tutor Machine to show how you can work a third shot drive into your game—a technique that has a high percentage of success so you can get to the NVZ in a controlled manner. The goal here isn’t to charge forwards, but to methodically move closer to the kitchen with each strike. You keep opponents on their back foot so you can get into a more advantageous position.
Simone recommends setting up targets for an easier visual reference. You can use brightly colored objects around your house, or work with tape, court lines or target rings.

Block Volleys

This is another drill that looks easy but requires a good amount of adjustment if you tend to tighten up when you see incoming volleys. By adjusting the grip on your paddle and softening your hands, you can completely take the power out of fast balls and set yourself up for a more controlled exchange at the kitchen. This is a great move to work into your arsenal if you’re tired of “bangers” and want to be able to reduce their dominance on the court. Instead of counterattacking, you’ll learn to reset the ball at your own pace.

Shot Patterns

You’ll want to prepare more court markers for this drill. The idea is to hit in an area where your opponent won’t be able to use their forehand and have access to a more aggressive play. Pay attention to your footwork as you get closer to the net before allowing yourself to put the ball away.

Recovery on Lobs

Lobs annoy many players almost as much as slams, but you don’t have to remain at their mercy. Work on body placement to retain vision and move backwards safely, which will allow you to return a shot much like the third-shot drop into the kitchen. Your opponent won’t be able to steal a free point and you’ll have more time to get back to the net.

What are some exercises and drills that have helped you take your game to the next level? Sometimes the simplest techniques are the most effective and we’d love to hear your input!

Easy Ways to Make Room for Pickleball at Home

Pickleball is a social sport and many may not be able to meet with their regular groups right now, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up practicing entirely. Whether you’re keeping to yourself or have family members to join in, there’s certain to be some type of equipment that will suit your needs, budget and space limitations.

Here are a few ideas you can implement to continue getting your pickleball fix from home:

If You Have a Lot of Space

If you can’t get to the court, then you can make the court come to you! Our portable net systems are reasonably priced and come USAPA-approved with standard dimensions (22’ wide, 34” tall in the center). They’re perfect for setting up in a driveway, garage, backyard or anywhere else you have a flat surface. Don’t let their size intimidate you—all of our systems are very simple to use and can be put together in minutes.

Portable nets come in a variety of weights so that you don’t have to worry about the hassle of transport and packing them down during inclement weather. “Heavier” systems still only average about 24 lbs and our lightest, the SwiftNet, is a mere 14 lbs!

When it comes to setting up court boundaries you also have a number of options ranging from something as permanent as paint to temporary options like tape, chalk and court lines.

The USAPA has a handy guide on how to plot out court dimensions for proper marking using a measuring tape. Click here to read more and watch the video.

If You Have Less Space

If you don’t have as much room to spare, don’t count yourself out of getting a net right away—a mini net might be your best option.

Mini nets are portable systems approximately half the size of a standard net (around 10’ wide). They’re great for practice and can even be used to play “skinny singles.”

With just one other player, you can play a typical game using your slimmer net. This is actually a great way to get into singles for players who usually find it too taxing on the body when they have to cover a standard-sized court. Skinny singles can help make you more consistent, allow you to work on your serve and third-shot drop, and get a great workout.

Mini Nets have a similarly “mini” price compared to the average portable net, so they’re a great way to keep your costs low when it comes to buying equipment. You can use the same affordable methods above to mark out your court boundaries including the base line, sides and no-volley zone.

Mini Net

If You Have Little Space

Maybe you live in a small apartment, share a house or otherwise can’t find the room for a 10’ wide net. That’s okay too! You might not be able to play with a net, but you can still practice technique and drills.

While it’s perfectly acceptable to practice with only a paddle and pickleball, there are a number of convenient accessories that can make the process easier. The following is an example of a pickleball skill challenge we set up, and while we made use of a full-sized court, you can use any individual component of this “obstacle course” in a smaller setting:

Our Rebounding Mini Targets provide a simple way to practice your aim or serve as a stand-in for a doubles partner so you can work on positioning. The Pop-Up Targets are meant to attach to a net, but you could also set them up using objects around your house. Target Rings can be placed on the floor to perfect your precision.

You can also make use of court lines in nontraditional ways such as laying them out to serve as targets or placing them in unique ways to create agility drills.

We hope everyone is staying safe and that these ideas might spur some of your own practice. If you’ve had more time at home lately, we’d love to hear what creative ways you’ve made use of your space to get in some pickleball.

Jigsaw Health Supports Your Body’s Performance So You Can Play Pain-Free, Longer

We are excited to share that PickleballCentral is now carrying health supplements to help you stay strong throughout your games and recover faster afterwards. Our products come from the company Jigsaw Health, a group who cares about real, measurable results and high quality ingredients.

Jigsaw’s focus primarily centers around magnesium, a mineral that many individuals are deficient in without realizing it. Magnesium was the key to improved health for one of the company’s founders, Pat Sullivan. His co-founder and son, Patrick, took some time to introduce their work and share why it could be an important part of your health “puzzle” as well.

Jigsaw Logo

Jigsaw not only provides impressive products but has a great sense of humor, too! Read on to see some of the hilarious videos they’ve made and find out more about how their supplements can improve your quality of life:

How did you get involved in the world of pickleball and what are you looking to provide to players through your products?

My wife and business partner—Ashley—and I stumbled into pickleball in the summer of 2018 in Flagstaff, Arizona. Like so many others, we’ve been hooked ever since. Pickleball has been an unbelievably fun life enhancer for us!

Along the way we began to learn firsthand that pickleball can be a very physically demanding sport, especially in the tournament format where if you want a gold medal, you’ve got to play all day long to earn it.

We met a number of pickleball pros at PicklePalooza in August of 2019 including Kyle Yates, Lucy Kovola, Matt Wright, Irina Tereshenko, Jen & Steve Dawson, Adam Stone, Christine McGrath, Mills Miller and Dave Flemming. Several of them started taking our products to help increase energy and decrease cramping. And they got great results… good enough for them to start texting me a few months later to ask for a refill!

Everything has been a whirlwind since Nationals in 2019—we’ve sponsored 6 of the top pros in the game, and perhaps you’ve seen some of the fun commercials we’ve made with them? (To see all of Jigsaw’s funny videos, click here!)

We’ve become the exclusive hydration & nutrition sponsor of the PPA & APP Tours. We’re sponsoring several tournaments. We’re working with pickleball vacation companies and camps to provide their clients with hydration and recovery samples. We’ve had some amazing pickleball ambassadors begin to represent Jigsaw Health at their local courts.

Simply put, we’ve been very warmly embraced by the pickleball community at large. They see that a) we love pickleball too, and b) my dad has formulated some amazing products that work really well for pickleball addicts!

How did you first get involved in the supplements industry, and why did magnesium end up being such a large focus for you?

For nearly 30 years, my dad struggled with various health challenges—fatigue, insomnia, gastro-intestinal problems and depression. In 2004 he published a book called Wellness Piece by Piece chronicling his journey. And in 2005, we started Jigsaw Health together. One of the more important “puzzle pieces” he discovered was magnesium.

What are some ways people might be able to tell if they’re magnesium deficient?

One of the first symptoms of magnesium deficiency is muscle tension and nighttime leg cramps.

According to Medical News Today, 1 in 3 people over the age of 60 have leg cramps; 1 in 2 people over the age of 80 have leg cramps; and 40% experience leg cramps at least 3 times per week (Source: Medical News Today).

Magnesium is Mother Nature’s original “chill pill.” It’s a massage you can swallow. It’s like yoga in a bottle.

But even more than that, magnesium is actually the spark of life—the body can’t make ATP (energy) without magnesium, and there are over 300 biochemical reactions that require magnesium.

Would your magnesium products still be helpful to someone who isn’t magnesium deficient, or would you recommend a more general supplement like Electrolyte Supreme in that case?

It’s commonly cited that as much as 90% of the population is deficient in magnesium. A landmark study published in a 2004 edition of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition shows that between 1950 and 1999, over-farming and topsoil depletion led to nutrient reductions of up to 38% in 43 of the most common fruits and vegetables (Source: Scientific American).

So even if you’re eating a healthy diet, it’s still difficult to get all of the nutrients you need from food alone. Not just to avoid deficiency, but to live optimally.

Additionally, there are pharmaceuticals that have a little known side effect of depleting magnesium. According to Pharmacist Suzy Cohen, author of Drug Muggers, there are 14 classes of prescription drugs that “mug” your body of magnesium, including blood pressure drugs, acid blockers (PPIs), antacids, antibiotics, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), osteoporosis drugs, and cholesterol lowering statins, to name but a few (Source: Jigsaw Health).

For pickleballers who play frequently, we recommend Jigsaw Electrolyte Supreme™ to stay energized and hydrated, and Jigsaw MagSoothe™ for recovery and nighttime muscle cramps.

What are a few ways your company differs from the competition and ensures high quality?

You can see how Jigsaw Electrolyte Supreme™ stacks up to some of the more commonly used sugar-based electrolyte products at this link. (It provides more nutrients overall with no sugar.)

Anything else players should know?

It’s important for pickleballers to realize that there are actually two types of muscle cramps… when you cramp up during physical activity, that’s because your body is low in potassium. And when you wake up in the middle of the night grasping a painful charlie horse? That’s because your body is low in magnesium.

Jigsaw Electrolyte Supreme™ contains both potassium and magnesium, plus supporting vitamins to help you stay hydrated, energized, and cramp-free on (and off) the courts.

Jigsaw MagSoothe™ is an especially good form of magnesium to help prevent nighttime muscle cramps caused by a magnesium deficiency.

Our motto at Jigsaw Health: It’s FUN to feel good.

And our mission: To help pickleball addicts like you play “just one more game”… 5 or 6 more times!

5 Ways to Protect Your Body and Recover Faster After Playing Pickleball

Pickleball is a fairly gentle sport, especially compared to higher impact games like tennis that necessitate covering a larger court. But injuries and accidents can happen during any activity, and no one wants to get waylaid by an injury right when their health is on the rise.

To ensure your body has adequate opportunity to heal and stay primed for your next game, here are some ideas to improve your recovery time:

Foam roller

Foam Rolling

Foam rollers are used for self myofascial release (SMR), which means they help eliminate trigger points or “knots” in the fascia (connective tissue). This allows for effective self massage that can relieve tension in a matter of minutes. With consistent use you can be on the way to working out tight areas that have been bothering you for years, and even if you don’t have chronic pain, it’s recommended that all active individuals use a foam roller to recover faster and keep muscles relaxed.

If you can tolerate tenderness and feel confident controlling the level of pressure, it’s best to purchase a harder roller with nubs to work the tissue on a deeper level. Rolling can feel very intense, but the impressive relief it provides is worth the temporary discomfort.

Rebounder

Rebounding

Rebounding is similar to jumping on a trampoline but is typically done on a smaller-sized apparatus. The exercise consists of either low bounces where your feet don’t leave the ground or full jumps. While it’s a simple motion, it can result in big benefits such as better lymphatic drainage, improved bone mass, better endurance and balance.

Rebounding was popularly studied in the 1980s when NASA was attempting to find a better way for astronauts to recover bone and muscle mass after being in space, so it’s been thoroughly vetted as an effective way to stay in top condition.

Resistance band

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands can be used for workouts on their own, but they’re also a useful tool for recovery since they don’t put as much pressure on the joints as heavy weights. In addition to improving stability and strength, they can also allow you to reach deeper stretches than wouldn’t be achievable solo.

Look up routines on Youtube to see how you can alter basic stretches with bands to better engage your muscles and sink deeper into each position.

Percussion massager

Percussion Massage

In the same category as foam rollers for SMR, percussion massagers take a slightly different approach to releasing adhesions by rapidly pulsing against them. This can be uncomfortable, but with proper use it shouldn’t be outright painful. When you come to an area that feels tight, you simply move the massager around the muscle to release tension.

Percussion massagers help your body ease away soreness from repeated movements (or inactivity) and reduce the risk of injury during play since you’ll feel more relaxed and flexible.

MagSoothe

Take Supplements

Your body can do a lot on its own, but sometimes a little support can make the difference between having a peaceful evening and dealing with fatigue, cramps, muscle soreness and other stressful problems. Depending on your needs, a supplement can help alleviate these issues so you can continue playing without negative side effects.

A common problem for pickleball players and athletes in general is cramping, especially in the legs. We recommend taking a look at Jigsaw Health’s MagSoothe if you deal with this issue. Their magnesium uses a highly bioavailable form of magnesium and formulates their supplement in such a way that it’s more easily transported throughout the body.

Do you use any particular tools, tricks or wisdom to get better rest and prepare for your next game? Let us know in the comments.