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Pickleball Education | Oct 18, 2022

By Stephen Bass

Pickleball advice I don't agree with & playing with strangers at a mall {VIDEO}



Today’s edition has three parts: 

  1. A Helpful Tip - Pickleball advice I don’t agree with and what to do instead.

  2. An Entertaining Video - Playing pickleball at a mall with random strangers (at :44 seconds things get a bit dicey 😂).

  3. An Update on my Journey To Pro - Upcoming tournament schedule.


A Helpful Tip -

“Pickleball advice I don’t agree with.”

But before we get into it, if you want to watch the video explanation, click below.

Here’s advice I hear a lot…

“Get to the kitchen line as fast as possible.”

And right now, I’m talking specifically about the partner who’s not hitting the third shot after your team serves…

Now of course, there’s nuance to this, so let’s talk about it.

You do wanna get to the kitchen line because that’s where you’re most dangerous.

But…

HOW and WHEN you get there is what we’re talking about here. 

So, after your team serves and your partner hits the always - important third shot, remember these three words: 

1. Turn 

2. Watch 

3. Decide 

1. TURN  - Get your head on a swivel to gain vision — so you can see your partner hit their third shot.

2. WATCH  - When I first started playing, I wasn't sure if I should turn and watch my partner hit or just get to the kitchen immediately. I bet I'm not alone on that. 

Now, I feel confident saying, “you should turn and watch your partner hit.” 

Why? 

Your brain needs time to process what’s about to happen so you can make a better decision. Which is what number three is below. 

3. DECIDE - Now, you’ve turned your head to see what type of shot your partner hit.  And after the ball leaves their paddle, you get three choices about what to do next. 

a) Run to the kitchen line - You would do this IF your partner hits a great third shot drop or is winding up to drive for a possible shake n bake opportunity. (more on shake n bake in a future edition). 

b) Stay put - do this when your partner doesn’t quite hit a perfect third, but it’s not super high, so you feel confident defending in the mid court (transition area) before moving to the kitchen. 

c) Move back to the baseline - If your partner hits a cloud-kissing high third, I recommend you don’t do “a” or “b”(stated above). 

Instead, recognize the height of the ball and move back toward the baseline. Do this (on balance) to give yourself…

  1. more time and 

  2. more space 

…to reset the ball and recover back into the point. 

This is hard for players to truly master, but it will keep you in points and help you win more of those points you probably shouldn’t win. 

Here’s the reality…

You (and your partner) won’t hit perfect third shot drops or third shot drives every time. Not even the top players in the world do that. 

So, getting to the kitchen line patiently is totally fine — if that's the right read. But if you can get there quickly, then do it. 

In closing, remember this framework to help you make smarter choices and win more points.

The better drop shot your partner hits, the closer to the kitchen you should be.

The higher your partner hits their drop shot, the closer to the baseline you should be. 

Entertaining Video

Man on the street videos are the best. 

Probably because there’s a lot of mystery involved. You never know what’s going to happen. 

So, I decided to make one. 

I took two Selkirk paddles and a ball out to a nearby mall in Phoenix. Watch what happened next in the video below (the scene at :44 seconds got interesting 😂 ).

My Journey -

Over the last couple of months, I have been traveling to play more tournaments, and my next stop is:

  • APP Houston Open - October 19 - 23 

If you’re going to be at one of this tournament, or live in the area, I’d love to say hello in person! 

PS:  My mission here is to educate (and teach) people this awesome sport, make them laugh, and inspire others to have the courage to go after what they want in life.

So, if you enjoyed this edition, consider sending it to one person you know who would enjoy reading! You can forward them this email or send them this link.

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