Relishing Pickleball

David Zapatka

Last month we introduced Hall of Fame inductees Robert Lanius, Earl Hill, and Fran Myer. This month each one of those inductees is sharing their personal pickleball tips with us. These tips are paraphrased from a video they created.

Robert Lanius – Be patient on the court. Wait for the right time to make your shot. Don’t try to put the ball away too early.

Earl Hill – Get out there and play one more game! Enjoy yourself. You’ll get better and improve your game through play.

Fran Myer – Get your serve in. Trying to do something fancy or trying to hit the ball hard or over-spin the ball is risky and you may miss your serve. Just get your serve in and you will have a better game.

Thinking about these tips reminded me of a video Glen Peterson did at Pickleball Inc. headquarters in Seattle, Washington. Glen is a multiple USAPA National, U.S. Open, and Huntsman Senior Games champion. Here are his five tips to a better game:

1. Play it safe. Let your opponents make the mistakes. Hit your balls consistently and wait for a shot where you are very sure you can hit a clear winner. Long rallies of 20-40 strokes are a lot of fun!

2. Get to the kitchen. Resist the temptation to stay back and hit balls on the bounce. Almost all high level pickleball points are won at the kitchen line.

3. Watch the ball. The game of pickleball is fast and distracting. Slow the game down by watching the ball all the way into your paddle.

4. Swing your paddle to a rhythm. Make your strokes fluid, smooth, and compact. Top players begin their stroke with their legs and use their entire body. They don’t use a big wind up. Doing this will help you find a wonderful zone.

5. Smile while you play the game. If you’re mobile and able to play the game of pickleball, be thankful. I have made so many friends playing pickleball. You will, too.

Have a question about pickleball? Want to know more about the sport, the rules, equipment, or have some pickilicious news you would like to share with our pickleball community? Email David Zapatka at [email protected]