Tag: Relishing Pickleball

Relishing Pickleball: Evaluate Your Game and Improve

David Zapatka Evaluate: * Watch your opponents during pregame warmups to discover weaknesses and tendencies. Be sure you notice if they are right-handed or left-handed. * Be patient. Take your time. Learn to dink the ball cross court and straight ahead. * Play soft. Hit the ball hard only when you have proper timing and…

Relishing Pickleball: New Player Tips

David Zapatka New to pickleball and want to improve quickly? Try these tips: * Seek out a mentor to help you learn the game. Talk with experienced players to glean information and helpful tips. Try what they suggest. Practice using their advice. * Serve deep and into the middle of the opponents’ court. Do not…

Relishing Pickleball: Countering the Slice Shot

David Zapatka Last month we discussed hitting slice returns of serve and dinks. This month we are discussing how to counter the opponent’s slice returns and dinks. Consider using these strategies to counter the opponent’s slice shots. * Hit through the spin using a flat drive shot. By driving the ball, you are countering the…

Relishing Pickleball: Slicing the Ball

David Zapatka Slicing serve returns and dinks are favorite shots of mine. A slice puts backspin on the ball. The slice makes the ball travel from 6 o’clock to 12 o’clock back toward the player who contacted the ball. These shots can be hit with a forehand or a backhand. A slice is effective for these reasons.…

Relishing Pickleball: Pickleball Comes to U.S. Universities

David Zapatka Pickleball continues to grow in popularity around the country. It’s now making its way into U.S. universities. The leading example of this is my friend, Jarrod Smith, coach of Drury University’s men’s and women’s tennis teams, and in 2024, coach of Drury’s co-ed pickleball team in Springfield, Mo. In August, Drury announced the…

Relishing Pickleball: Doubles Strategies (Continued!)

David Zapatka Continuing our study of Pickleball Fundamentals Master the basics and compete with confidence by Mary Littlewood, Ms. Littlewood offers these basic doubles strategies for players of any level. To read all her advice, buy her book. Strive for 100% accuracy on serves. The serve is the only shot in the game that is uncontested. There…

Relishing Pickleball: Doubles Strategies

David Zapatka Continuing our study of Pickleball Fundamentals Master the basics and compete with confidence by Mary Littlewood, we will now learn from two professional Hall of Fame players Ms. Littlewood quotes in her book regarding doubles strategies. Alex Hamner and Jennifer Lucore were the national women’s doubles champions in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, and continue to…

Relishing Pickleball: Shot Selection

David Zapatka Continuing our study of Pickleball Fundamentals Master the basics and compete with confidence by Mary Littlewood, it is time now to learn about shot selection. Mary Littlewood says the ideal sequence of shots provides a means for all four players to get to the net where pickleball is won and lost as opposed…

Relishing Pickleball: The Lob–Part 2

David Zapatka Continuing our study of Pickleball Fundamentals Master the basics and compete with confidence by Mary Littlewood, “The lob is a lofted shot hit off a bounce that can be either offensive or defensive in nature. The object of lobbing is to force your opponents, who are in a strong position at the non-volley…

Relishing Pickleball: Pickleball Hitting the Major Leagues

David Zapatka The Seattle Mariners hosted “Pickleball Night” on Sept. 10. Group tickets helped raise money for the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association. Valley resident and Seattle native, Riley Newman, threw out the first pitch for his hometown team. Riley grew up a Mariners fan, and this was a dream come true for him. Riley is…