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Everyone is playing pickleball

by Evan Gaudreau

Pickleball, pickleball, pickleball. Everyone is playing pickleball these days. At least in the USA. Coach Evan decides to give it a go.

Everyone is playing pickleball

“Have you played that Waffle Ball?” my Dad asked me.
“All the oldsters are playing it down here.”
My Dad’s in Florida for the winter. With my mother. They’ve been spending the last fifteen winters there. Roughly. I don’t keep track anymore.
“Being down here in the Winter has added five years to my life.”
“So…have you played that Waffle Ball?”
“I told you I haven’t yet,” I lied.

Everyone has played pickleball

For the record, I have now played twice.
…Once during a break at a Softball fundraiser like five years ago and once yesterday for ten minutes.
But here’s the thing.
I’m a maniac.
If I get into something….it generally doesn’t take long for a quick transition.
Here’s another thing.
I hate to lose….
Not like a baby…
Like I’ll train in my free time….

It’s all about the paddle

Once my Paddle comes in….

I went big and ordered a Joola Simone Jardim Hyperion CFS 16 Swift. Check out our other pickleball paddle reviews here. I’m going to jump right in with the retirees at lunchtime. And I’m going to focus entirely on crosscourt consistency. I will mess around with the middle of the court and the sideline during those “rallies.” They can “poach” all they want. They probably won’t. Why?

I’ve been watching them during tennis lessons. Studying. Crazy. I know. But I never leave a stone unturned. Like today. I arrived at the tennis club a few minutes early. I watched the pickle ballers battling—a foursome of ladies. They looked seasoned. Regs (regulars). Getting to the “Kitchen” quickly. That kitchen space reminds me of the movie “A Field of Dreams,” when Charlton Heston’s younger self crosses the line and turns old.

All about the kitchen

I saw one lady holding the paddle in her right hand with her index finger pointed upward straight up the paddle. Classic mistake. When you do that, it doesn’t allow for wrist flicks…it creates more of a “block,” but man, that lady cracked a few forehands. I just wouldn’t let her hit forehands. Easier said than done on a paddle court, but she could combat that by getting to the kitchen first. Either way….she’s all forehand and no backhand, just like a chihuahua…all bark and no bite….

Kidding. She had some bite. A thought just popped into my head. Can a game of keep-away work in pickleball? Well, we shall see. I already know the answer. Of course, it can. It’s probably “frowned upon” during a “friendly game,” but boy, oh boy…if I catch the right victim and play a game of keep away….they are going to “lose it.” Playing dumb is a must…
This is a little Bush League, but I might have to mumble, “Why won’t the waffle go where I want to go,” etc..…

Side note**Talking about Bush League tactics.

Today, during a semi-private, while we were working on point structure, one of the players looked at the ground after he missed a shot as if it had something to do with it. Happens each week. And each week, I talk to him about not leaving doors open for opponents to attack.

“If I were playing you,” I said. “After seeing you do that….I would mumble to myself after I made an error….just loud enough for you to hear….how there’s something wrong with the courts….and watch and listen to you follow suit.” The player smiled. “Misery loves company, and I would “pretend” to be upset about the courts….” And you know the rest. Classic Bush League. This is part of the game that’s disappearing.

When did sports become friendly?

Dude! Let the trash-talking begin (Just not with the Wednesday lunch crew….” the gray ghost hour”). I will refrain from between the leg shots (but will secretly practice them against the wall when no one is around).

After I hit the waffle ball yesterday….my mind started “cooking.” For the rest of the day, I was in a Pickle Ball Fog. Daydreaming about patterns. Attack the center, right? Seems pure. But if you cut the area from a smidgen off the center of the net and draw a diagonal….that’s the area I want to get after….and…. OPEN UP THE CENTER OF THE COURT! Create space!

Here’s a trick 5.0. + tennis players have over pickle ballers (At least the ones who have “doubles” volleys and spend a lot of time at the net…..

Angle volleys. Carving the outside of the yellow plastic ball. Do you have that shot? You should. It’s chaos. A point ender
And a knee buckler… And I plan to use it… A lot.

I know! I Know! I know! Don’t use it on Wednesdays!

**More to come on my Pickle Ball journey. I will review the paddle (stay away from Dick’s Sporting Goods for Paddles….they are Clunkers….like an Old Ford Pinto….They’re like using a plastic paddle in ping pong….no control….like Michael Jackson after a birthday party).
Adieu! Until next time.

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1 comment

Leonardo MacKnight January 7, 2023 - 03:19

LAZY tennis players that don’t want to run anymore switch to pickleball and beach tennis.
And most people ARE lazy……


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