Here are some additional resources for pickleball play and training information:
Here is a graphic showing a variety of stretches that can be very helpful to pickleball players who want to keep fit and injury-free. Thank you to Joyce for bringing this information to us from a pickleball boot camp.
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Pickleball Posture: Where is Your Head Light Pointing?
Posted on November 27, 2017 by Sarah Ansboury
In 1948, Preston Tucker attempted to bring a totally new automobile to the marketplace. “Why am I bringing this up?” you ask. Because it has everything to do with pickleball posture.
The Tucker 48, or Tucker Torpedo, was way ahead of its time. It had:
•A rear engine and rear wheel drive;
•It had many advanced safety features like a perimeter frame, roll bar, shatter-proof glass windshield and padded dashboard;
•A key for the parking brake deterred theft;
•And, a third headlight that moved as the steering wheel was turned allowing the driver to better see the curve in the road.
Again, I can hear you saying, “This is all really fascinating Sarah, but why are you bringing this up?”
It is because I want you to imagine a headlight in the middle of your chest. Picture a big light coming out of your sternum. This light is the key to maintaining proper pickleball posture and good pickleball posture is key to playing well.
Key to pickleball posture is keeping your back straight. As we travel around the country I meet many pickleball players that complain of back pain. In many cases, this results from people bending their back. As I wrote before, bending your back is not only painful but will negatively affect your ability to play at your best. Bending your back, or stooping over, tends to bring your arms too close to your body. It also may cause balance issues as that 10-pound weight on top of your neck (i.e. your head) is too far forward. Look at the picture to the right…where is his headlight aimed? You’ll note it is aimed at the ground…a position I often note among students during a long dink rally.
But most importantly, bending your back disengages your core, making it more difficult for your shoulders and hips to rotate properly.
Tracking the Ball
To track the ball, you need to maintain proper posture so you can rotate your shoulders and hips toward the ball. Notice I said your shoulders and hips, not your head. When you track the ball correctly, I want you to mimic the way the Tucker’s third headlight moved as the steering wheel was turned. You rotate your shoulders and hips, so your light is aimed at the ball.
Having done that, now protect your headlight by maintaining proper paddle position. Keep your paddle up in front of your sternum at all times.
If you want to improve, you need to focus on the fundamentals. Being conscious of your pickleball posture is key to playing well and feeling good.
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Doubles Pickleball Strategy 101 and 102
Here are a couple of videos giving some tips and strategies for playing doubles pickleball:
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Online Tips and Training
Here are a few websites that give some tips and pointers for improving your pickleball game. Some have videos to show strategies and techniques, some offer you subscriptions for continuing information, some present pointers from accomplished players. Try them out and see if you find anything helpful.
Click here for some quality Online pickleball training by Prem Carnot.
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USAPA REFEREE CERTIFICATION APPLICATION NOW LIVE ONLINE
Be the first to apply to become a USAPA certified referee. Phase III of the USAPA Referee Certification program is complete and the referee certification application is now live at usapa.org.
Before you apply be sure that you meet the application prerequisites. Applications will be reviewed and processed on a first-to-apply basis, so don’t procrastinate.
Before completing the application form you will be required to indicate that you have read, understand and agree to the Applicant Terms of Understanding and Agreement. Please read these carefully. They contain important information regarding what will be required of you to pass the on-court evaluation. If you cannot demonstrate that you are capable of following and consistently applying the USAPA refereeing standards and procedures contained in the USAPA Referee Handbook you will not pass the on-court evaluation and, therefore, will not be issued certification credentials. If you apply, but are not adequately prepared you will be wasting your money and the evaluator’s time.
The information you provide on the application will be verified and, if accepted into the program you will receive an email containing a payment link where you can pay the $95 application fee via PayPal or credit card. Once the fee is paid you will receive a list of upcoming on-court evaluation venues and dates from which to choose. Space is limited and evaluations will be scheduled on a first-to-reply basis.
Before applying please be certain that you are mentally prepared and that your refereeing skills are consistent with the standards and procedures. We look forward to you becoming a USAPA certified referee.
The Importance of Practice
Most of us play pickleball because we just want to have fun and exercise with good people. That is reason enough. But if you want to improve your game, you will have to practice. You can go to clinics, read. “How To” articles and play lots of games, but you’ll probably be stuck in a rut unless you practice. Our indoor venues don’t allow much opportunity for practice. The outdoor courts at Los Altos are ideal. Get your own net and balls, find people who share your desire to improve, go off by yourself and practice. Most people find practice boring. For them, it’s hit a few dinks and then “game on”. You must bring out your inner kid and find creative little games for your practice sessions. How about saying you can’t quit hitting dinks until you can do 50 in a row and then actually count them off. Talk about pressure! How about a “Kitchen Game” where the kitchen line is the back base line? My favorite is a kitchen game with 5 players. The extra player stands off the court and replaces the person who made the last goof. This can be done with 3 players if a half court is used. An advanced version of this game is to allow slams or “break-outs” if your opponent leaves the dink too high. But you better not goof on your “breakout”. I invite others to contribute if you have a favorite drill or practice game to share.
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