{Video} How To Hit The Coolest Shot In Pickleball.

Jan 19, 2023


In last week’s tournament, I got matched up against #2 in the world Riley Newman — twice. And twice, I got crushed. 11-0, 11-4 (in Mixed doubles) and 11-0, 11-2 (in Men's doubles). 

We weren’t close to winning. The truth is, they were flat out better. And while I should be proud that we even got to that match to play a top team, the truth is...

I felt real sucky after the loss. Read more about it in the bottom section “My Journey Playing Pro Pickleball” of the newsletter. 

Before we keep going, welcome back to another edition of the newsletter. Edition #56 to be exact. If you're new here and want to go back and check out out past editions, go here!

Today’s edition has four parts: 

1. A Cool Story – Willie Williams – How Pickleball Changed His Life. 

2. A Helpful Tip – {Video} How To Hit The Coolest Shot In Pickleball.  

3. An Entertaining Video – Sometimes, I'm an idiot. Simple as that. 😂

4. My Journey Playing Pro Pickleball  Feeling disappointment. But should I be?

A Cool Story: 

My mom's the best.

One of the things we share in common is a love to write. And for awhile, we've talked about partnering on a project somehow.  Well, we're running an experiment right now. And it's pretty simple. 

Find cool pickleball stories and share them on the newsletter.  So today, we have our first one. 

But first, a quick backstory. 

About a month ago, I was in Vegas, where I met Willie BJ Williams. Dude was incredible. Had great energy, was fun to talk to, and has an awesome story of how pickleball transformed his health and helped him lose a ton of weight. So my mom talked with Willie, learned more about his story, and wrote a piece about him! 

It's an awesome read! 

Check it out here!

My mom and I are looking to do more of these!

So if you have an awesome story or know someone with a story worth sharing, reach out and tell me about it!

A Helpful Tip:

Most remember the first time they hit one of the coolest shots in pickleball…

The Around The Post. Also known as, the “ATP.” It’s a shot that’s fun to hit and hard to defend. 

And while some think it’s extremely difficult to execute on, I’m here to say— you can successfully hit it more IF...  

...you follow these 4 basic principles.👇

Entertaining Video:  

If you’ve ever seen my Instagram page, @thatpickleballguy, you know I do short interviews with pros and amateurs. One of my more recent interviews I posted was with top pro player AJ Koller. 

But there was one moment from the interview I didn’t post: Me trying to ask AJ a question that turned out to be just plain confusing. And after watching, I realized I sounded like a complete idiot. 

And the truth is, it's kinda funny.

So, here's to a laugh at my expense :) 👇

My Journey Playing Pro Pickleball: 

…and after playing Riley Newman twice and getting crushed by him and Jessie Irvine and him and Matt Wright, 

I felt real discouraged. Here’s why…

I realized: I’m still far away from where I want to be. And those two matches were a punch-in-the-face-reminder of that. 

And listen, of course I recognize how far I’ve come. A year ago, I was playing in 4.0 tournaments. In fact, in this specific tournament last weekend, we made a strong run to even get into the main-draw to play these top teams. 

**Quick side note: The PPA Tour has a new structure for pro events where only a certain number of teams get into the main draw, and the rest have to qualify by showing up at 7am and winning two or three matches to get into the main draw, just to be “rewarded” by playing one of the top seeds. laughs**

But I digress…

Here’s the point. When starting something new, you improve fast! It’s why people love pickleball. You get better quickly.

But then something infuriating happens to most of us. After improving fast for a few months, you hit a plateau where your progress slows and winning against good players gets hard. Shoot, sometimes you walk off the court and think, 

“I just got worse.”

Ever felt this? 

(Source: Visualize Value) 

But the thing I HAVE to remember and encourage you to think about is… 

Zoom out. 

You had a sucky day. But it was just one day, Zoom out. 

You had a sucky week. But it was just one week, Zoom out. 

You had a sucky month, but it was just one… 

actually. Panic. Yes, if it’s been a month — now is the time to panic. 😂

Hahaha, I’m kidding. You get the point. See, too often, we put insurmountable pressure on ourselves to be perfect rather than patient. To be flawless rather than forgiving. 

So we get caught in the weeds of the now rather than seeing the big picture of where we’ve been and where we’re going. And trust me, I get it. 

When you have a big dream or want something badly, it’s damn near impossible to be patient with your growth.

I’m an impatient person. I watch other players have success faster and I want that improvement at the same pace. I want their results now. 

And before you hit me with the comparison is the thief of joy and everyone’s on their own path quotes, I already know… hahahah… Because I’ve used those lines too. The hard part is embracing it. 

Point is, for some people, results come fast. And for others, they take more time. In pickleball, it’s not fair (to myself) to compare the pace of my improvement to a tennis player who was striking forehand passing shots for the last 15 years. Because for 15 years, I was standing behind the three point line shooting a basketball. laughs** 

So for you and me…

  • Zoom out when you feel like you’re terrible. 
  • Zoom out when you feel like your improvement has stalled. 
  • Zoom out when you lose a close match you feel like you should have won. 
  • Zoom out when you’re just-not-feeling-it and think, "is this even worth it?"

Until next week, 


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