What To Do When Your Opponent Hits EVERY BALL HARD.

Feb 02, 2023


Crazy week filming pickleball, watching pickleball, and of course, playing pickleball. 

This edition is short, but jam packed. 

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

Today’s edition has three parts: 

1. A Helpful Tip – How To Handle "Bangers"

2. An Entertaining Video – My Top 10 Short Form Videos of 2022

3. My Journey Playing Pro Pickleball A Secret Event I Played In

Without further ado, let’s dive into the 58th edition of the newsletter — powered by Selkirk! 

A Helpful Tip: 

How do you beat a banger?

Well first, for those who don’t know, a banger (in pickleball) is someone who tends to hit every ball hard at their opponents.   

And I get it, it can be hard playing against players like that. But there's a way to beat them.

So, here's your tip for the week: 

  1. When returning serve, hit the ball as deep as possible in the court. (And I know, easier said than done). But what this does is it keeps those “bangers” back at the baseline, gives you more time to get to the kitchen to be in a block-ready stance, and forces them to hit a more difficult 3rd shot drive. A short return on the serve is what a banger lives for! And the truth is, if they return it short to you, you should do the same thing back to them. 
  2. Use this technique while at the kitchen line when your opponent is about to hit a hard 3rd shot drive. 

 So next time you’re on court and know you’re playing against a banger, see it as an opportunity to win more points. Because here’s the thing... At the 3.5 - 5.0 ish level, so often, a banger may have a good hard shot, but if you can handle that first ball — their next shot or two are probably going in the net or into the sky for you to put away. 

An Entertaining Video:  

My Journey Playing Pro Pickleball: 

The last 7 days have been, hmmm, hectic. Yeah, that’s the right word! 

Last weekend was Major League pickleball. It was nuts. At one point in the weekend, I witnessed what may have been the best atmosphere in the history of pickleball. 2500 people. Sold out crowd. Players going nuts in the always fun team-based atmosphere. 

It feels hard to believe team format pickleball won’t become a huge part in the growth of the sport. Speaking of team events. Last Tuesday, I was a part of a secret event at The Orchard, an indoor facility in Phoenix. The truth is, I can’t share too much about the event just yet, but between you and me, it was awesome. 

150 people in attendance. Team event. Unique format. Incredible production. And a few Ernes (by yours truly). 

Speaking of Ernes, My friend JT was there and captured a cool clip of a somewhat strange angled Erne. 


And finally, 

This weekend, I’m back in action at the PPA Desert Ridge tournament in Phoenix!

It’s nice having tournaments where I can sleep in my own bed. I’m playing mixed doubles with a girl I’ve only ever played against. And unfortunately, she couldn’t get to town until tonight. And we start at 7am tomorrow! So, we’re wingin’ it. But hey, sometimes, that works out great. 

Saturday is men’s doubles with my buddy Michael! Always pumped to play with that guy. One of the biggest forehands in pickleball. (And I’m not kidding. He nearly knocked off Tyson McGuffin in singles at the Masters a couple weeks back. Lost 11-6 in the third and decisive game)

And before I close, let's zoom out for a second. 

Last year, this was the first PPA event I’d ever played. I played 4.0. And I went 0-2 in men's doubles and 0-2 in singles. It was also the first time I ever watched pros play live. I remember after losing, I sat there and contemplated quitting. No, I’m serious. I was pissed. Frustrated. You name it, I felt it. 

And I wrote about it on February 3, 2021. Right here.  (wow time flies!)

I’m sure glad I’ve stuck with it :)

Talk next week,


PS: If someone forwarded you this email and you want to subscribe to this newsletter, you can do that by clicking here.

In 2022, I made 284 short-form videos. And for fun, I decided to put together my favorite (and what I believe to be the most entertaining) 10 videos from the entire year. And I know, it’s February. (Although someone, just three days ago, said “happy new year” to me. Yeah that was strange, haha).

But nevertheless, It’s finally made and in my opinion, it’s one of those, grab your dinner, throw this up on the big screen, and have a few laughs before you turn the tv back to pickleball. (or am I the only one who does that?) 😂.

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