How To Master The Coolest Shot In Pickleball (Video)

Apr 27, 2023


Another week talking pickleball. What's better than that?

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 past editions, go here!

Today’s edition has two parts: 

1. A Helpful Tip (Video) – How to Master the Coolest Shot in Pickleball.

2. My Journey Playing Pro Pickleball  What Should You Actually Work On?

A Helpful Tip (Video):

It was only a matter of time until I made a video breaking down my favorite shot in pickleball. 

The Erne. 

And I'll be honest, I did hesitate on this one because it’s the first video I’ve made that could backfire on me in pro matches. 

So don’t send this to any pros you know please 😂. I don’t need them knowing all my secrets. 

Ever since I started playing, for whatever reason, I became obsessed with the erne and studied the players who do it best.

And now, I’m confident in executing it at a high level against the best players in the world.

In fact, at the PPA Daytona a couple months ago, I Erne’d Tyson Mcguffin and Ben Johns within hours of each other (proof in the video below).

And between us, that’s when I knew, I’m not horrible at this :) 

So in this video, I teach you everything I know about the nuance, footwork, timing, and execution for one of the coolest (and my favorite) shots in pickleball.

OO, and whether you’re young and athletic, or getting a bit older, I’ll break down footwork so anyone can ERNE, even if you currently think you can’t.


My Journey Playing Pro Pickleball: 

Story time:

Leading up to my first pro tournament ever, I was fired up. Practicing my speed ups. Practicing my backhand flicks. Practicing my creative shot ability at the kitchen. 

Then came game time. 

The Atlanta Open. First round. Center Court. Playing against former world #1 Kyle Yates and current top pro Jessie Irvine. 

The outcome? 11-0 , 11-0. If you were to take 10 deep breaths, the match woulda been over by the time you finished.

It was tough, and it ended quickly.

And when people said, what happened? My response was simple. 

We couldn’t get to the kitchen. 

3rd shot drives didn’t win us any points immediately. 3rd shot drops were difficult to get to bounce. And my 5th shot and 7th shot ability was treacherous. 

In other words, they kept us back near the baseline. A losing strategy at the next level you’re trying to get to. 

My realization after that match was, I need to master the fundamentals before investing too much time on the creative nuance of the game.

SO, why do I share that story? 


Without mastering three things:

  1. 3rd shot decision making and execution 
  2. Transition Game (aka, any ball you hit in between the baseline and kitchen)
  3. Dinking 

…you will struggle at the next level you want to play at.

So when I’m thinking, “What should I train today?” I keep coming back to these three things. 

THEN, when I’m executing these skills at a higher level, I move to investing time in other places. For example, off the bounce speed ups combinations, backhand rolls, lobs, inside out, etc. 

The cool thing about this realization is, it applies to life. If pickleball is just the thing you do for fun, this is still worth considering (in whatever avenue you want to grow):

You have to master the fundamentals first.

Do this and you’ll find yourself jumping from 3.0 - 3.5. Or 3.5 - 4.5 faster than all your peers!

Hope this helps! 


PS: Now, you might be thinking, "Wait a minute, Kyle just told us to master the fundamentals and now he's suggesting we watch a video on the Erne shot? What's going on?" I admit, it might seem a bit contradictory, but hear me out. While mastering the fundamentals should be your top priority, I also believe in having fun on the court. And let's be real, the Erne shot is just so dang fun. So my advice is to allocate a small percentage of your training time (if you're the type who trains) to practicing the Erne or more nuance shots like it, while still prioritizing the fundamental skills I mentioned earlier!

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