How to Survive an Off-Balance Dink Rally in Pickleball

Apr 06, 2023

In sports, one of the primary sources of advantage is choosing how to play the game. In life, one of the primary sources of advantage is choosing which game to play” – James Clear. 

I read this recently and loved it. Both sentences hit me just right. Because as of late, I’ve been thinking a lot about what my unique playing style is when I play pickleball (more on that in a future edition). 

AND, I’ve also felt deep gratitude for the opportunity to “choose the game I want to play.” Which is training and doing content full time!

That leads me to this: 

Thank you so much to everyone who opens, reads, and shares this newsletter on a weekly basis!

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 three parts: 

1. A Helpful Tip – What to Do When You’re Off Balance in a Dink Rally. 

2. An Entertaining Video – Send This Video to New Pickleball Friends.

3. My Journey Playing Pro Pickleball A Reflection on My Best Pro Result Yet. 

A Helpful Tip:

Here’s the question of the week:

When your opponent hits a wide dink and catches you a bit off balance, where should you hit your next ball? 

My take: I almost exclusively hit a dink back to the middle of the court when I get caught off balance.

Trying to go up the line is hard because you don’t have as much distance to work with and it’s easy to miss high which is bad.

Also if you go line and they are an ERNE threat, you’re going to get burned.

And I don’t love going back wide because that’s a really tough shot to pull off well. It often leads to pop ups, which is never a good thing.

My internal motto is, Survive this shot and get back on balance.” 

Don’t try to be a hero and don’t speed-up out of panic. 

Just survive it, get back on balance, and work the point until you get a better opportunity to get aggressive.

Entertaining Video:  

This is a slight deviation from my usual “entertaining videos,” ha!

But… It’s my newsletter so I’m taking some creative liberty because I really want to share this video with you. 

A few weeks ago, I shared my new video on the doubles rules, and it got such a great response I decided to make a singles version as well! 

It’s, in my opinion, the most clear video on the internet that explains the rules of pickleball singles. 

Again, I know most of you already know the rules, but save this link so you can send it to all your newbie friends when they ask you what the rules of pickleball singles are!

My Journey Playing Pro Pickleball: 

Last week, I played the APP Mesa tournament. 

Men’s Doubles didn’t go as well, but I’m going to focus on the positive here. So let’s talk Mixed Doubles.

I had my best pro result yet. We went 4-2 and just missed going to the next round with a 15-13 loss against the team that went on to get 4th. 

It felt good to walk around the venue and have people ask, “How was your day?” And to be able to say, “It’s still going!”

In addition, we beat two teams where both players on those teams currently play in Major League Pickleball (one of my future goals) — so that felt good!

It was another weekend of progress. And a weekend where, at multiple times during the event, I felt like the game was slowing down and my decision making felt right. 

Whether you’re just starting out or playing pro events like me, remember this: 

Your ceiling for improvement is high! Very high! And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. There’s always something you can work on. From technique at the baseline, to form at the kitchen line, to decision making. I could go on and on about it. There’s always something to improve at!

And that’s something I’m realizing every single day when I play this game. 

So keep working at it. Because when you work to improve, day after day, for an extended period of time, good things happen! That’s just how the world tends to work! 

In closing, I actually wrote this edition last night, because today I’m playing in the PPA Red Rock tournament in Utah, and wanted to be completely focused on my play! 

I’ll let you know how it goes in next week’s edition :) 

Until then,


PS: If you enjoyed this blog and you want to subscribe to the newsletter, you can do that by clicking here!

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