The Need for Speed: When to Hit Hard in Pickleball.

Mar 30, 2023


You’re busy. I’m busy. Everybody’s busy! BUT, there’s always time to talk pickleball! 

Let’s get to it!

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 – 1 For Beginners. 1 For The More Advanced. 

2. An Entertaining Video – For The Amateurs And The Pros.

3. My Journey Playing Pro Pickleball – Why I Went To MLP. 

A Helpful Tip:

Trying something new this week: A tip for the beginner and a tip for the more advanced player! Not sure I’ll always do it like this, but let’s give it a shot. 

For Beginners: 

I made a new youtube video, and I tell ya what. I think it’s the one video beginners HAVE to watch if they want to accelerate their improvement. 

It’s called, 6 Pickleball Doubles Strategies New Players MUST Know.



For the more advanced: 

A few weeks ago, I shared 17 questions I’ve been pondering about how to get better at this whole pickleball thing. Many of you responded asking for more. 

So I decided, for the next 5 weeks (at least), I’m going to share my answers to the most common questions people followed up about!

Here’s number one!

When’s the best time to “speed up”?  

And a quick clarification for all the newer players playing. Hitting the ball soft over the net while standing at the kitchen line is called a “dink.” 

During a dink rally, one player often chooses to “speed up” the ball at their opponent. That just means they decided to go from hitting the ball soft to hitting it hard. Players use this shot to apply pressure to their opponent. If you clearly get it, keep reading. If not, here’s an example, in a short video I did with pro player Lacy Schneemann!

Now back to the question? When is the best time to do it? Because if you do it at the wrong time, your opponent will make you pay. 

Here are 5 times where I consider speeding up: 

  1. If I pull my opponent out wide with a dink, I look to speed up. Because humans are pattern recognizing machines. They often think we’ll continue to do the same thing we just did. So I like to change it up and speed up. 
  2. If I ever catch my opponent off balance, I look to speed up. It’s hard to counter attack a speed up when you’re off balance.
  3. If my opponent is back in the transition zone, I look to speed up. Why? Because their counterattack is coming from the mid court zone rather than the kitchen (where I’m standing). I like my odds of winning that battle.
  4. If I know my hands are better, I look to speed up. Why? Because even when they counter, I believe I have the advantage and better shot at winning that battle.
  5. If my opponent hits a dead dink (which is a ball that comes over soft and bounces high), and high would be waist-ish and above — I like to take advantage of that soft shot and speed up.

Entertaining Video:  

Pro Player Lacy Schneemann is making two appearances in today’s edition. She was in a hyperlink above. Great little video to further your knowledge on “speed ups.” 

But this one is different. Two weeks ago, Lacy and I were at the same tournament. We started doing a funny bit around the Tyson McGuffin “bark.” It made us laugh multiple times.

So I said, we gotta film this. I handed the phone to my friend and said, “hit record and don’t hit stop for 5 minutes.” After 5 minutes, I had all the footage needed to make something humorous.  

And I gotta be honest, I laughed hard when my editor sent me back this final version!


My Journey Playing Pro Pickleball: 

Last weekend, I was in Daytona watching Major League Pickleball. 

People asked, “Are you doing content here?” 

My answer was, “No.”

And, while in the past, that would be the reason I was there. But this time it was different. I was there for two reasons. 

  1. My parents hadn’t seen pro pickleball before, so they came and we hung out (this was the main reason). And the second reason was…
  2. I like keeping a constant reminder in my head of where I want to be in the future.

I want to play on that stage. I plan to play on that stage. And I’m excited for the day it happens.

In closing...

Tomorrow starts the APP Mesa Open for me out here in Phoenix!

Grateful for another opportunity to play a tournament.

Will let you know how it goes next week! 

Talk soon, 


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