Newcomers to the site should note the pickleball book "chapters" in the left column and the repository of expert articles and videos in the right column.

Chapters were revised May 9, 2017.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Erne Shot

As you pounce on a mouse, I pounce on your dink...

The Erne shot is one of the rarest shots in pickleball. It is rare for a reason - it takes quick movement after making a quick judgment. It is also controversial in that many times it violates the non-volley zone rules. The Erne shot is a volley hit right at the net with a player positioned outside the court. Before we get too deeply into the shot, some videos showing the shot would be helpful.

The first videos is from Jeff Shank in the Villages, Florida. He shows the shot in actual play. The entire rally can be seen starting with the serve at 2:35.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

2nd Annual Mayberry Pickleball Tournament Results

You earn medals at practice. You just pick them up at tournaments...

Some local players participated in the Mayberry Pickleball Tournament last weekend in Mt Airy, NC. Photos are from Facebook and

Larry Formicella and Scott Richardson competed in the Men's Doubles 3.5 (18-64) and won a gold medal.

Congratulations Scott and Larry!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Tournament Schedule Update - May 2017

Life's a game. Play it...

North Carolina Pickleball has updated the upcoming tournament schedule for players in the local area.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Pickleball in Punta Cana

Smell the sea, feel the sky, hear the pickleballs... 

If you like shoveling snow in January, then read no further.

You're still here? I thought so. Would you rather be in at a Caribbean resort playing pickleball with Kyle Yates and Simone Jardim? Then read on.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Sarah's View of the Around the Post Shot

Practice creates comfort...

The around the post shot is not difficult. Actually, it is fairly easy when you recognize that there is no net impeding the path of the ball. The issue for me was mental. Brian Staub mentioned in last week's video that the first instinct for many players facing a sharply angled ball is return it in the same direction. That was me. I always reacted the same way - a crosscourt return that was often put away by my opponents because I was dragged so far off the court.

As Sarah Ansboury usually does, she addresses some of the mental aspects in an article in the RV Pickler blog called Hit Around the Post…At Any Level of Pickleball. An excerpt of that article is shown below.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Offbeat Sunday: Even Peppy the Pickle has Feelings

Never waste your feelings on pickles that don't value them...

Aspen Kern manages the Pickleball Forum and contributes a character he has created - Peppy the Pickle. Today's Peppy feature is about feelings. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

How to Hit the Around the Post Shot

Knowledge of geometry is advantageous...

After watching the around the post shots in yesterday's article, the technique seems pretty obvious - wait for a wide shot and hit it to a target along the sideline. The obvious is true but there are some fine points to the shot that makes it easier. A couple of videos will help us learn some of these techniques.

The first video is from Mark Renneson and is called Pickleball Strategies: Around The Post.

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Around the Post Shot

Some shots just slip under the radar...

The very first sentence of the very first section of the pickleball rule book states:

Pickleball is a simple paddle game played using a special perforated, slow-moving ball over a tennis-type net on a badminton-sized court.

Did you notice the "over a tennis-type net" phrase? Maybe that is the source of confusion about the legality of one of the most indefensible shots in pickleball - the around the post shot.

The rule book clarifies the legality with rule 12.K:
12.K. Shots Around the Net Post. If a ball hit at an angle bounces in the court and travels beyond the sidelines, a player may return the ball around the outside of the net post. The ball does not need to travel back over the net. In addition, there is no restriction on the height of the return. For example, a player may return the ball around the net post below the height of the net.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

2017 Powerade State Games of North Carolina Results

You earn medals at practice. You just pick them up at tournaments...

Some local players participated in the Powerade State Games of North Carolina last week in Winston Salem, NC. Photos are from Facebook.

Bruce Birdsall and David Kelly went 2-2 in the Men's Doubles 50+.

Todd Headley and Jim Smedley went 2-2 in the Men's Doubles 50+.

Paul Coletta and Rusty Carr went 2-2 in the Men's Doubles 60+.

Scott Siewert and Jon Kenary went 3-2 in the Men's Doubles 60+.

Larry Appleby and Gary Winrow went 1-2 in the Men's Doubles 60+.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

2017 National Senior Games Results

You earn medals at practice. You just pick them up at tournaments...

Some local players participated in the 2017 National Senior Games last week in Birmingham, AL. 

Don Fleming and Mike Wiltsek went 2-2 in the Men's Doubles 60-64.

Todd Seeleman and Keith Reigel went 1-2 in the Men's Doubles 65-69.

Larry Formicella and Jim Wilke went 2-2 in the Men's Doubles 70-74.

Mike Wiltsek and Kathleen Brundo went 0-2 in the Mixed Doubles 50-54.

Suz Flynt and Don Fleming went 5-2 in the Mixed Doubles 65-69.

Larry Formicella and Ann Redman went 1-2 in the Mixed Doubles 70-74.

Suz Flynt and Jen Kemp went 2-2 in the Women's Doubles 50-54.

Suz Flynt went 3-2 in the Women's Singles 65-69.

Well Done All!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Foot Pain - Shoes and Other Help

If your feet are happy, you are happy...

I recently posted on Pickleball Shoes in which I mentioned how proper shoes helped alleviate leg pain. This week we will go a bit lower and talk about foot pain. Barbara Wintroub has started contributing to the RV Pickler website and her first article is a beauty.

I am often asked two questions related to painful pickleball feet. The first is, what sneakers should I wear? And the second is, how can I avoid foot pain so I can play longer? Avoiding foot pain when you are playing pickleball is critical. So today, let me offer you a bit of advice and some exercises you can do to avoid those aching pickleball feet.

What are the Best Sneakers for my Pickleball Feet?

I think there are three critical issues when it comes to finding the best shoe for you:
  1. Get Professional Assistance: Take the time to go to a good sports shoe store with qualified staff. Have them measure your foot. As we get older our feet have a tendency to spread. You may have been a size 7B when you were 21…but your sports shoe size as a 50-year-old could be 8D. Some stores employ orthotists. These are people who can analyze your foot and your gait. They may suggest you look for a shoe that is designed for an “overpronator” or that you “supinate”. You may be able to do some analysis yourself. See this article for more information on analyzing the wear patterns of your current court shoes. Though you may purchase your shoes on-line, take the time to be properly fitted and learn about what brands and models are best for you.
  2. Purchase High-Quality Court Shoes: Running shoes were not designed for pickleball! They are meant to gofeet forward…not side to side. You need to purchase good court shoes (sometimes called tennis shoes). If you play primarily indoors, consider badminton shoes.
  3. Remember, Court Shoes Wear Out: Don’t expect to have a pair of shoes last 12 months if you are playing 10+ hours a week. If the shoe wobbles from side to side when you tap it, replace it. If you can easily bend the shoe in half lengthwise…throw it away. I like to buy two or three pairs of the same court shoe when I find a brand/model that works well for me.

Monday, June 12, 2017

2017 Gate City Picklefest

What a dill-lightful time it will be...

Registration for the Gate City Picklefest to held August 5-5 in Greensboro, NC has opened.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Offbeat Sunday: Pickleball Diseases

They certainly give strange names to diseases...

The Pickleball Forum is great source for Offbeat Sunday material. Here is yet another example.

I know some of you think the word games are kind of childish, but this one has a serious note. This morning I had to visit the doctor and much to my chagrin he diagnosed me with a Pickleball disease. But I forgot which one, I thought he said 
  • Lob-otomy
  • Blocked artery
  • Around the post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Short dink syndrome 
  • Dinkitis

  • Dink Eye
- That's treatable with Third Shot Eye Drops

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Play for a Cause in Pittsburgh

Perseverance. Grace. Pickleball...

The three words shown above are not my normal silly opening. These words are the motto for the GAMMA Pickleball Classic played in Pittsburgh, PA on June 23-25. This is not your normal tournament, though. The tournament’s proceeds will go to the Parkinson Foundation Western Pennsylvania (PFWP) to work for a cure for Parkinson's. The Foundation has reached out to me include some information about the tournament and encourage players to enter.

Pickleball and Parkinson's seem to have natural fit to each other. From the Gamma website:
People with Parkinson’s have many apparent symptoms such as the struggle with hand and eye coordination because of the effects of tremors and vision changes that are symptomatic of the disease. The hand and eye coordination needed to play pickleball exercises the muscles that are affected by the disease to help reduce symptoms. Also, pickleball is a great form of exercise that increases dopamine production and the chemicals in the brain that are believed to act as a neuro-protector for what’s being destroyed by the Parkinson’s. Pickleball has helped thousands of people who are struggling with this disease manage their symptoms and continue to lead a normal life.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Service Yips - a Novice Opinion

I describe myself as a simple blogger. No more. No less...

About a month ago, I decided to research the service yips due to a problem a partner had at a tournament. I have shown several views of the yips, including both psychological and neurological. We have now looked at the advice of pickleball experts as well as gold experts. The bottom line for me is...I don't have the right answer, but I do have a couple of thoughts.

Are the yips psychological or neurological?

I tend to think that the yips are psychological in nearly all cases. The discussion about focal dystonia in golf was mostly about small muscle failure. This is much more important in golf and music than pickleball. Certainly, small muscle issues can cause the ball hand to cause a mishit. But that doesn't seem to be the primary problem with the service yips. The issue is more related to the big muscles of the paddle arm. My logic is that focal dystonia wouldn't be very likely. Then again, I am not an expert so who knows.