Land of the Sky Tournament information can be found by clicking on the button above.

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.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Four Seasons Senior Games 2017

Senior games - where experience matters...

Flyers for the Henderson County Senior Games were mailed recently.  For those who may not have received one, a copy is shown below. Registration runs from March 1 - April 14. My understanding is that pickleball is scheduled for the first weekend (or Friday) of May at the Henderson County Athletic and Activity Center on South Grove St. in Hendersonville. There is no indication whether the games are open only for county residents or not. 

If you want to attend to kick-off lunch on March 2, you must RSVP today, February 28.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Pickleball Makes the News in Brevard

Good news and a good day...

The Transylvania Times recently featured pickleball play at the Transylvania County Recreation Center.

Ginger Newman goes for a backhand during pickleball play Tuesday at the county's Recreation Center. (Times photos by Michael Rogers)
Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports nationwide and is alive and well in Transylvania County.

Once an oddity, it has exploded across the country in popularity. Courts and clubs are springing up from California to Florida, and there's an active national organization that hosts competitions and provides instruction and support.

Many communities are building courts and complexes to include specific venues for pickleball.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Welcome to RV Pickler Readers

Welcome to my court...

I got the RV Pickler newsletter this morning and saw that it included a link to my site. I had forewarning it would happen but I did not expect it to happen quite as quickly as it did. Therefore, this note of welcome is a little late for some who have already visited.

I would like to welcome new visitors and tell them a little about the site. It is 100% about pickleball with 3 main focal points:
  1. Learning and improving your game. Posts will include original content with my learnings as well as incorporate articles and videos from experts. These posts are aggregated in a "book" of chapters dedicated to parts of the game. The chapters are shown along the left column of the site.
  2. Central repository for expert advice. This repository is located at the top of the right-hand column and is labelled "Resources - Expert Videos and Articles". It includes links to Sarah Ansboury, Mark Renneson, Pickleball Channel, RV Picklers, and many other expert advice sites.
  3. Local Western NC information about tournaments and other interests.
I hope newcomers find the site worthwhile and repeat their visit. I appreciate the confidence that the RV Picklers showed in linking to my site. They and their site provide great services to the sport of pickleball. I couldn't be more flattered than to have their endorsement

Things You Do NOT Want to Hear from Your Partner

It is a fine thing to be honest, but...

The Pickleball Forum had a good topic that I would like to share.

Things you don't want to hear from your new doubles partner when you step on the court:
  • The beans and cabbage aren't agreeing with me.
  • So this is what it feels like playing sober?
  • Can you explain the scoring system?
  • Are we shirts or skins?
  • Do you mind if I play lefthanded. I have always wondered if I could hit it lefthanded.
  • So if you like the kitchen so much why don't you let me play the baseline?Who cares about the 3rd shot!
  • Every time we score a point I think we should yell, "take that you cockroach".

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Help with Balance

I am centered.  I am balanced.  I play pickleball...

I have previously written about improving one's game through better physical conditioning. Sarah Ansboury discussed methods to help improve balance that is shown below. The video is oriented to seniors but applies to everyone. It is called Tips for Seniors.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Continental Grip

Pickleball helps us keep a grip on reality...

Yesterday's post was about my personal decision to change to a continental grip. I tried to describe the grip and some reasons why I made the change. Today we will follow up with a couple of videos from Mark Renneson discussing the continental grip.

The first video is a quick description of the grip. It appears that Mark has removed the video from his playlist but the link I saved still works. The video was called Continental Grip.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Reinventing My Game - The Grip

Get a grip, but not around my neck...

Change is hard. Change means admitting that you are doing things wrong. Change means accepting that things will be worse before they get better. Change means stepping away and stepping back. Change means work through practice. But change also means a quest to improve. Therefore, it is necessary for most of us...since we are not the perfect pickleball player.

I decided in December that some parts of my game needed to change in order to get to the level I wanted. I started studying the basics of the game even more than usual. I studied serves, groundstrokes, volleys, and dinks. I wondered why I could not perform some of the shots I studied. Ultimately, I learned that I needed to start with the most basic fundamental of the game - the way I grip the paddle.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

We CAN Improve

There is no crying in pickleball...

The previous couple of posts might have shone a light on the reality of some players' situations. But that isn't the case for many of us. Sarah Ansboury has an article for those of who don't believe we have yet to achieve peaked performance.

As this post is appearing on July 4th, I thought it most appropriate to ask you to declare your pickleball independence. Let me suggest two ways you can do this.

Pickleball Independence Tip #1:
Focus on what you can control and forget the rest!
There are things you can control and things you can’t. Like in all every aspect of your life, you will  be happiest, less stressed and more productive when you focus on what you can control. Consider the following list of items:
  • How well your opponent plays.
  • The fourth member of your open-play game.
  • The wind.
  • The shot you hit two points ago.
  • The wait time between tournament matches.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Life is Downhill from Here

Reality differs from dreams...

I discussed yesterday that some of us have passed our prime as pickleball players. That isn't a bad thing as long as we recognize it and stay happy while playing the game for fun. The RV Picklers recently discussed the reality that everyone is not capable of attaining an advanced rating.

This may turn out to be a post many readers hate…but I have to say it, “Not everyone is able to achieve an advanced pickleball rating.” I write this having read a number of responses to a Facebook post, of a person I don’t know…have never met…etc… so my comment has nothing to do with her. It is simply to suggest that when it comes to athletic pursuits, life is not always fair.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Peaked Performance

The worst thing most of us do is aim too low...

Readers might be wondering what in the world the title of this post means. People may have heard of "peak performance" but have certainly never heard of "peaked performance". That is because I just coined the phrase.

Peak performance is defined online as:
...the zone of optimal functioning and flow. It refers to a moment when an individual puts it all together, when they are in the zone, when everything flows, and when they achieve an exceptional performance.
In other words, peak performance can be attained at any point in life...when skill and luck coincide to create a situation where a player performs as well as he can - given his talent and condition. That doesn't mean that a player has peaked, though. A variable like technique can be improved through study and practice. A variables like conditioning can be improved through diet and exercise.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

How has Pickleball Changed Your Life

The secret to happiness is...pickleball...

The Pickleball Forum had a good topic that I would like to share.

How has pickleball changed your life (if, indeed it has)?
  • I discovered Pickleball after my father died and I had been in a deep depression for about two years. I said after playing a little while that Pickleball was my way back. So thankful to have been introduced to such a great sport where I've had such fun, met so many great friends, and had wonderful traveling adventures!
  • Pickleball has changed my life because I used to play video games all day every day. Now I want to travel across the country and get in better physical shape.
  • It's great fun and exercise. ,but that's how I met my husband. ..,so I am truly blessed.
  • Pickleball captured my ❤ and has allowed me to lose over 100 pounds!
  • Its been a life changer for me.....had stopped all sports because of a back injury and pickleball got me back into sports....and made the most amazing change in me....mentally and physically.....and the most important thing is that its given me so many friends around the world.
  • I needed a change. I hadn't played racket sports in 16 years and it was killing me. I was too busy living for someone else and not taking care of myself. Pickleball quickly took 40lbs of "baby weight" (she was 4) that began my transformation. New friends and a different perspective soon followed.
  • Gave up tennis because of hip surgery. Other hip started up and I'm only 52, could barely walk to the mailbox. Walked into gym at the Y just to watch, they got me on the court (6 months ago), I forget about the pain because now it only hurts if I DON"T play, truly a blessing.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Greenville Pickleball Spring Smash - Update

No one ever won by staying home...

I previously posted an email about the subject tournament. Additional information has become available and is shown below.

Friday, February 17, 2017

2017 YONAH PLAY? Spring Classic

A good tournament is one in which you play...

I recently received an invitation to another local tournament. This one will be played in Cleveland, GA on May 5-7 on a new 6 outdoor court pickleball complex and 3 indoor courts at the same location. Register at

Thursday, February 16, 2017

2017 Land of Waterfalls Senior Games

Pickleball is where the home is...

Transylvania County recently issued some information about its 2017 Senior Games. The portion relevant to pickleball is shown below. Please note the changes to participation requirements regarding residency.

Attention all past participants in Land of Waterfalls Senior Games!

Please note the following changes to the games as well as dates for you to save...

Changes to Land of Waterfalls Senior Games

Land of Waterfalls Senior Games and SilverArts is now CLOSED to participants who live outside Transylvania County. 

If you want to participate in events for Senior Games and you have local games in your county that offers those events, you CAN NOT participate in Land of Waterfalls local games and SilverArts.  This pertains to all individual and partnered events. We thank you for your understanding.  Any questions should be directed to Mandi Bentley at 828-884-3156.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

2017 Mayberry Pickleball Tournament

Ron Howard may make a movie...

The subject tournament recently opened for registration. It will be held in Mount Airy, NC on June 17-June 18.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

2017 Pickled Peach Valentine Classic Results

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

The local tournament season continued last weekend with the Pickled Peach Valentine Classic in Athens, GA. Several local players participated. Photos are from various Facebook pages and

Jen Kemp went 3-1 in the 3.5-5.0 Women's Singles bracket and won the gold medal.

Congratulations to Jen!

Suz Flynt went 1-3 in the 3.5-5.0 Women's Singles bracket.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Prem's Smart Pickleball

Play a different game, not a harder one...

We had a recent series on percentage pickleball that was all about playing smarter. Now Prem Carnot has an article that ties in well to that series.

I see sooo many players of all ages, who are working much harder than they NEED to be on the court, and aren’t getting nearly as good results as they COULD be. The key to getting great results in pickleball is not to get younger, stronger, faster but to play SMARTER. 

Today’s video blog post is a quick review of The 5 Rules of Playing Smart Pickleball, which I introduced in my book, Smart Pickleball. If you are feeling stuck at your current level of play or are constantly on the defense, then you’re probably not following the 5 rules of playing Smart Pickleball. So if you’re looking for a way to improve your game but you suspect you won’t be getting much younger, stronger or faster this week, this topic is for you.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Hooked on Pickleball

Addiction is a relationship...

The Pickleball Forum had a recent discussion that is worth sharing. Some entries were altered for corrections.

You Know You're Hooked on Pickleball When...
  • You go to wet courts and dink for a half an hour in the rain with a friend.
  • You're doing the dinking motion while you're asleep.
  • You call in sick to work to play.
  • You take days off work just to play
  • You miss five days of work sitting on ice and heat at home because of ripping a hamstring trying to get from the baseline to the net.
  • You get out of the hospital on Saturday from 3 days of gastroenteritis but know you are going to play in the pickleball tourney the next Saturday and you do.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

3 Rules Questions to the RV Picklers - Part 2

Rules are a useful guideline...

Over a 2-week period, the RV Picklers answered rules questions from their readers. This is the second part.

Our last post on pickleball rules prompted a lot of comments. And many of the comments were, in fact, questions about other rules. So today, we answer more reader’s pickleball rules questions.

Reader’s Question: If you are playing a match to 11 and change sides at 6, and the match continues past 12-11 or even 18-17, do you change sides again?

The short answer is “no”. Once you have changed sides whether it be at 6 in the third game to 11, or at 8 points in the consolation bracket during a game to 15, or at 11 in a game to 21;  you do not change sides again. The pickleball rule book states the following:
5.C.3.  Sides will be switched in a third game (if the match is 2 out of 3 games) after the first team reaches a score of 6 points. Serve remains with the player holding serve.
5.C.4.  In games to 15, sides will be switched after the first team reaches a score of 8 points. Serve remains with the player holding serve.
5.C.5.  In games to 21, sides will be switched after the first team reaches a score of 11 points. Serve remains with the player holding serve.
Read More >>>

Friday, February 10, 2017

3 Rules Questions to the RV Picklers - Part 1

I try not to break the rules but just to test their limits...

Over a 2-week period, the RV Picklers answered rules questions from their readers. This is the first part.

From time to time readers contact us with questions about pickleball rules.  Today, we answer one reader’s questions as we thought you would like to know.

Pickleball Rules Question #1:

If I completely miss the ball when I attempt to serve, is it a fault?

The short answer is “yes”.  Section 4 of the Rule Book states
4.E.  Service Faults. During the service, it is a fault if:
4.E.1.  The server misses the ball when trying to hit it. If the ball lands on the ground without the server swinging at the ball, it is not a fault.

So, if you swung and missed, you whiffed….it is a fault. If you aren’t attempting to serve and merely dropped the ball, making no attempt to hit the ball with your paddle….then it is not a fault.

Pickleball Rules Question #2:

How many lets is a server allowed?

The short answer is, there is not a limit. After Section 4.5, where “lets” are discussed, the IFP has added a helpful comment:


Thursday, February 9, 2017

An Open Letter to Henderson County

The best way to predict the future is to create it...

While the search for new gym remains ongoing, I have decided to also turn my eyes to the future. This week I sent a letter to a group of Henderson County officials to plant some thoughts about future court development. I saw the opportunity to link several articles regarding resident health in the local newspaper to pickleball. The letter is shown below.

Recent Times-News articles have highlighted Henderson County’s focus on improving the health of its residents, specifically targeting obesity and general wellness. The articles featured Pardee Hospital and the Henderson County Health Department. Sandwiched between those articles was an article featuring the Parks and Recreation Department hosting an activity that goes a long way to improving resident health – pickleball.

Pardee Hospital was featured in “Pardee gets $450,000 grant to improve local health and wellness” that discussed ways to “engage residents in improving their health” “such as unhealthy weight, diabetes and heart disease”.  The Henderson County Health Department was featured in “Kids, young adults, seniors, swing into action” which discussed “Be Active Day,” a health promotion event’ created because “Obesity affects people of all ages, cultures and ethnic backgrounds.”

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Pickleball Makes the News in Hendersonville

Making moves that make the news...

The Times-News recently featured pickleball play at the Henderson County Athletics and Activity Center.

More and more residents are coming out to the Henderson County Athletics & Activity Center to play pickleball, and participation in the Senior Games competition has also increased.

Pickleball combines elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis. Two, three or four players use solid paddles to hit a ball similar to a Wiffle ball over a net.

"Our department has offered pickleball since we opened the Athletic Center gym nearly four years ago. What started as a core group of about 20 people has grown to nearly 150 of our members that participate in pickleball regularly," said Lani Thompson, recreation program supervisor for Henderson County Parks and Recreation.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Pickleball Summit - Asheville

Push yourself to the limit...

2016 saw the debut of the Pickleball Summit, an opportunity for us regular folks to play and lean from some of the top players and coaches in the game. Two Pickleball Summits were held last year in Charlotte and Indianapolis. I'm happy to say that this year's spring Summit will be held locally at Xcel Sports Complex between Hendersonville and Asheville. Click on the icon below to go to the website. The overview is shown below the icon.

Don't miss the February Special: Bring A Partner For HALF-PRICE!

Imagine The Perfect Pickleball Weekend...

You start with a little open play to get the blood pumping, shots humming, and banter flowing with pickleball players from around the country.

Then, step onto the court with National Champion Matthew Blom, who gives you his inside secrets, personalized feedback, and a champion's insights into your game. Matthew's Zen-Master, Inner Game of Pickleball approach is guaranteed to have you playing at your peak.

Monday, February 6, 2017

2017 Carolina Courts Tournament Series North Carolina Slam Results

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

The local tournament season kicked off last weekend with the North Carolina Slam in Concord. Several local players participated.

All results are based on a round-robin format. Photos are taken from North Carolina Pickleball.

Scott Siewert and Andrew Sanderbeck went 5-1 in the 4.0 Men's bracket and won the gold medal.

Congratulations to Scott and Andrew!