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.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Land of the Sky Media Coverage

It takes real planning to organize this kind of chaos...

The Land of the Sky tournament is over and all is calm now. But it was hopping over the past weekend. One of the visitors to the tournament was the local television station - WLOS. Their report is shown below.

Hendersonville hosts Land of Sky Pickleball Tournament

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) — A new tournament in Hendersonville showcases some of the best players in the area in a fast-growing sport -- pickleball.

BUN PICKLEBALL TOURNY.transfer_frame_374.jpgThe Land of Sky Pickleball Tournament began Friday at Xcel Sportsplex.

The tournament includes 218 players of all skill levels.

According to the USA Pickleball Association, pickleball is a paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong.

Players say they love pickleball because it is inexpensive, easy to learn and a great chance to socialize.

"Access in this area is very limited, and one of the purposes of this was to expose the game to more people and get the word out about how fast it's growing," co-tournament director Paul Aaron said.

Organizers said 60 percent of the players are from out of town, so it is expected to have a good impact on the local economy.

Play continues through the weekend.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Is Anything "Good Enough"?

Excellence is an attitude...

First, I'M BACK!. It has always been my intention to provide a new post every day (with the exception of Recycle Sunday, of course). But I was a co-tournament director of the Land of the Sky tournament this past weekend. The tournament work and following recovery were too overwhelming to allow blogging. I have finally recovered enough to have a new post, although not an original one. It is Thursday and that means it is DJ Howard's turn.

DJ's tip this week is all about attitude.

DJ's weekly tip:

Good enough isn't good enough.

Wanna move up a level? You have to get better and be better more consistently.

A philosophy that says, "just get it in and that's good enough" is NOT good enough! 

The higher you go in level, the better you have to be at each aspect of the game.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Recycle Sunday - Analysis of a Single Point

A blast from the past...

This week's Recycle Sunday article was originally published March 4, 2016.


Pickleball is a game with lots of action compacted into a short time. Sometimes a single rally contains a ton of information. Such is the case with the championship point at the recent Grand Canyon State Games as shown in the below video from Pickleball Channel's Facebook page. 

The team on the near court consists of Jennifer Lucore and Alex Hamner, generally considered one of the best, if not the best, women's doubles teams in the world. Lucore is in the white shirt and Hamner is in the pink shirt. Let's go through some of the play:

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Out Front

Make practice fun...

Jordan Briones continues his Primetime video series with another dink drill. This drill focuses on hitting the ball out in front raher than allowing it to get close to your feet. The video is titled #1 Dink Killer | The Main Thing That's Killing Your Pickleball Dinks

The theory that drives Jordan's discussion is that the single biggest negative impact on players' dink games is allowing the ball to get to the body. This causes players to make adjustments such as wrist snaps that have bad results.

Instead, Jordan states that players should hit the ball in front of their body in order to make a more consistent dink. He uses a visual to illustrate the danger zone.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Pickleball Performance Training - Squat and Hinge

It's all to do with the training: you can do a lot if you're properly trained...

The next post from our fitness guru, Nat Littauer, is specific to strengthening the body parts that help prevent injury and maximize performance at the NVZ line. Nate discusses 2 exercise movements - the squat and the hinge.


Pickleball is a game of close quarters. While it contains similar components of other court sports such as tennis and badminton, it has a unique aspect that needs to be considered when playing and training to hone your Pickleball skills. The kitchen line is where a majority of the Pickleball action takes place, and in order to succeed at the line you must be prepared for a few things.

First, the initial rush to the line after a serve in order to have a good vantage point creates a huge amount of force when you stop at the line. These forces, due to the quickness of the movement to get there, can place large amounts of stress to the hip, knee, and ankle joint. Second, the amount of vertical movement that takes place when you make and return the various shots in order score/not be scored upon.

In order to adequately prepare for these two major aspects of movement at the kitchen line, we need to train to primary patterns: the squat and the hinge. Before I go any further, I know that in the past people have often relayed the message from a 1960's Sports Illustrated article saying that squats are bad for knee health, however this movement pattern has been highly researched and proven to aid in injury prevention when performed correctly. The hinge is also the movement pattern that is often associated with the deadlift, which many have also thought to be a movement that is bad for the back (this also comes down to proper teaching and technique to maintain safety). 

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Land of the Sky Survey

It takes real planning to organize this kind of chaos...

The Land of the Sky tournament is over.  It seemed to meet with good success, but feedback is always important. Our goal was to make this a players' tournament where the focus was on them. Please help us get better by completing the short survey below. Be sure to click on "Finish Survey" at the end.

Recycle Sunday - Etiquette - Before Serving

A blast from the past...

This week's Recycle Sunday article was originally published March 1, 2016.


Experienced players tend to just walk to the serving position, check for opponents' and partner's readiness, call the score, and hit the serve. Such is not the case with beginners. In order to get comfortable with the rules and etiquette of serving, the following guidelines should be considered.

1. The server should ensure that he is serving from the proper court and that all players are ready, including both opponents and the server's partner.  This player can stand anywhere on his side of the court. It is good practice for the server to ensure his partner is properly positioned near the baseline or wherever their strategy dictates.

2. If the receiver is not ready to receive the serve or their partner is not in position, they should indicate so by either holding the paddle hand straight in the air, holding the non-paddle hand in the same way, or turning their back completely to the server. The receiver may do this because of a distraction, ball on court, movement behind the server, partner not in position or they need time to adjust a piece of equipment. It is not sportsmanlike to use delay of serve as a stalling tactic.