Tuesday Tips – The Myth of ‘Paddle Up’ – 3rd in a Series

Third in a series from https://www.pickleballportal.com/guides/paddle-positioning/

See the 1st in this series: Paddle Ready Position

See the 2nd in this series: Paddle Tracking

3) Pickleball Strategy: The Myth of ‘Paddle Up’

Lastly, we have this video from Mark Renneson at Third Shot Sports who offers his opinion and reasons why he feels the “Paddle Up” mantra that is repeated so often by many coaches to beginner pickleball players is not necessarily good advice …and may actually be creating bad habits that are detrimental to your pickleball game!

The video does a great job showing many examples of top-level players who do NOT keep their paddle up high. In fact, some of the clips show them consistently holding your pickleball paddle at waist height or even below –down near their thighs while in the ready position waiting to return the next shot.  Mark also explains that keeping your paddle too high will elevates your center of gravity which makes it difficult to move quickly.

It may be a matter of compromise, some players are willing to give up some paddle readiness to have a lower center of gravity and move better on the court.

As Mark says  MOVING MATTERS in Pickleball!

Reno Senior Games – Always A Good Time

Local players and some not so local players came to play in one of the Truckee Meadows largest tournaments. The Reno Senior Games are held twice a year – winter and summer – and are a wonderful way to get great play in, meet new players, and support pickleball in our area.

Next Reno Senior Games tournament will be in February. Please play in these events to showcase our wonderful players and area!

Results from the competitive (3.5 and above) division are below.


Big thanks to all our players and special thanks to Joan Deputy and Alan Clark for running the Competitive Division and all their amazing volunteers! Job well done – again!

Results from the recreational division coming soon!

Tuesday Tips – Paddle Tracking – 2nd in a Series

Second in a series from https://www.pickleballportal.com/guides/paddle-positioning/

See the 1st in this series: Paddle Ready Position

2) Paddle Tracking

Sarah Ansboury introduces a concept she calls Paddle Tracking” to use the pickleball paddle to track the ball while it’s in play. She likes to think of her paddle as a heat-seeking missile. I really liked that description, I’ve tried this out in practice and find the visualization really does help keep me on the ball better.

Sarah points out that one of the keys is good body positioning, keeping your body high (not bent over) and pickleball paddle held high and out in front of you while constantly pointing the paddle at the ball and shifting your body weight as the pickleball ball moves around the court.  Maximize use of your shoulder, not elbow and wrist!  

This helps you keep engaged in the game and brain and body connected. This is also a great strategy for poaching as it helps you get in position and anticipate the shots! “Poach Like A Pro”!

Tuesday Tips – Paddle Ready Position – 1st in a Series

What time does your paddle say?

First in a series from https://www.pickleballportal.com/guides/paddle-positioning/

Proper paddle position is a key skill in pickleball. Having your paddle in a good “Ready Position” can reduce the time it takes you to perform your return shot and reduce your percentage of errors.

Whether we get tired or lazy, it’s easy to let your paddle drop to your side especially later in the game when you are starting to feel fatigued. While a simple reminder to keep your paddle can help kick the bad habit a bit, there are some much better strategies that you can implement to go beyond the simple advice of keeping the paddle up and ready.

1) Variation on the Ready Position.

This first video comes from the folks at Pickleball Channel and national pickleball champ Simone Jardim.

Many times, beginner pickleball players are told to keep the paddle at the 12:00 position (imagine a clock) straight at the net and then transition to 9:00 for backhand shots. Although this works for many players, it can create some weakness that opponents can easily take advantage of. Many players get into trouble when the ball comes over their weak side shoulder (left side for right-handed players) and they flip or turn the paddle into weird positions rather than hitting a solid backhand.

Another problem on the 9:00 position is the elbow comes out from their torso and up (“chicken wing”). Simone recommends adjusting the ready position to 10 and 2 o’clock with elbows tucked, hands in and belly button high. This body positioning enables Simone to cover 75% of her shots and easily transition from forehand to backhand shots and eliminates the awkward “chicken wing”.

Great video and great advice Simone! Watch the full video here:


Pack The Gym, Pack the Senior Games, Save the Dates, Got Paddles, CCC Follow-up

Special Open Pickleball Night at Neil Road Rec Center

Pack the Gym Night – Tuesday August 13th  from    6 to 9 pm- Open Pickleball. Four courts, no bugs, no wind, air conditioning. What more can you ask for? All four courts open!

Pack the Reno Senior Games

End the summer with friends – new and old. Well, that didn’t come out too well….. Be sure to sign up for the Reno Senior Games. Grab your best pickleball pal and have a blast.  All the info here!

Also, the Opening & Closing Ceremonies for the Senior Games are always good times. Opening Ceremony will be held at Baldini’s Casino on Wednesday August 14th from 6-9 pm.  Closing Ceremony will be held Closing Ceremony at McKinley Arts Center on Saturday August 31st from 11 am-1 pm.

 Boys and Girls Club….Open Gym Opening Day…

Following the Senior Games, Tuesday, August 27 will be the first day of “Open Gym” play at the Boys & Girls Club. The schedule will be the same as past seasons….Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 until 2 except days when school is not in session.

Save the Date – First Social of the Membership Year – Freaky Friday
  • When: Friday September 13th
  • Time: 4 – 7 pm
  • Where: Hidden Valley Courts
  • More info will be coming soon. Please save the date!
Got Extra Paddles?

Nick Sharp and Netto Montoya are taking pickleball to the kids of Truckee Meadows.  Do you have some extra paddles that you are not using that you would like to donate to the cause? Please contact a board member or Nick Sharp to donate. Thank you very much!

Community Color Craze Follow Up

Thanks again to all the players at the Community Color Craze. Here is a great follow up article by USAPA Ambassador Dave Whitefield.  https://carsonnow.org/reader-content/08/07/2019/pickleball-community-color-craze-huge-success



Community Color Clash Results


Seventy two players from all around northern Nevada gathered at the Carson City MAC for good play, new friendships and to raise money towards building dedicated outdoor pickleball courts in the Carson City area.

From entry fees and donations from area players, a whopping $3,018.96 was raised on Saturday! Way to go players.

Big thanks to all the players, staff at the MAC, USAPA area ambassadors and many volunteers who made this event great!

Community Results

Points were taken from all the games and proportioned to average the score of each player from that community. The two players from Minden/Gardnerville averaged 9.375 points per game. Way to go Robin Nolte and William Harris!


Place Community Player Average
1st Minden 9.375
2nd Incline/Tahoe 8.750
3rd Fallon 8.643
Carson City 8.583
Regency 8.518
Arrowcreek 8.225
Reno 7.852
Sparks 7.833
Dell Webb 6.500

Skill Division Results – Click on link for all division results.

2.5 & 3.0 Division
–  Wes Mattice, Karen Wallis, Robin Nolte, Don Unruh

3.5 Division – Beth Reese, Paula Tlachac, Mike Amos, Steve McClung

4.0 Division – Becky Privitt, Dave Stultz, Dave Burke, Karen Bruner


Very special thanks to Dave Whitefield and Juana Beguelin for the delicious food spread donated by Costco and setting up this fabulous event! Dave also took photos and videos to share. You can access them here:  CCC Photos and Videos

Carol Amos took some photos and they can be accessed here: More CCC Photos

Dave and Juana and Scott from the MAC had a special presentation for Paula Tlachac, Frank Boudreau, Karin and Bob Pitcock who started pickleball at the MAC.

See what you all started? Good times with good people!

Tuesday Tips – Drop Drill

If you have played pickleball more than once, you have likely heard of the legendary”Third Shot Drop”.  Jordan Briones of Prime Time Pickleball, has a great and simple drill that can and should be used in your warm ups to make your third shots as easy as cherry pie.

Why bother with a third shot drop?  And do you know that it’s often used as a 4th, 8th, or any shot of the game?

  1. Allows transition time for you and your partner to advance to the no volley zone.
  2. Varying your shots is funner for you and your partner and your opponents.
  3. Slow the game down and reset the point.

And here is the drill from Jordan Briones and Nicole Havlicek of Prime Time Pickleball.

“Do you struggle with your 3rd shot drop? If you do or if you’d simply like your 3rd shot to be better then this is the lesson for you. In this video we’ll cover a 3rd shot drill that you can do every time you play to gain consistency and control of your 3rd shot.”

Tuesday’s Tips – Respect the X

For a long time, many of us have been told, forehand takes the middle. But, is that always a good idea?

In this first video, Tony Roig at In2Pickle explains the “X” .

“We are always looking to gain a strategic edge in pickleball. Understanding the “X” can help you determine which player on the serving team should handle the third shot after the ball has been returned. The “X” is not a one-size-fits-all concept, but rather a concept to be understood and applied as part of a well-rounded approach to the game.”

In the follow up video below, Tony dives in deeper. “Understanding and respecting the “X” is a critical skill to learn if you want to improve your pickleball doubles play. We also look at keeping the ball away from your body as you hit your third shot. These are critical pickleball skills to improve your game.

This is part of our Project 4.0 point breakdown video series where we break down a pickleball point to look at optimal and not as optimal play so that we can improve our games.”

And now onto Part 2. This video shows real game situations that highlight the “X” in action.

See you on the court!