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Pickleball more popular than Tennis! | English Nationals MLP style event snake draft

MLP Founder Resigns | Mastering the One-Handed Backhand Dink


Thanks to Steve Beale for bringing to my attention a number of broken links in my last newsletter. I’m not sure how that happened because they seemed to be working before I published so I apologise for any frustration.

All links have now been fixed in the last newsletter if you want to check it out.

Pickleball is more popular than Tennis!


🎾 It’s official, you can now tell your Tennis friends that Pickleball is more popular than Tennis!

Apple has released data to show that for the first time, as of July 2023, more people played Pickleball than Tennis among Apple Watch users.

Bragging rights aside, researchers from the Apple Heart and Movement Study also shared more interesting data about the benefits of both racquet sports. Apple analysed 250,000 pickleball and tennis workouts recorded and found:

  • Pickleball workouts on average were a little longer than tennis. 90 minutes vs. 81

  • Tennis workouts were a little more intensive with the average peak heart rate at 152 beats per minute vs. 143

  • Both Pickleball and Tennis workouts were often played for longer periods of time vs. other sports keeping heart rates high, which is good for aging and improved quality of life

  • The average age of Pickleball players was 51 vs. 45 for Tennis

Source: Apple

You can read the full article including more data points here.

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Do you know anyone who would be interested in this newsletter? Do you run a pickleball club and would your members find this interesting? If so, please forward the newsletter on, so that we can share pickleball with more people!

Snake draft for MLP English Style Event at the English Nationals

This week the snake draft took place for the MLP (Major League Pickleball) English Style team event to take place on Thursday the 26th of October at the English Nationals in Bolton.

I’m delighted to say that ‘Pickleball Addiction’ will be one of the team sponsors at this year’s event. A draw was carried out at the start of the draft to decide who would get the first pick. Below are the team sponsors and the order in which the picks were drawn.

1. Franklin Family
2. Top Spin Pro
3. UK Pickleball Shop
4. Sketchers
5. 501 Fun
6. Scan
7. SB Pickleball
8. Pickleball Addiction

That's right, Pickleball Addiction got the last pick but that’s certainly not a bad outcome especially given how the draft was conducted. The team sponsors were given the chance to pick from a list of 14+ Men in round one, 14+ women in round two, 35+ men in round three, and 40+ women in round four. So being the last pick in round one meant the first pick in round two for team Pickleball Addiction!

As a result of the draft the Pickleball Addiction team will be made up of:

  • Rhodri Oliver

  • Thaddea Lock

  • Mark Johnson

  • Elaine Brown

To see the players drafted onto the remaining teams, click here.

You can check out the draw in its entirety as it happened on the Pickleball England YouTube channel here.

If you’re going to the Nationals, be sure to show up on Thursday so you can enjoy this fun event and of course cheer on Team Pickleball Addiction. 📣

Tour Wars: More drama as MLP founder resigns

On Friday in dramatic style, Steve Kuhn, the founder of Major League Pickleball resigned from his position under a cloud of drama.

On Thursday last week, Steve Kuhn called an owner’s meeting explicitly missing a couple of key players from the call. Board member Jason Stein and D.C. Team owner Al Tylis, who are probably two of the biggest winners in the new merger.

Leading the call Steve Kuhn ultimately announces that the MLP needs to sell another team (reportedly selling for around $6 million a team) presumably due to the fact that the MLP overstretched themselves by signing players on huge contracts. This resulted in several disagreements among team owners on the strategic direction of the league going forward.

This is a kick in the teeth for team owners who for the most part are not happy with the new merger and how things went down during the tour wars saga. If Steve Kuhn had not kicked off the latest Tour Wars land grab then players could have been signed on significantly smaller contracts.

To add salt to these already expensive wounds, selling another team would ultimately dilute team ownership further.

As a result, 3 MLP board members decided to quit leaving 2 remaining.

The next morning on Friday, Stein and Tylis got word of the call and also decided to quit their positions on the MLP board amid being excluded from this controversial meeting.

Realising that he’s probably lost all his remaining allies among team owners, Steve Kuhn decided to resign his position on the board of the MLP relinquishing all voting rights with the explicit wish to run DUPR full-time instead.

Steve Kuhn wrote a letter to the MLP community explaining his actions and decision.

Ultimately Kuhn has done a lot for Pickleball in the US and it’s a shame to see it end this way for him with his passion getting the best of him.

The MLP’s official statement was brief.

Paddle, Paella & Fiesta:
Crafting the Mediterranean Open 🥳🎉✨

In the latest edition of the Pickleball Addiction podcast, it was a pleasure speaking with Luis de Cristobal, Director of the Mediterranean Open about the first open event being held at the illustrious Rafal Nadal Academy in Mallorca.

We spoke about:

  • How Luis got into running pickleball events

  • The logistics of creating the Mediterranean Open

  • More than pickleball, paella and fiesta!

  • The courts that will be used at the event

  • The structure of the tournament

  • Initiatives to grow the sport among mentally and physically disabled people (and the special event they have planned for the open)

  • The growth of pickleball in Spain and getting the sport recognised by governing bodies

  • and more

This was a fun episode. I hope you enjoy the discussion.

Check out the interview on YouTube or via your favourite podcast app. Search ‘Pickleball Addiction’.

Pickleball Addiction Facebook Group ❤️

The Pickleball Addiction Facebook Group is for players who can’t get enough. Sound like you?

Coaching Corner

Mastering the One-Handed Backhand Dink

Are you struggling with your backhand dinks? Are they constantly soaring high or diving straight into the net? Then this article is tailor-made for you.

Today, we're going to unravel the techniques behind a successful one-handed backhand dink, ensuring you miss less and score more.

Positioning: The Foundation of a Good Backhand Dink 

The key to an effective backhand dink begins with optimal positioning at the kitchen line. Erratic movements — bouncing forward and backward — throw you off balance. Instead, maintain a steady, aggressive stance at the line. This way, when an opportunity arises, you're ready to pounce.

The Technique: It's All in the Footwork

As with all shots in pickleball, a good technique is vital.

  • Athletic Stance: The prerequisite to a successful dink is adopting an athletic stance. Stand too straight, and you lose athleticism and effectiveness. Therefore, get low and in to that athletic stance.

  • Side Step: Master the art of the side step. A good backhand dink isn't just about your arms or wrists; it's predominantly about footwork. Practice the side step diligently so you get in to the habit of moving your feet.

  • Drop Step: When the ball is out of reach, and you need to let it bounce, employ the drop step. This involves a diagonal back step, allowing you to reach farther without losing balance.

    The drop step often puts you in a defensive position, so aim your return to the middle, or at least make sure you are taking a defensive shot, enabling you to be ready for the next one.

  • Slide and Step: Not all balls will come to you directly, and you'll need to move around to keep up with the game. Learn to slide into your side steps and drop steps. This movement maintains your momentum and keeps you balanced, and ready for your shot.

The Upper Body: Grip, Arm, Wrist, and Paddle Face

After mastering footwork, it's time to focus on the upper body.

  • Grip: Start with a continental grip, akin to a handshake. This grip is versatile and favoured by many pros. This grip is good for beginners, particularly those coming from a tennis background.

  • Arm and Wrist: Eliminate excessive wrist movement and avoid a bent arm during your dinks. Instead, keep your arm straight and your wrist firm, like a lever. This approach provides more control and consistency.

  • Paddle Face: Keep the paddle face slightly open. Experiment with this position to find your sweet spot.

Putting It All Together

Combine these elements, and you'll notice smoother, more controlled dinking. Remember, maintain an athletic stance, side step, or drop step to position, keep your arm straight, lock your wrist, and slightly open the paddle face.

Improving your backhand dinks involves a combination of proper positioning, detailed footwork, and upper-body control. Practice these techniques, remain mindful of your stance and movements, and soon, you'll find your backhand dinks are not just consistent but potentially match-winning shots.

Paddle Spotlight

JOOLA Essentials Paddle

If you're venturing into the world of pickleball, the paddle you choose can significantly impact your game. This is especially true for beginners who might not want to splurge on professional gear just yet. Enter the Joola Essentials paddle, a product that prides itself on being a high-end option for novices.

First impressions matter, and the Joola Essentials paddle doesn't disappoint. The Joola paddle clearly exudes a superior feel and quality when compared to other novice paddles. It expertly absorbs pace, making it less about power and more about precision, which is crucial for beginners trying to minimize errors like pop-ups.

One of the standout features of the Joola Essentials paddle is its forgiveness on off-center hits, thanks to its multiple fiberglass layers. This structure not only enhances the paddle's durability but also significantly improves its playability.

On the offensive front, the Joola paddle shines with good spin, owing to its textured surface compared to the smooth finish on other starter paddles. While it doesn't promise the highest power, it delivers adequately for beginners, underlining the principle that control trumps power at this learning stage.

To conclude, the Joola Essentials paddle, with its superior control, forgiveness, and construction, justifies the extra cash you'd spend over other cheaper options. While it may lack the plush feel of high-end paddles, its performance, durability, and design make it a commendable choice for beginners eager to advance their pickleball skills.

Use coupon NEWS10 for a 10% discount on your first purchase at the Pickleball Addiction Shop.

Upcoming Tournaments & Festivals

If you’d like to promote your event for free in the pickleball addiction newsletter. Just drop me an email at [email protected].

English Nationals
26th - 29th October
Registration CLOSED

Chesterfield Festival
5th November
Register here

Hampshire England Pickleball Masters
Kingsley Tennis Centre
16th - 19th November
Register here

Wycombe DUPR Dash
High Wycombe
18th November

Sherbourne 3.0-3.5 Fun Festival
18th November
Register here

Hampshire Pickleball Festival
26th November

Southampton Pickleball Festival
30th December 2023
Register here

Guildford Gender Doubles Day
January 7th 2024
Register here

Diadem Dolphin Dinks Festival
Haywards Heath
14th January 2024
Register here

Hertfordshire Tournival
20th January 2024
Register here

Rallies at the t-Riangle
Burgess Hill
20th January 2024
Register here

Rallies in the Regis
Bognor Regis
21st January 2024
Register here

Southampton Pickleball Festival & Event
27th - 28th January 2024
Register here

Dinkin’ in the Midlands
3rd - 4th February 2024
Register here

The Stoehr Cup (Team Tournament)
24th - 25th February 2024
Registration Opens 1st December.
Email: [email protected]

Leigh Pickleball Festival
25th February 2024
Register here

Hertfordshire Festival
9th March 2024
Save the date!

Dinkin’ in the Big Hall
22nd and 23rd June
Register here

Herts Mixed Doubles Tournament
21st-22nd September 2024
Save the date!


Edinburgh Pickleball Festival
4th November 2023

Scots/Welsh Interclub Event
25th November 2023
Donald Dewer Sports Centre
Contact Drumchapel Pickleball Club for details:
[email protected]

Glasgow West Pickleball Festival
23rd March 2024
Registration opens soon!

In the news

More media coverage for Pickleball

This week I counted no less than five pieces of coverage for pickleball in the UK press. Check out the articles here:

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