Who Did We Sign With? The Purpose Of A Drive: New Pro Paddle Sponsors

Universal Rackets Weekly Update!

Let’s Talk About Your Pickleball Game

Question: Can you go into the kitchen?

Answer: The kitchen can be a major topic of discussion when you begin playing pickleball. Here is an easy way to remember if you should go into it or stay behind the line: If the ball bounces in the kitchen, then you are able to move your feet up to the ball & step in. The important rule to remember about the kitchen is to never volley (hit the ball in the air) while standing in the kitchen area or on the line. The more time you spend at the kitchen, the more likely you are to win points.

Dinking, what is it? and why do it?

A dink is a short, low shot made from one team’s kitchen into the kitchen of their opponent. The reason we dink in pickleball is to ultimately win points against our opponents. The reason a dink is an essential shot in pickleball leads back to geometry and court positioning. Since the kitchen is only 7 feet deep on either side of the court, a short aggressive shot into the kitchen, where the other team cannot volley makes the most sense. The only way to return a good dink is to lift the ball from a lower to high motion (with another dink).

The inventors of pickleball created the rules of the game and the kitchen in particular to make the game more fun and fair. In tennis you can run up to the net and volley the ball right to your opponent. In pickleball we are protected from those types of shots by the kitchen. A dink is a shot in pickleball that has been created to continue the play of the game until one team has made an error. That is why patience is essential to become and advanced pickleball player.

Click here for a dinking video lesson‼️

We Have Renewed Our Contract With Selkirk!

@pickleballwithtyler, @thepickleyogi and the Universal Rackets crew are excited to announce that we have renewed our contract with Selkirk! During 2023, we have absolutely loved working with Selkirk. Selkirk’s mission is to redefine the way the world views pickleball which ties directly with Universal Racket’s mission to help communities thrive by offering engaging and inclusive pickleball and tennis programs that foster camaraderie, health, and a love for the game.

Click here to view and purchase Selkirk Gear!  Make sure to use our code ADV-Universal at checkout for a gift card with your purchase.

The Purpose of a Drive

The drive in pickleball is a shot that comes naturally to many players just starting out on their journey. We take a paddle, make contact with a ball and it goes sailing far and hard. What an exhilarating shot. Coming from any type of sports background it can feel incredible to take drive after drive on the court. The most notable difference between a beginner and advanced player is the use of a 3rd shot drop in their game. What gets left behind often behind the glamour of that drop shot is the drive. People who drive often are referred to as “bangers.” This term is given in a negative way to players who enjoy hitting the ball hard most of the time and do not yet have the drop shot in their pickleball game. The drive is a perfect example of a hard shot that has a fantastic place in the game of pickleball. The drive can be taken as the 3rd shot instead of a drop when you are faced with a soft, lofty ball that bounces towards you. As you move up to this ball as an approach shot, you drop your paddle below your wrist on the forehand side, rotate through your hips letting the paddle brush up the back of the ball and you finish your shot with your elbows facing your target. Upon execution of this top spin drive your opponents are put under immediate attack. The only option they have in response to an effective drive is to block the ball back over the net. Due to the power you generated, you can now expect this response to be a shallow short ball. Your next shot (coming from an advanced, strategic mindset) will be a drop shot where you lift the ball from low to high as it drops into the kitchen. Now your team has time to work on dinking and controlling the kitchen. The purpose of a drive is to be aggressive, putting opponents on defense that generates a short reply. This gives your the advantage to either finish them off on a poorly executed block as they pop it up or if they create a nice low block, you then get to drop the ball into the kitchen. Form is crucial on drives in pickleball, without it you could immediately end the point into the net.

Click here for a lesson on how to avoid hitting drives in the net‼️

New Pro Paddle Sponsors

Some notable pros have been making some paddle sponsorship changes as of lately. Tyson McGuffin has separated with Selkirk to partner with Joola. Top women’s player Tyra Black and men’s player Gabriel Tardio have signed with new paddle brand PKKL. While Riley and Lindsay Newman are teasing a new paddle brand reveal.

As the game is evolving, new brands are emerging and more sponsorship money is coming into the game: we think there will be many Pros switching between paddle sponsorships. Did you hear about the “quiet” pickleball paddle backed by Drew Brees and John McEnroe? Click here to learn more!

2023 Indoor Programming Starts Next Week!

We are look forward to kicking off our 2023 season next week with the start of 30+ indoor Junior & Adult pickleball programs in 7+ locations including our new Center City Philadelphia location. 

Click here to view all January and February programs!

Make sure to check out our Upper Merion PicklePalooza if you are in the area! Whether you’re a seasoned player or new to the game, this is the perfect opportunity to socialize, have fun, and play pickleball. PicklePalooza will feature a variety of games and point play, so you can test your abilities and compete against other players. Grab your friends and join us for a day of pickleball fun at Upper Merion Township’s PicklePalooza. We can’t wait to see you there! Beginner, All Levels and Family sessions will be held. Click here to register

Lesson of the Week: How To Improve & Make Your Backhand Drops In Pickleball

Click here to view this week’s lesson

Thank you for reading and we can’t wait to see you on court!

-Universal Rackets:

Read More

Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

Get notified about our newsletters