With the turn of the new year it is always nice to have some things to look forward to. Maybe you're looking to level up your game this year, spend more time with family and friends, stay active and focus on health in a FUN way, or challenge yourself. Whether you're newly introduced to pickleball or have been playing much longer, we have some ideas for everyone.
Resolution #1: Commit to Practice!
In 2021 we saw lots of great pickleball gear aimed for practice. The best way to become a better player is often the simplest. Whether it's playing a practice game or drilling specific skills, you always have the ability to improve through hard work and dedication. Of course, certain training aids can make the process easier as well.
The Pickleball Eye Coach helps you improve ball strike placement, visual focus and foot positioning.
Resolution #2: Attend a Pickleball Festival
Pickle Palooza is a one-of-a-kind event that offers all the thrills of a tournament without the stress of competition. Located in Mesa, AZ, this fun annual event runs from March 4-6 this year at Bell Bank Park. There will be court exhibitions and interviews with the pros, skill-based open play, paddle demos, one-on-one instruction, and entertainment. It's the perfect excuse for players to share in some pickleball-centric fun, and with enjoyable activities in the surrounding area (such as the Phoenix zoo, art museum and botanical gardens), you can make a great vacation out of it.
Resolution #3: Upgrade your Paddle
We have seen several major innovations in paddle technology in 2021 with some new heavy hitters joining the scene. If you've been playing with the same paddle for a while it might be time to experiment with others. Here are a few that we suggest looking into:
Aeroshot Paddles from Oneshot Pickleball - Oneshot released two new paddles with their innovative new Airflow Technology to create vents in the sides of the paddle for reduced drag and increased hand speed.
The Warrior Paddle from Diadem - The thickest paddle on the market, this 19mm core paddle has the softest touch ever, with a highly gritty surface that enhances spin shots, and plenty of power.
New line of Paddles from ProXR - ProXR Pickleball recently launched their first line of pickleball paddles with their unique, patented, ergonomically designed handles that improve reload speed and exit velocity.
New line of Paddles from adidas - This heavy hitter in the sports market entered pickleball with a range of new paddles to suit all skill levels and play preferences.
VANGUARD 2.0 from Selkirk - Selkirk's VANGUARD Hybrid 2.0 series feature their new Pro-Spin Texture for more spin than ever before and their new Gen2 durable surface.
CX11 and CX14 Paddles from Gearbox - The all-new CX-11 and CX-14 paddles from Gearbox bring years of innovation in paddle design to a whole new level, with a shape and core thickness for every player.
Learn about our FREE 30-Day Paddle Test Drive: Our 100% Happy Return Policy!
Resolution #4: Introduce a friend of family member to Pickleball
We all can agree that the reason we fell in love with Pickleball in the first place is because it is FUN! This sport is growing at a rapid pace and we are excited to see what the future holds. Who are you going to invite on this wild ride with us in 2022? It can be a friend, family member, coworker or neighbor but we all know once they get the feel for it they wont want to put it down! This might seem like the 'easiest' resolution of them all but it is certainly one of the most important to help flourish our Pickleball Community!
Resolution #5: Play in a tournament
Competition isn't for everyone, but even if you're a fairly laid-back player, participating in a tournament can be a great way to strengthen your abilities, make new friends and take part in the greater pickleball community. Tournaments are the perfect excuse to knuckle down on training and come out the other side knowing you played your best. There are also a number of exciting new tours taking place this year that will serve to bring pickleball to an even broader audience, so taking part in one of them will truly have you becoming part of the sport's history!
A few exciting upcoming tournaments that we recommend include:
Resolution #6: Improve your grip in more ways than one
Sometimes you might want a little extra tack to improve your hold on your paddle, or need to replace a grip that had worn down over time. Other players who get particularly sweaty hands appreciate the benefits that highly absorbent grips provide. Fortunately it's quite easy to switch your grip (see how here) or layer an overgrip on top of your grip to provide better feel. Grips also provide a great opportunity to add a little flair to your paddle with fun colors and designs.
Alternately, if you want to keep your handle as-is but learn new ways to improve how you hold your paddle, you may want to experiment with different (hand) grip techniques to see how they affect your ability to make different shots. You can explore various ways to hold your paddle by watching this video with Glen Peterson.