There’s a relatively new game at Talking Rock that is capturing the attention of young and old alike. It’s called Pickleball, but don’t pucker up yet: it has absolutely nothing to do with that garden-variety deli treat of the same name.
Pickleball combines the skills of badminton, tennis, table-tennis and racquetball, played with a hard paddle and a waffle ball. It’s an easy game to learn and easier on the joints than tennis. It takes about 15 minutes on average to learn to play, but the more time invested, the better the results.
At Talking Rock, we offer our members all the equipment you need to play Pickleball, available for use from the Attendants Desk in The Fitness Barn. We also have a variety of tournaments throughout the year and have a list of members that are always interested in playing, with two courts available daily.
We’ve gathered a few tips from our experts:
• Always be in Ready Position, with feet shoulder-width apart and knees bent slightly. Keep weight on the balls of your feet, not your heels. Relax your upper body. Keep arms and the pickleball paddle out in front of your body and pointing slightly up.
• Learn How to Dink Early On. Dink Shot: A soft, short drop shot that originates from near the non-volley line, goes over the net and then drops in to the opposing non-volley zone. It’s like a short drop shot at the net in tennis. The dink is a key part of the slow game in pickleball.
• Perfect Your “3rd Shot.” The 3rd shot of any point which is also the serving team’s second shot of the point. The 3rd shot on every pickleball point can be critical and often sets the pace for the entire point. It can be a great advantage for the serving team to transition to net and take control of the slow game. To set up the third shot, get in ready position and be ready for either forehand or backhand return. But don’t approach the non-volley zone on every 3rd shot. It’s easy to get in the habit of rushing to the net on every 3rd shot but the conditions must be right.
• Communicate with Your Partner. You and your partner need to move in sync and communicate with each other! It’s an under-practiced skill that’s very important.
• Keep Out Of “No-Man’s Land.” Your strongest offensive position in pickleball is at the net, with both you and your partner at the “no-volley” line. Both of you move just behind the line to return the volley. Be ready to quickly pivot from side to side. It may feel intimidating, but don’t go for a false sense of comfort by playing at mid-court, which is the weakest spot to be in.
Remember, as with many other games, patience will win points. Jump in and get started and soon you’ll be saying, “Meet me at the Pickleball Court!”
If you love Prescott, but like your independence, visit Talking Rock talkingrockaz.com. Thirty minutes from downtown Prescott, this private, guard-gated master-planned community offers a variety of home sites and new customized homes, whether you want to live on the golf course or adjacent to Arizona State Trust Land. Home sites are ½ to 10-acres in size, and ready-to-move-in homes are also available.