I haven’t recorded the podcast for a while. Still, today it is well worth listening to, as I am talking with Matt and Aaron from the pickleball clinic, one of the largest Facebook groups and they put out some terrific video content. Still, I think what everybody will want to hear from them today is about speed-ups. We go into a deep dive on a topic. I really haven’t talked a whole lot about it recently, but it’s becoming more and more important to the game.

Mentioned in the Show

The Pickleball Clinic Facebook Group

The Pickleball Clinic Youtube Channel

Show Notes

  1. Introduction to Matt and Aaron
    • The episode begins with a warm welcome to Matt and Aaron .
    • The duo shares how they are doing and their excitement about playing pickleball soon.
    • A brief discussion on why the podcast is named Pickleball Fire, reflecting the game’s rapid growth.
  2. Their Pickleball Journey 
    • How Matt and Aaron met, their initial journey into tennis, and their eventual love for pickleball.
    • The creation of First Serve Tennis Academy and Montclair Pickleball.
    • Introduction to Pickleball Clinic on Facebook – the largest online community for pickleball enthusiasts.
    • Growth and expansion of their pickleball academy across New Jersey.
  3. A Chance to Play with Top Players 
    • An entertaining story of how Matt and Aaron got a chance to play with Ben and Colin Johns.
    • Reflecting on the experience and the score they achieved.
  4. Building the Largest Facebook Group
    • Insights into how they built the largest Facebook group for pickleball players.
    • Their philosophy of community building, allowing free discussions, and consistently producing content.
    • Mention of the daily tips and other engaging content that keeps the community alive.
  5. Tip of the Day – Playing in the Wind 
    • Matt shares a valuable tip for playing pickleball in windy conditions.
    • Importance of keeping feet moving and adjusting to the ball in the wind.
  • Definition of Speed Up: A “speed up” is a strategy used in pickleball where a player initiates an attack by hitting the ball hard, either off the bounce or out of the air, while at the kitchen line. It aims to set the player up for an easier put-away on the next shot or win the rally.
  • Misuse of Speed Ups: Many players, especially at lower levels, misuse speed ups by using them at the wrong times or without proper execution. This can become a bad habit that hinders progression beyond certain skill levels.
  • Necessity of Speed Ups: According to the speaker, speeding up off the bounce is not essential until higher levels (past the 5.0 level). Instead, dinking and patience can be more effective strategies at lower levels.
  • When to Hit a Speed Up: The right time to use a speed up is when the dink is high, and the player is stationary. Speeding up from below the knees is discouraged as it can lead to unfavorable outcomes.
  • Disguising Speed Ups: Disguising a speed up is part of the strategy, making it challenging for opponents to anticipate the attack. The backswing and preparation should look identical to a dink.
  • What Happens After a Speed Up: Players must be ready for a counterattack after hitting a speed up. Being prepared for the ball to return and knowing how to respond is essential.
  • Playing Paranoid: One approach is to always expect the ball to be sped up at you and be ready to defend it without unnecessary backswing or follow-through.
  • Power Level: The power level of a speed up varies depending on how high the bounce is. Placement is more important than the force, and aiming for one of six spots around the opponent’s body can be an effective tactic.

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