Here we will provide you with everything you need to know about some of the best pickleball players of all time and their unique styles.
If you are living in America then you have probably heard about or seen top pickleball players playing pickleball on tennis or badminton courts or maybe you’ve played it yourself. Pickleball is a fun sport played with a racket and a special perforated ball.
It has become one of the fastest-growing sports in America with over thousands of players enjoying it indoors as well as outdoors.
Pickleball is a wonderful game to play on a tennis court or club as it is similar to ‘tennis’ sports that are played on a smaller court with specially designed small rackets known as paddles and a perforated ball.
Enjoyed by people of all ages, pickleball has delivered some of the gem players in the world.
With all that, let’s roll the intro and move towards knowing more about the best pickleball players from all over America.
Best Pickleball Players
1: Jennifer Dawson
Jennifer Dawson is a well-known professional pickleball player and an incredible athlete but a great tennis player. Also, the very first player to have ever won a Triple Crown. Just like most Pickleball players, she was first known as a tennis player.
2: Tony Girodo
Tony Girodo was a tennis player but when he came across pickleball he immediately got excited by the game. For Tony Gird, speed and fun are the main attractions of this game.
3: Kris Anderson
A friend suggested a game of pickleball. That’s when she played the game for the first time and fell in love with it. Now Kris is one of America’s top women pickleball players.
Kris won her very first pickleball tournament in 2014 at the USAPA Nationals, with her partner Tracy Worley.
4: Gregg Whitfield
We cannot forget Greg Whitfield when we are talking about the top pickleball players. For Gregg Whitfield, pickleball is not that dissimilar to tennis. Gregg who is over 60 and is a retired painter started playing pickleball as a fun sport for fitness to maintain his health and then became a pro.
Gregg is also a coach for beginners and professionals. He practices intense drills to level up his game.
5: Paul Olin
Paul used to be a tennis player when he was a student at college. For him pickleball is a combination of sport and fitness, those who love fitness will love pickleball
Paul has been ranked number one in the Men’s Single Senior Pro Pickleball Championships
6: Barry Waddell
Berry Waddel used to be a professional tennis player who later turned to pickleball and become a pro.
Waddel loves to play pickleball more for fitness and competition as it keeps him healthy, slim, and in good shape.
7: Terry Brine
Terry Brine is a competitive Canadian pickleball. Terry likes to play with doubles partners. In 2019 Terry won his dual match with his partner Barrie Hill.
What makes a pickleball player the best of all?
Let’s take a look at the factors that combine together to make the best pickleball player that stands out tall among his fellow players.
Skills of a pickleball pro
There are some special skills of professional Pickleball players you need to develop to become one of the best Pickleball players of all time.
Here we will provide you with a list of pickleball skills with a complete guide about them that you need to develop specifically when playing doubles.
- Drinking and dink volleys
- Resetting and blocking
- Attracting from the nonvolley zone line.
- Transition zone skills
- Baseline skills
This is one of the most important skills of the best pickleball player. For baseline skills, you need to be an expert in groundstrokes, slicing, topspin dipping drives, and dropping.
Transition Zone skills
Drop volleys and half volleys with driving volleys as well as driving. Transition zone skills also include rolling approach groundstrokes.
Dinking and dink volleys
Dinking warm-up before play is very important as it is critical to get your body warmed up and loosened. Pickleball players always get enough dinking warm-up to avoid injuries. Dinking warm provides a full body warm-up without having a paddle in hand.
First, hit easy dinks mostly toward your partner. Then after some time, you can smoothly move each other around the court or purposefully hit higher dinks so that your partner can warm up and get ready dink volley.
Focus, cooperation, moving feet, and bending knees during warm-up is the key while playing dual matches. Poor movement and a lack of intensity is a common mistake made by players during warm-up sessions as the whole point of drinking warm-up are to make your body ready for shots by purposefully improving your movement.
Drill training (only down)
Dink warm-up activates our bodies for pickleball play.
Drinks – only down help to maintain score during drills when a player is under pressure and also provides aid while learning the skill.
There is no official depth boundary in a drill as players are encouraged to deep dinks as part of the pickleball plays drinking strategy. Smart drinking skill is used by pickleball players as they always try to hit some dinks a bit past the NVZ line to force a late contact from their opponent. While playing smart drinking ball cannot be hit hard even if it is high in the air.
This strategy is a great option to improve dinks on the line. The Pickleball net is higher toward the sidelines which makes drinking down the line a little bit more difficult. Having an opponent down the line closer to the player left a player with less space to work with down due to court surface area, net height, and distance from your opponent.
Once you’re skilled with dinks down the line version now you have to move onto the next level with some rules which is practicing dinks only on the even side cross court. In cross-court versions, you have to work with a combination of aggressive hitting on unattackable dinks without hitting them too high while staying constant with patience without being sloppy.
Professional pickleball players put constant pressure on their opponents by always staying focused and purposely intense throughout the game to make it unpredictable and harder to hit for their opponent. They use different spin techniques like topspin and underpin by hitting deep or short dinks.
If you want yourself in the category of a professional pickleball player then you have to thoughtfully combine different dink shots and styles without generating errors to make things tougher for your opponent.
Dinks only is a great workout as it improves a player’s ability to stay at a point for long intervals of time with being focused and completive.
Drink valley warm-ups are practiced only down the line. Players on both sides start-up at the NVZ line. Almost all professional pickleball players make sure to warm up forehands and backhand volleys before starting their actual play. The purpose of drink volley is to hit the ball in such a way that it will reach the opponent’s waist or even higher but they never go high to low as it will end up hitting their opponent’s legs or feet.
While playing drink volley only down the line with your partner you have to stay mindful about the speed, make a slow start, and eventually speed it up. Drinks down the line improve players’ teamwork and cooperative skills during the game exercise.
Dink & Attacks Drill
Pickleball Players on both sides will start from the NVZ line with the line direction. Be mindful while playing attack drills, do not get sloppy, and always be prepared for the upcoming shots. Your opponent can cleverly speed up a low ball, you may get burned if you are not ready for it.
A sudden change in speed could beat you. Nowadays players are getting better and harder at attacking balls that are low.
Down the line is the hardest as it gives fewer angles to move freely and attack. Cross-court becomes easy when you become a master of the line drill.
Transition Zone Drill
In the transition zone drill, one player starts from the middle court while the other player starts from the NVZ line. Starting from down the line followed by the even side and ending with the odd side. The up player is targeting the back player’s feet and trying to hit them in the shoelaces or slightly left or right of that.
While the back player is working on building their defensive skills. Players continuously dig and grind. They must simply continue to dig and keep these balls as unattackable as possible.
The transition zone is simply known as No Man’s Land as players give the impression that the opponent should never be in this area. Most players never consciously want to be in No Man’s Land for a long time but the top pickleball players of the world know how to successfully navigate this area as they are always ready to hit a shot.
How To Become a Professional Pickleball Player?
Pickleball is becoming famous day by day, and thousands of pickleball players around the world are interested in playing this game, but there is something different about playing your favorite sport every day and being paid to play your favorite sport every day.
Can you make a living as a professional player? Many people who are new to this game commonly ask this question. Though, you can make a proper income by becoming a professional pickleball player.
But the question is how to become a professional pickleball player.
Well, we are going to provide you with some tips and advice which will help you to become a professional pickleball player in the future.
1. Hire a professional coach
If you want to become a professional Pickleball player then you have to hire a professional Pickleball coach.
A coach will determine all aspects of the Pickleball game. An experienced professional at Pickleball will help you to know about your strengths and help you to work on your weaknesses through his experience.
2. Adopt different techniques
To become a professional Pickleball player you need to watch the playing style and techniques of professional pickleball players of the world.
Observing the play of pro-Pickleball players when they are in action will give you a realistic outlook of the game.
3. Join a Club
Practice makes a man perfect; you have to practice your play every day to become a pro pickleball player. A pickleball club will help you in several ways to become the top pickleball player of all time.
Joining a club has many great benefits from having access to experienced coaches to having matches with skilled competitors and getting opportunities to play in tournaments
4. Play in the Tournaments
If you want to become a professional pickleball player, you have to play in tournaments and win them. In tournaments you are playing against someone who is far better than you, a stiff competition brings out the best of your abilities and skills in the game.
5. Improve Your Weaknesses
Top Pickleball players of all time aren’t naturally gifted for pickleball. They work really hard and invest a massive amount of time in practice and training to improve their skill and work on their weaknesses.
With the help of an experienced coach, you will know about your weakness and how to overcome those weaknesses.
Last but not least Practice, Practice, and Practice, you don’t deserve a win Without practice. To practice, you need to go outside and do several hours of practicing with a pickleball machine, or other home-training devices.