Zane Navratil Pickleball December 2021 Newsletter

Zane Navratil Pickleball December 2021 Newsletter


People ask me how old I am all of the time, and I usually say “If you get to ask me, I get to ask you”. Many reconsider their question haha! Well, since you’re newsletter subscribers, you get the inside scoop: I turned 26 this month!

After the Sage Hill retreat, I competed in the inaugural Major League Pickleball event in Dripping Springs, TX. I can honestly say that it was the most fun I’ve ever had at a pickleball tournament because it followed a Ryder Cup team format. I played on the Discovery Warriors, and we were literally one inch away from making it to finals night. I ended up going 4-3 in men’s doubles and 7-0 in mixed doubles against the best in the world, and the Warriors finished 3rd overall.

Other highlights last month were teaching my largest clinic to date alongside John Cincola in Charlotte, NC, celebrating my mom’s birthday, and of course Turkey Day with the families.  

It’s December, and I’d be remiss if I missed an opportunity to share some of my favorite pickleball products with you guys! If you’re looking for something pickleball related this Holiday season, check out my gift guide: 


Franklin Paddle
Franklin Products
Theragun Pro
Recovery Air Pro
2XU Compression Flex Arm Sleeve
2XU Refresh Recovery Tights



It was one hell of a ride, but the chainsaw serve sadly perished at the hands of the USA Pickleball Board of Directors on October 30th. For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, this year I invented a new way to serve the ball by imparting spin on the toss. The motion I use to do so looks like I’m starting a chainsaw and when the ball hits the ground, I can make it kick side to side and give returners…trouble. “But Zane, it’s a serve, how tough could it really be to return?” Well, I’ll let this video do the talking:

The NCAA banned dunking as a result of Kareem-Abdul Jabbar’s dominance. Does this make me the Kareem-Abdul Jabbar of pickleball? I’ll take it. The new rules go into effect on January 1, 2022.


It’s easy to think of Thanksgiving as a day where we eat turkey and watch the Detroit Lions lose, but I wanted to highlight one (of many) things that I’m thankful for this year: People that Love to Learn.

When I quit my job with Deloitte, I didn’t know that I liked teaching. Since my only prior experience was teaching tennis to middle schoolers who didn’t want to be there, my first impression was not a good one. But when I started working with people who were passionate about improving their pickleball game, it made things so much more fun! 

Learners make teaching more than just a paycheck. When somebody genuinely wants to learn, and I can help them do something just a bit better, it helps me find fulfillment in my work, which is something that keeps me coming back for more.


Jenny, my girlfriend of 8 years, is representing Wisconsin at Miss America in Connecticut from December 12th – 16th. The Miss America competition consists of five portions: Private interview, talent, on-stage question, social impact pitch, and evening gown.

Watch Jenny compete in preliminary stages of competition on Sunday, December 12th and Monday, December 13th here:

Finals night will stream live on Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, on Thursday, December 16, 2021, at 8PM ET.

Upcoming Events

  • December 3-5, APP Casa Grande Open
  • December 9-12, USA Pickleball Nationals
  • December 12-16, Miss America Competition
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