Zane Navratil Pickleball May 2022 Newsletter

Zane Navratil Pickleball May 2022 Newsletter

This month started out on a high note with my first gold medal of the year down in Arizona, beating my arch nemesis JW Johnson. Susannah Barr (aka the net lord) and I finished with a bronze in a solid field, and Altaf and I narrowly missed the podium.

Two weeks later, my arch nemesis and I partnered up in South Carolina and took gold together! I carried JW just like I carried that trophy 🤣! Corinne Carr and I also ended up with a bronze in a solid field.

After South Carolina, I headed to the US Open and boy was there some controversy! Several of the top competitors were found to be using illegal paddles. I’m hoping that they serve some prison time. Altaf and I made a nice run in men’s doubles falling just shy of the podium, and Andrea and I finished top 8 on a rainy Saturday and Sunday. I’m headed back home for about 48 hours before heading to St. Louis!

After my win in Arizona, I took over the world #1 ranking according to While rankings are difficult to rely on when there is so much division in professional pickleball, it’s nonetheless a very cool accomplishment, and I’m proud of my singles results over the last year!

6️⃣ Gold Medals🥇 8️⃣ Silver Medals🥈 

Major League Pickleball Season 2 is scheduled for June 3 – 5, and the draft reveal will take place on May 28th in New York City. Major League Pickleball was a unique team-based event that has been one of my favorite events to date. Famous team owners include James Blake, retired professional tennis player, Marc Lasry, hedge fund manager and co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, Brené Brown, multiple time bestselling author, and others. Most recently, Gary Vaynerchuk joined the fray. Gary V is an entrepreneur, expert marketer, and motivational speaker. MLP Season 2 is going to be 🔥🔥🔥!

There are plenty of options available to take pickleball lessons, attend clinics, and watch content on YouTube. As the Director of the APP Academy, I believe we are offering a unique learning opportunity when compared to most. Our clinics are divided by distinct skill levels (3.0, 3.5 & 4.0+), we limit our student to teacher ratio at 8:1, and every participant is given personal attention and distinct feedback from the pros.

Registration is now open for these upcoming APP Academy clinics: 

  • St. Louis, MO – Mon, May 9
  • Cincinnati, OH – Mon, May 16
  • Long Island, NY – Mon, May 30

I’m teaching clinics in Wisconsin this June – these are perfect for the 3.5 & 4.0 players who want the small group format (8:1 student-teacher ratio). Registration is now open! 

  • Oconomowoc, WI – Tues, June 7
  • Muskego, WI – Tues, June 7
  • Door County, WI – Tues, June 14
  • Sun Prairie, WI – Wed, June 15

How to use the Elements to Your Advantage

The wind is the element we battle most often. Wind moves a pickleball tremendously, making it more difficult to execute shots. Wind makes everybody worse at pickleball, but…you don’t have to run faster than the bear to get away. You just have to run faster than the guy next to you. In other words, If you can manage the wind better than your opponents, the wind provides an advantage for you! Give yourself plenty of margin for error and don’t try to paint lines, but rather aim for big targets.

Elevation also impacts the flight of a pickleball through the air. In higher elevation, the air is “thinner”, meaning that the ball will travel quicker and fly farther. Higher elevation (ie: Utah) is more conducive to a “run and gun” play-style, whereas closer to sea level (ie: Florida) you typically see far longer and “grindy-er” points.

Temperature is also a common variable. In warmer weather, the plastic of the pickleball softens, causing it to compress more when it hits a surface such as your paddle, the court, or somebody’s thigh. Yeah, the best welts come in warm weather! The pace of play is much slower in warmer weather. The ball isn’t bouncing very high, which makes attacking more difficult, and the ball will also not rebound as quickly off of the paddle, meaning it’s more difficult to generate pace. Cold temperatures have the opposite effect. So, typically what you will see is a far more offensive play style in colder temperatures, and more patient in warmer.

Franklin Launches New Paddles

Ben Johns left the Franklin Family this past month, meaning that it’s your last chance to purchase Ben Johns Signature Pickleball paddles. I have new and used paddles available for sale on my website!

Teach the Teacher Clinic!

I’m partnering up with Lake Geneva Tennis to run a pickleball teach the teacher event on Friday, June 24th. This full day event is limited to 16 participants and is designed to help aspiring teachers and club directors. We will cover different techniques and strategies applicable to different skill levels, methods of delivery, drills to add to your database, program implementation, running leagues, and more.

To register or ask questions, call: (262) 812-0033

Tune in on the APP Tour Facebook Page or YouTube Page to watch Zane play at the upcoming APP tournament:

  • St. Louis Open: 5/5 – 5/8
  • Cincinnati Open:  5/12 – 5/15
  • New York Open:  5/25 – 5/29
Check out my YouTube channel for instructional videos every Tuesday!
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