MANATEE MIDDLE SCHOOL
On February 17, 2017 thanks to two generous donors, Pickleball For All donated a complete pickleball package which includes 40 Paddletek paddles, 2 Wilson portable nets, 12 dozen balls, 2 sets of Wilson EZ court lines and a lock box that will carry it all. This is with the support of Paddletek, Wilson Sports, and US OPEN Pickleball Championships!
Pickleball For All donated a complete pickleball package which includes 40 Paddletek paddles, 2 Wilson portable nets, 12 dozen balls, 2 sets Wilson EZ court lines and a lock box that will carry it all. This is with the support of Paddletek, Wilson Sports, US OPEN Pickleball Championships and the many donors that support Pickleball For All!
Paige Mitschele and Jim Ludwig working with the Physical Education Teachers, gaining their support and enthusiasm to continue bringing pickleball to the students of Collier County. Subjects touched upon were the growth of pickleball not only around the states but especially in Collier County. How teaching this sport will help these students to live a healthier lifestyle. Also, made the teachers aware of opportunities for them to apply for grants to help fund their needs as well.
It was a great night for pickleball and hockey! There were close to 100 pickleball supporters that showed up to the Florida Everblades game at Germain Arena in Estero, FL. We made history by playing pickleball for the first time ever in the Germain Arena. Thanks to Casey Escarcega and Mike Kelly of the Everblades for putting this together and supporting Pickleball For All! We raised $390 this night and had plenty of fun too! Swampy showed up and showed us how it is done. Thanks to all those who helped make this a fun event, special thanks to Ed Harbold and Gail Scavongelli for putting this all together.
Kyle waiting for Swampy
My Friend Tim West making the shot!
Kyle Yates autographing Tim's hat
My friend Anthony Cruz with Kyle Yates
Anthony, Kyle, Tim and Jim
Swampy showing how it is done!
Swampy's transition to pickleball.
Kyle, Swampy and Looey Trembly all the way in from Canada for this event. Looey just loves Swampy!
Our other Canadian friend Paul Leeder!
Looey, Paul, Dan Curry, & Kyle
Potential pickleball players....I'm selling...
Kyle and Ed Harbold....Thanks for all the work you did to put this together Ed!
Our own pickleball player and national anthem singer Kimberly Shaw with her daughter! Great job Kimberly!
Pickleball players in the stands and my biggest supporter my wife Carol! Baby it's cold inside!
The team that put this together.....Casey Escarcega of the Everblades, Ed Harbold, Gail Scavongelli, Jim Ludwig.
Pelican Sound has grand opening of their brand new pickleball courts!
I was fortunate enough to be part of this amazing event along with over 250 Pelican Sound residents.
In a survey of 1200 homes 600 residents were interested in having pickleball courts in the community.
After speaking to the crowd, I moved out of the way to let the pro’s Nancy Robertson, Donna & Dan Curry and resident/birthday boy Dan McGlaughlin put on an exposition on how the sport can be played at high level!
Congratulations Pelican Sound!
Happy Holidays Fellow Pickleball Supporters!
This is the Year in Review of “THE” exciting year we have had in the pickleball world in Southwest Florida.
JANUARY – Four new courts were added to East Naples Community Park giving a total of 13 permanent pickleball courts and 12 temporary pickleball courts. Veteran’s Community Park – Four temporary pickleball courts added for a total of eight temporary pickleball courts.
Pickleball For All a non profit 501 (c)(3) is created by Co-Founders, Executive Director Jim Ludwig and Assistant Director Carol Caefer. Realizing there is a need for people from all walks of life to live a healthier lifestyle, but can’t afford it. We are getting this organization started to help provide equipment, facilities and training for those in need.
Chris Evon and Terri Graham choose Naples to bring the US Open Pickleball Championships! Due to the cooperation from the Collier County Visitors Bureau and the Pickleball community, they choose Naples over Las Vegas and Chicago.
FEBRUARY – Debbie Noble, Carol Stuckey and Pickleball For All work with physical education director Laura Mahn of Avalon Elementary School and put a program together to teach the 4th and 5th grade students pickleball. A Team of 25 professionals, all volunteers, spent two weeks 2 hours every afternoon working with the students, it was a huge success! Jan Kindle of Teksoft Ventures generosity helps Pickleball For All purchase the equipment to bring pickleball to the community.
A team of seven brings Pickleball to the AMI Kids in Big Cypress. Jon Capozza, Jim Stuckey, Geoff Noble, Kyle Yates, Paul Leeder, Dave Lisson and Jim Ludwig. Pickleball For All donated the equipment to the facility for their use.
MARCH – The Southern Tropics Naples Pickleball Tournament a USAPA sanctioned event, is conceived by Nancy Robertson and me and the plans begin to secure a date February 26-28, 2016.
After several meetings with Parks and Recreation Director Barry Williams and Commissioner Donna Fiala, the once outdated and dilapidated skateboard park is earmarked for pickleball courts. Originally scheduled for seven courts after a few more meetings and some persuasion there will now be 12 courts.
APRIL – Pickleball For All works with the David Lawrence Center to establish a court and a program to introduce pickleball to their clients. Carolina Jimenez, Carol Caefer and I trained the staff how to play and introduce pickleball to the clients. Pickleball For All donated the equipment for their use.
Sally Hudgins Year End Party for those snowbird pickleball players headed north attended by Commissioner Donna Fiala a great supporter of Pickleball in our community.
MAY – Wilson Sports, Spirit Productions (US OPEN Pickleball Championships) and Pickleball For All donated Pickleball paddles, balls, basketballs and soccer balls to Avalon Elementary School, nets and courts are on their way!
JUNE – Work begins on the design of the new courts at Veterans Community Park where the volleyball courts are. Original plan is for six courts with some exchange of ideas between engineering, Dominic Catalano and me; we found room for eight courts.
JULY – A quiet month but continued planning for the US OPEN Pickleball Championships and our Southern Tropics Naples Pickleball Tournament is progressing. There was plenty of hot pickleball though!
AUGUST – Paige Mitschele, Debbie Noble and Nancy Harper with a team of volunteers head up a very successful pickleball introduction to all of the Physical Education teachers in Collier County.
SEPTEMBER – An agreement is made with Kinexis Sports & Rehab to handle all of the Physical and medical needs for the US OPEN and Southern Tropics Pickleball Events.
Pickleball For All starts working with FGCU students to help promote the organization and meet their volunteer requirements at school.
Pickleball For All has added two new volunteers and our first Board Member, Nancy Harper – Director of Development, Paige Mitschele – Leadership Gifts Officer and Richard DeFronzo – Board Member
OCTOBER – Carol Caefer and I work with Tracy Bowen, Director of Physical Education for Collier County, and present pickleball at SHAPE Florida in St. Petersburg, FL.
There was an expectation of 25 to 35 attendees in our first demonstration……..135 showed up….oops change of plans!
Paige Mitschele, John Flanagan, Tracy Bowen, Jim Ludwig, Carol Caefer, Bill Case bring pickleball to Palmetto Ridge High School. There were nearly 550 students exposed to pickleball this day…. an amazing feat!
Pictures were taken before the end of the day!
Halloween on 5th – After working for 1 ½ years and being told it could not be done, we were able to bring pickleball to 5th Ave in Naples. As reported by the authorities over 30,000 visitors came by the event that night. Thanks to the many volunteers, Kyle Yates, Julie and Larry Scott of Paddletek, the Elliots…..Rachel, Josh, Jodi and Rob of Engage Paddles and the many sponsors for their support!
WAIT! is that John McEnroe with Terri Graham? Or is it our very own Kyle Yates?
Started working with Alexandria Whalen of Lee County Schools to introduce pickleball to the Physical Education teachers.
Kyle Yates becomes the second member of the Pickleball For All Board.
Plans are in the works for a new park out by the fairgrounds off Immokalee Rd., Mike and Janet Minear, Tom and Sondra Greer and I are working to assure there are pickleball courts there as well.
Referee training program is in the works, headed by Jon Capozza, Donna Curry, Dominic Catalano, Nancy Robertson, Bill Case and Bob Hall.
DECEMBER – Brendon Long, Judy Williams, Baerbel Gurland, Paige Mitschele, Tom Hornbuckle and I introduced pickleball to the teachers of Naples Park Elementary School.
Working with Collier County, we are able to get the surface of the 12 new courts at ENCP upgraded to Deco Turf a cushioned surface used at the US OPEN Tennis facility in Flushing Meadows New York. California Sports Surface is donating Deco Turf for the US OPEN Championship courts for the next three years!
Plans are made for the Florida State Pickleball Championships December 9-11, 2016.
This was a great year for pickleball and 2016 is proving to be even better!
Thank you for all your help and support I look forward to working with you this coming year!
I want to thank my wonderful wife Carol for her support and most of all, her patience for the crazy hours I keep!
Upcoming Events in 2016…
February 5 & 6- Veterans Community Park I 💘 Pickleball Tournament
12 – 14 Southwest Regional Tournament at ENCP
26 – 28 Southern Tropics Naples Pickleball Tournament at ENCP, all proceeds to benefit Pickleball For All
MARCH 4th – Pickleball at Germain Arena, this is fundraiser for Pickleball For All. During the Everblades hockey game that night, we will have a court in the main concourse. There will be a section of seats dedicated to the Pickleball community for every ticket we sell a portion will go to Pickleball For All!
20 – 22 Skill Level pickleball tournament at ENCP
APRIL 26 – May 1 US OPEN Pickleball Championships Event!
We are going to need referee’s for the following pickleball events:
I Love Pickelball Tournament – February 5 & 6, 2016.
Southern Tropics – Naples Pickleball Tournament – February 26 – 28, 2016
US Open Pickleball Championships – April 26 – May 1, 2016
We will help you through the process and an experienced referee will be available at all times for questions and rulings.
Click below to register and check the “Referee for Upcoming Tournaments” Box
Thank all of the volunteers who took time out of their day to help make history on 5th Avenue in Naples, FL. This is the first time that pickleball was played on the prestigious 5th Ave! A fabulous afternoon and evening of fun and great pickleball! Special thanks to my wonderful wife Carol who puts up with all my crazy ideas and then supports them as well!
Thanks to Kyle Yates, Paddletek Paddles, Josh, Rachel, Jodi and Robert Elliott, Engage Pickelball for taking time out of their busy schedules to show 30,000 visitors how the sport is played. Yes that’s correct, according to the local authorities there were 30,000 visitors that passed through during the event. There were a constant audience for the 5 hours that pickleball was being played during this event.
Thanks to Commissioner Donna Fiala for coming down and spending time with us to show her continued support for the sport of pickleball. Also, thanks to the many sponsors that helped make this event possible!
How to Lose Games
Always remember that about 75% all lost volleys are unforced errors. The following are common mistakes that we all make that can give up points or lose serves. Usually, there are only 11 points in a game. You make a few of these mistakes, your opponents make a few good shots and you’ve lost. Neat! After successfully performing one of these techniques, be sure to carefully examine your paddle. Your opponents will think you were actually trying to make a good shot. We give these suggestions here as recommendations with tongue in cheek but they are very real.
- Serve really hard. A lot of balls will go into the net or over the baseline.
- Stand in the playing area to receive a serve. When players return the ball deep you can try to reach behind you to hit it. Holler “Great Serve”
- Return serves hard. This causes lots of hits to go into the net or over the end line and gives you less time to get to the non-volley line so you’re still trying to move in when the ball gets back to you. You get lots of chances to hit balls at your feet this way. If you return the serve soft and deep your opponents have to let the ball drop before they can hit it, you could actually win the volley. No! No!
- Aim “kill” shots at the side lines. One of the really great ways to lose points! Often we miss the lines for a fault when a softer shot in the same direction but nearer the middle of the court would work just as well. As the ball goes out of bounds yell “Darn, I just missed!”
- Rush your shots when you have the time to make a controlled shot. This causes all kinds of mistakes. Your paddle makes contact with the ball at all sorts of angles. They won’t know what to expect next. The folks in the next court might not like it. Just say “So?”
- Stand close to the center line. You can take a good shot away from your partner and you leave the outside area of your court uncovered. When your opponents hit the ball into that open space yell “Nice shot!”
- Stand close to the side line. This leaves the middle of your court open and makes you vulnerable to the dreaded center-line shot. Your opponents will love it and you get to make a lot of eye contact with your partner!
- Snap your wrist on overhead slams. A nice follow-through helps control the ball but we don’t want to do that do we? A lack of follow-thru and the slightest mistake in timing can cause the ball to go awry in almost any direction but usually into the net.
- Poach. Though a good shot at times this leaves your part of the court open for return shots to the space you just vacated. Your opponents will drool over all that open space.
- Put lots of spin on a lot of shots. They’re harder shots to control and people are waiting for them. Be sure to stand in one place and admire that crazy bounce.
- Play catch, hit the ball right back to the opponent who hit it to you instead of making them reach for it. They’ll never know you did it on purpose.
- Lift your eyes as you swing at balls near your feet. A common fault that makes it more difficult to get your paddle at the correct angle, or even make contact. And you usually look pretty good doing it.
- Watch where you are going to hit the ball. Like the item above, this adds a third element to hand-eye coordination and greatly reduces the probability of making a good shot plus your opponents will know where you’re trying to hit it.
- Back pedal to return a hard hit toward your feet. No one can consistently make controlled shots when moving backwards and you can’t get into a set position before the ball gets to you. Watch out though, if you trip and fall backward it could be very dangerous.
- Hold your paddle low, below the waist. It’s very hard to get your paddle into position when you have to raise it quickly. Great for driving the ball out of bounds at all angles.
- Stay back from the non-volley line. This leaves lots of room for your opponent’s low shots and even if you get to the ball you are moving. You can hit the ball with more control when you are stationery so play back near the base line and give your opponents lots of room to place their winning shots.
- Don’t be patient at the non-volley line. When you are faced with a dinking game end the rally quickly, commit a fault, and let them have the stupid point.