Pickleball--Week of 05/24/2020

NEWS from Georgia Mountain Pickleball.

Play seems to be picking up again with more players coming out despite all the rain we had last week. We picked up another case of COVID-19 in Towns County last week. We now have 22 confirmed cases and still only one fatality. Union County has 39 cases and one fatality. 


The CDC  came out with new information last week regarding how they believe the virus spreads and the ways they believe it doesn’t easily spread. Here is their statement, in part:


“COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning about how it spreads. It may be possible for COVID-19 to spread in other ways, but these are not thought to be the main ways the virus spreads.

  • From touching surfaces or objects. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about this virus.”


So, according to this new information, handling things like the pickleball and paddle is not one of the main ways it spreads. That doesn’t mean it can’t happen, so I’ll still have the hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes available for all of you and I hope you’ll use them liberally. Now is not the time to let our guard down.


The County Beach and Bell Mountain opened up again Friday.


Registration for the Atlantic South Regional Tournament will open May 30th at 12:00 AM. It’s being held in Foley, AL this year at their Foley Event Center from 08/21 - 08/23, 2020. This is a sanctioned tournament, a National Qualifier, and will be played at their new 18-court indoor complex. It fills up pretty quickly, so get registered soon after it opens.


Atlantic South Registration


Dayne Gingrich, well known pickleball coach and instructor on the West coast, has an interesting perspective on the old theory of watching the ball until it makes contact with your paddle. While he was looking at some videos of the pros he noticed that, many times, they’re NOT looking the ball into their paddle, they’re preparing for their opponent’s next shot (even before they’ve finished their own). Their current shot is just a formality.

It’s impossible to see the ball hit our paddle, firstly, but secondly, it makes us slower to respond to the next ball from our opponent.

The advice to watch the ball all the way to contact is incorrect. Instead, reword the focus to, “Keep your head quiet, still, and level.”

Notice, I didn’t use the language, “Don’t look up to where you’re hitting.”

Watch the ball off our opponent’s paddle and in the direction of our own, but then let go of control and trust our mind’s ability to do the rest. Intentionally concentrate on keeping our head quiet and still, and laser-in to our next shot.

By learning this type of trust, our hands will become much quicker.


This is a very good tip for one of the most common mistakes all of us make. If your return of serve isn’t deep and your opponent drives the ball at your feet as you’re running up to the line, what do you do? Here’s a good solution:


Uh, Oh……Now What ??


There’s been a restructuring of the Ambassador hierarchy in the Atlantic South Region. In Georgia, the Georgia South Region has been split into Georgia Southwest headed up by Chuck Blackshear in the region south of Atlanta and west of I-75 and Elison McAllister becoming the DA for the new Georgia Southeast District. A huge congratulations to Elison for this promotion. The GA SE District is in good hands.


Tomorrow is Memorial Day and a time for us to pause and remember those who left for the wars and never returned. It’s a day to be thankful for all we have in this great country of ours. It came at a terrible price for so many and we should never lose sight of what this day really means. 


There will be a Memorial Day Service tomorrow, May 25th at 11:00 AM, at the Veteran’s Park, which is at the entrance to the Towns County School. Join the local VFW and American Legion to honor and remember all those who sacrificed their life to protect and ensure our freedom.


Take a few minutes to watch this very powerful and emotional video of Sam Elliot giving a Memorial Day tribute to Sgt. Ray Lambert who has given his account of what transpired during the invasion of Omaha Beach during WWII. Sgt. Lambert is in the audience, front row center, and the meeting between Sgt. Lambert and Sam Elliot at the end is very special. Have your Kleenex handy.


Sam Elliot’s Tribute


If that doesn’t get you into a patriotic mood, take a look at this amazing video of Lady Gaga performing The National Anthem at the 2016 Super Bowl. It’s absolutely stunning !!


Lady Gaga Performs


The GA Mountain Pickleball Club now has its own P.O. Box at Goin Postal in Hiawassee. Thank you, Kevin Hart, for doing this. The new address is:


Georgia Mountain Pickleball Club

101 South Main Street

P.O. Box 349

Hiawassee, GA 30546


That’s a wrap for this week. Stay safe and well.


John Hall

Check Out The GA Mountain Pickleball Virtual Rally Video  


Thanks to Beth and Dean McCoy for putting this together.  You will probably recognize some of the local Pickleball players in the video.  If anyone has any Pickleball related videos, pictures, or stories while we have been quarantined please send them to gamtnpb@gmail.com.

Georgia Mountain Pickleball

Playing Schedule this Week:  


Go to our web page for the all the daily times for the week at all the venues in Towns, Clay, White and Rabun counties. 

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