CJ Johnson Headshot
CJ Johnson
Tony Roig
Tony Roig

#126- Find Your Sweet Spot When You Play (Not the Paddle :))

There is a sweet spot when we play pickleball. Not the paddle (though that one exists too) – your sweet spot.

Do you know how to find your edge? How to find the sweet spot where you will play your best?

This weekend I had the pleasure of seeing a friend, Johan, who’s another Senior Pro Player and a great coach. We were talking about players finding their “edge” on the court or the level at which a player performs best. Johan likes to use target numbers to measure and adjust his level of energy and engagement.

In this episode, we’re going to share why 70% is an ideal level and how being on one side or the other side of that nice target of 70 can negatively impact your play.

Plus, we give you some tips to understand your energy level and keep it where it needs to be to avoid lackluster play.

Here’s a sneak peek of the episode’s content

00:00- Finding Your Competitive Edge: Avoiding the Rush of Adrenaline That Can Keep You from Playing Your Best

04:43- Keeping Your Energy from Getting Too Low

09:06- All About Spinning Pickleball Serves: Exploring the Rules and Beyond

In the riff, we talk about something that’s creating confusion out there: the 2023 Pickleball Serve rules

What’s going on with the pickleball serve rules?

Can you still spin the serve?

Or will we never face another spinning serve?

In the riff, we’ll dive into this confusing area and clear it up for you.

Links Mentioned in the Podcast

→ THE Pickleball System

→ Tyrol Pickleball Shoes

→ Sign up to get our weekly emails

→ Pickleball Mindset book recommendations

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Tony Roig

Hola. Hello. Konichiwa. After 40 years playing tennis, I am now a full-time pickleball player and professional. As a 5.0 rated Senior Pro Pickleball Player and an IPTPA-certified Master Teaching Professional, my focus is on helping players like you learn to play their best pickleball. In 2016, shortly after starting to play pickleball, my friend Tom and I jumped into the highest division at the first US Open in Naples, Florida. That morning it became clear just how much there is to learn in this seemingly simple sport – a lifetime of learning if you so choose. Since 2018, I have been on a mission to share my knowledge of pickleball so other players can enjoy the game at a higher level and attain their pickleball objectives. When not studying or playing pickleball, I like to travel with my other half, Jill.


  1. Avatar photo Rex Lanyi on February 18, 2023 at 4:40 pm

    Please comment on the rule that states that a Serve that hits the Receiver’s Partner (who is in his/her proper side of the court) results in a point to the Serving Team.

    • Avatar photo CJ Johnson on February 18, 2023 at 7:22 pm

      Rule 4.A.3. If the serve clears the net or contacts the net in crossing and then touches the receiver or the receiver’s partner, it is a point for the serving team.

      • Avatar photo Jim Eddinger on February 19, 2023 at 12:37 pm

        If the server mishits and the ball is delivered into the receiver’s partners box and hits the partner before it bounces, it is a point for the server. I always instruct the receivers partner to step aside if the serve is coming their way.

      • Avatar photo Bob Astor on February 22, 2023 at 3:23 pm

        Rule 4.A.3. If the serve clears the net or contacts the net in crossing and then touches the receiver or the receiver’s partner, it is a point for the serving team.

  2. Avatar photo Jaz on February 18, 2023 at 6:53 pm

    Hi Tony – Thanks for the great content. I have a question concerning spin serves. I understand what was mentioned in the podcast but if someone does not do a drop serve, is the only other legal way to serve is the “toss” serve? The reason why I ask is that there are folks I play against who do not toss the ball. They hit it right out of their hand and it seems that they get a great deal of spin doing this. If I filmed them in slo-mo, it kind of looks like they are hitting the ball while still holding it. It’s not clear that they are not doing a mini-chainsaw like serve. Is tossing the ball up (ever so small) or just dropping the ball and then hitting it before it hits the ground a requirement for a legal serve? Thanks in advance for your help.

    • Avatar photo CJ Johnson on February 18, 2023 at 7:41 pm

      Hi Jaz, a player has two choices, a drop serve or what’s referred to as a traditional volley serve. Here’s what the rule book says about the release of the ball on the volley serve. 4.A.5. The serve shall be made with only one hand releasing the ball. While some natural rotation of the ball is expected during any release of the ball from the hand, the server shall not impart manipulation or spin on the ball with any part of the body immediately prior to the serve.

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