Pickleball: Kitchen Basics & Myths

As a Pickleball Ambassador for the N. Phoenix area and community center instructor, I am often surprised by the following questions:

  • 1. Can you go into the Non Volley Zone (NVZ) or Kitchen before the ball bounces in it?
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  • 2. How long can you stay in the NVZ?
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  • 3. Can both players on a team be in the NVZ at the same time?
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This leads me to wondering: How many people know the correct answers? If you have any doubts about the answers to the questions posed above, the video below might be of interest to you!


Three Myths About Being in the Kitchen | Pickleball 411

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 – JBRish.com



Pickleball: Paddle Dos and Don’ts

I haven’t written about pickleball in a while and today I thought I would talk about one aspect that most players probably take for granted. Before I get into the detials however, let me explain something about stagecraft.

When a theater production is prolonged and continues for months, every week or two weeks, the crew, actors, stage managers, director, etc. would conduct a walk through of the play to see if anything has inadvertently been changed. They recite the dialogue and compare it to the written script. They want to ascertain if any words have been altered, if all the the props are in their precise location and if the blocking (marks where actors are to stand) have remained intact. All of these are checked and double checked.

The reason this is important is because over time, simple changes seem to creep in and even though they may not be huge deviations, when added together, they can alter the production.

Now back to pickleball…

How many times have you reviewed how you hold the paddle when you are playing? Is it possible that your grip has gotten a bit off kilter? Is the face of your paddle in the correct orientation when striking the ball?

Mark Renneson of Third Shot Sports has an interesting video about keeping the paddle in the proper orientation when hitting the ball.

Sarah Ansboury also shares some thoughts about proper paddle placement/orientation in a recently penned essay. She goes on to explain

“One of the biggest differences between an advanced and intermediate pickleball player is where they hold their paddle…”

And she goes on to offer further details. You can read the entire essay, Pickleball Bulleye: You Have One on Your Chest, at her website.

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 – JBRish.com



Pickleball: Slow It Down

In my last pickleball post, I included a link to an article which explained that there doesn’t necessarily have to be dinking in any given pickleball game. If you missed that essay, you can catch it at this link:

There’s No Dinking in Pickleball

Below is a short video explaining the opposite view, i.e. why you need to use the slow game (which includes dinking).


Top 3 Reasons You Should Slow The Game Down | Pickleball Quick Tip

 

If you are convinced that this is something you would like to learn, Deb Harrison explains the general technique in the video below. At one point, she was a proponent of what she referred to as the “elephant dink.” She has since revised her thinking and is now a proponent of a slightly different dinking style.

Here is a video explaining her revised, new technique for hitting the dink.



NOTE – One of the key points she makes is to ALWAYS FACE THE BALL. This is good advice for all shots as champion Sarah Ansboury advocates.

If you would like to improve your soft/slow pickleball skills, here are three videos by 5.0 player Jordan Briones to help you practice dinking.


Pickleball Dink Drill | Straight On Dinks

 

Pickleball Dink Drill | Forehand Dinks

 

Pickleball Dink Drill | Backhand Dink

 

I hope you have found these helpful and that you are inspired to try to improve your dinking!

More Pickleball Videos

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017


Pickleball: Thoughts about the Soft Game and Drop Shot

I have written about the third shot drop shot and the soft game on JBRish a number of times. This is a wonderful skill to develop to help win pickleball games…but to be consistently good takes lots of practice. I can hit one every once in a while, but that percentage isn’t going to win many games.

Pickleballers who don’t have a great third shot drop shot, or perhaps a poor soft game overall, need not despair. Jennifer Lucore has an interesting take on drop shots and dinking in pickleball.

I would encourage you to read the entire article:

There’s No Dinking in Pickleball

In summary, however, this is what she concludes:

“So, to summarize there is NO RIGHT OR WRONG way to play pickleball when you are talking about dropping the third shot or a powerful, driving ground stroke. (emphasis mine)”

PS – Some of the comments under the article are interesting as well!

More Pickleball Videos

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017


Pickleball: Third Shot Drop – Something to Think About

What is a third shot drop shot?

This is a pickleball stroke that goes softly over the net into the opponent’s half of the kitchen (NVZ) close to their side of the net. This will force them to hit the ball UP.

Why is the third shot drop shot such a coveted skill among pickleballers? What exactly does a good third shot drop shot do?

  • Is it to make your opponents move?
  • Is it to make your opponents miss the shot?
  • Is it about getting your team to the net (NVZ)?

If you haven’t decided, perhaps you will appreciate Mark Renneson’s nuanced explanation. It is interesting to think about as we consider our shot options after the return of serve. BTW, Mark is the founder and Head Coach at Third Shot Sports.

Here is the link to Mark’s article – It’s Not What You Think: Myth-busting the Drop

 

More Pickleball Videos

To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017


Pickleball Video: Dink Disguise for Hard Drive Surprise

Mark Renneson of Third Shot Sports, offers a hint to help catch our opponents off guard.

While watching the video, also notice how Mark uses his whole body to execute the dink. The movement is subtle, but his legs and torso give a motion of “lift” to the paddle/ball.

Another good hint he provides is to use a short back swing to help keep the shot soft.

Sepaking of dinking, here’s another hint. Many players already know this, but just in case…

I hope this helps with some new ways to think about the dink!

 

More Pickleball Videos

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017


Pickleball Video: Hate Practice, BUT Love Doing Better


I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.' Muhammad Ali
picture quote Via

I like to revisit Muhammad Ali’s quote above because I find it motivating. Whenever I am involved in a competitive endeavor, I like to do the best that I can and I am sure many pickleball players want to move their game forward even if they are just playing to get the exercise without consideration of winning or losing. Of course most people would prefer to win.

Winning can be hard because to maintain the winning edge, there needs to be PRACTICE. Professional athletes practice almost every day. Even on game day they have some practice. Pro players are people who are generally in excellent physical shape and some of the best in the world at their skill set and yet every day they practice. To maintain skill levels, there needs to be practice. To improve needs even more practice.

As Ali states above, training and practice may not be fun, but it helps to make a person better at the thing they are practicing. Sometimes you may be motivated to practice, but you can’t find someone else who wants to practice, i.e. “No partner, no practice?”

Well pickleballers, Joe Baker is here to show us how we can practice alone and do a good job with it. All you need is a wall. It can be a wall in a gym, a racquetball court, a handball court, etc. I have even seen videos of people practicing in their garage against a piece of plywood they set up for the purpose.

If you want to practice your pickleball skills and don’t have a partner, perhaps these drills can provide the repetition you need to improve your play.

Backboard Wall Drills for Pickleball

More Pickleball Videos

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017


Pickleball Video: After the 3rd Shot – Then What?

To the net? Not to the net? That is the Question!

Pickleball players are taught from the very beginning that the “best” place to be is close to the net just behind the non-volley zone (NVZ) line. This is often true, but it isn’t always the case.

The serving team puts the ball in play (Shot 1) and stays back because of the two bounce rule. The opposing team will try to hit the ball deep (Shot 2) so the player returning the serve has an opportunity to advance to their NVZ.

As the video below points out, now comes the question – What does the serving team do after the third shot? Mark Renneson of Third Shot Sports explains: “That depends.” And he is so right.

Beginning players often run to the NVZ willy nilly no matter what, but that could be a big mistake. Watch the video to find out what you should do after the third shot. Read the note below the video which may also be very helpful.

 

NOTE – Did you notice the point Mark was making about how the players on each team should generally be at the same relative depth on their side of the court? Having one player back and the other up creates an angled zone with a big hole that is very hard to cover. Ideally, both players should be at, or very near the same depth on their side of the court.

More Pickleball Videos

To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017


Pickleball – Coming to Rose Mofford Sports Compled, Phoenix

On the heels of good news that new pickleball courts are being planned for the Paseo Highlands Park, (see Pickleball Expanding in Phoenix we have been made aware that the Rose Mofford Sports Complex will have three pickleball courts available once the the park renovation is completed

Here are some pictures of the signs provided by a member of our pickleball community:


Pickleball Sign at Rose Mofford Sports Complex


Pickleball Sign at Rose Mofford Sports Complex


Pickleball Sign at Rose Mofford Sports Complex

For a larger picture, Click HERE

For those who may not know where the Rose Mofford Sports Complex is, here is a screen shot taken from Google Maps.


Pickleball Sign at Rose Mofford Sports Complex

Rose Mofford Sports Complex
9833 N 25th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85021

The grapevine has it that construction was planned to start after July 5, 2017 although the sign indicates late spring.

As always, we would like to thank and acknowledge the City of Phoenix and the Parks and Recreation Department for their efforts on behalf of the Phoenix Area pickleball players.

Pickleball Videos

To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017


Pickleball – The 3rd Shot “Drop” Is Not Always the Best Option


Sarah Ansboury Pickleball Champion

Photo of Pickleball Champion Sarah Ansboury Courtesy of naplesnews.com

Pickleballers who have competed for a period of time and who have investigated how to improve their skills, have probably been given the impression that the third shot drop shot is the holy grail of pickleball championships.

In a recent blog post, Sarah Ansboury explains that although the third shot drop is very important and is a necessary skill for those seeking to move upward beyond average pickleball play, it isn’t the only option.

In part, she explains:

“Remember, the goal of the third shot drop is to give you and your partner time to get to the non-volley zone when the other team is already there. However, if your opponents are not yet all the way to the net your best bet is to keep them back. Hitting a hard, flat ball to the deeper player is always a good option. In fact, dropping it into the non-volley zone will actually give them time to come forward. When you can capture the net before your opponents, you have the advantage. Don’t invite them to join you! Keep them back.”

You can read the entire article on Sarah’s website:

The Third Shot Drop is Important…But Not Your Only Option

Sarah Ansboury has won many pickleball championships. She is a coach and player who shares her hard-earned knowledge of pickleball via her blog. You can read more about her HERE.

 

More Pickleball Videos

To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)