Many of my friends and acquaintances have given me some strange looks over the past year because I have developed a passion for Pickleball (PB). I am a relatively new player. I started playing because I was seeking an exercise regimen that would be more fun than my customary 15 minutes of calisthenics followed by 45 minutes of aerobics.
I began playing PB with a group of beginners and as I developed a few very fundamental skills some of my “muscle memory” from my racquetball days started to kick in and pretty soon I wasn’t making as many mistakes as I was making earlier in my development.
Because the poplularity PB was so new (even though it is celebrating its 50th anniversary!), it was hard to find good books and videos about the sport. I was delighted to find Coach Mo’s strategy guide and I think it will be helpful for any beginning to intermediate player. One of the best parts about Coach Mo’s guide is that it is free. Anyone can download it and use it.
Here is an outline of his Guide in Review section from the publication which will give you an idea of what you will learn:
1: Be in ready position early! Stopped with feet parallel to each other at the point of contact of ball on your opponents paddle.
2: Placement is more important than power. Hit at your opponents feet or bounce the ball beside them. Do not sacrifice placement for power.
3: Hit to your opponents’ weakest players weakest shot.
4: Play steady – Do not over hit or make unforced errors. Never miss your serve or return of serve. Have patience.
5: Try and anticipate your opponents out balls.
6: Punch your volleys and swing at your ground strokes.
7: When hitting a ball step toward your target. Point your front shoulder towards your target, follow through towards your target, and watch closely at the point of contact of the ball on your paddle.
8: 80% of all your hits should be volleys at the NVZ line if you are playing to win.
The guide gives more details and more ideas about HOW to accomplish the items noted above. If I had this guide earlier, I think I would have made progress much faster. I recommend this as an excellent starting point for any new Pickleball player or anyone who wants to refresh their PB skills and strategies. You can download the guide at this link:
Coach Mo’s Pickleball Guide – Print Version (Recommended)
Coach Mo’s Pickleball Guide – Web Version
For those with a more visual learning style, Coach Mo has a DVD that is very reasonably priced. With shipping and handling it is approximately the same price as some books about Pickleball, but the benefit is that you get to watch the techniques as they are explained. Read more about the video at Coach Mo’s website – http://pickleballcoach.com/coach/
Here are the topics covered in the FREE Strategy Guide:
- Ready Position
- Return of Serve
- Drop Volley
- Lob – Defensive & Offensive
- Hitting Down Sideline
- How to Practice
- Reduce Unforced Errors
- Know Your Opponents
- Mental Errors
- Hitting Fast Balls
- Anticipate Out Balls
- Play the Wind
- Ground Stroke Stances
- Serving Techniques
- Forehand Groundstroke
- Backhand Groundstroke
- Overhead Technique
- Drop Volley Technique
- Extra Strategies
- Guide In-Review
Coach Mo’s website – http://pickleballcoach.com/coach/