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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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 – 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

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)

Pickleball – Lose Time, Lose the Point!

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.

Sarah recently wrote an article, The Most Common and Most Deadly Pickleball Mistake , in which she explains how in our fast sport of pickleball seconds and fractions of seconds can make a difference.

As she explains, one way we lose time is by not returning to the ready position. This is often seen during a dinking sequence. Most players, and I am one of them, tend to keep their paddle down when dinking begins. What happens if the ball is returned as a forehand or an intended lob and our paddles are down? We now have to move the paddle farther to attempt a return.

You can read the entire article at the link above to see how Sarah Ansboury recommends you improve your game by eliminating this bad habit.

A companion article which continues the theme is Returning a Lob Serve…Take Time Away from Your Opponent.

 

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)

Pickleball Video – Paddle Up and in Front of You

Watch a few games of pickleball and you will notice that a significant number of players do not keep their paddle in the up and front position. Each and every top player/coach I have watched encourages players to keep the paddle up and in front of them. Prem Carnot (The Pickleball Guru), Coach Mo, Deb Harrison and Sarah Ansboury are all proponents of this fundamental stance.

Sarah Ansboury is one of the best pickleball players in the world, winning many medals in the tournaments she has entered. In the video below she describes an interesting technique for trying to assure that you keep your paddle up and in front of you for the best chance to return the ball with a good stroke.

Watch the video below and see if this works for you!

In Summary:

  • Keep your paddle out in front of you
  • Point the paddle toward each and every ball while it is in the up position
  • This technique will keep a player alert and engaged

 

To See 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)

Perhaps Pickleball’s Hardest Shot

The Hardest Shot: Consistent Third Shot Drop Shot

NOTE: Who is Sarah Ansboury? – Sarah is the pickleball instructor at Pacific University in Oregon. Prior to that, Sarah was a professional tennis coach. As you watch her videos, you will understand that she is very skilled as both a player/athlete and instructor. Thank you Sarah for your pickleball videos!

Most pickleballers hear that the third shot drop shot is the mainstay of the 4.0-5.0 players and it is the key to being a consistent winner. Well, consistent is the word. If you are going to use the third shot drop shot, it takes a lot of practice to become consistent. Too soft a shot and it may go into the net. Too hard a shot and you may give your opponent a cream puff lob to put away. There is little room for error.

Sarah Ansboury shows us how she works to develop a consistent third shot drop shot. Watch the video and see if you can find some techniques to improve your game. To make it easier, she restricts this video to non-spin forehand drop shots.

 

Some key points (time stamps are approximate):

Let the opponent’s shot bounce and prepare to hit the ball as it starts to descend off of the bounce. This is her recommended strike zone. (3:05 – 3:40)

Push or “bowl” the ball using the paddle. No big backswing; guide the ball while keeping the arm straight. (3:41-4:28)

Step forward with the non dominant foot to keep the motion forward when hitting the ball. This improves accuracy and puts your momentum toward the net. (4:30 – 5:35)

Demonstration starting at (6:20 – 7:25)

On the move dropping shots from the baseline to the non-volley zone. (7:25 – 9:30)

 

To See Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here

Check out More Pickleball Info and Videos!