Pickleball – When All Else Fails

There I was playing a game of doubles the other day. My partner and I were matched against a team that I thought was somewhat more skilled than we were. I knew we would have our work cut out for us if we were to win.

I am not that confident in my third shot drop shot or any drop shot for that matter. I can generally hit a successful drop shot about 70% of the time. I really need to work on this and get it up to 90% plus, but then again that would take practice; ugh!

So there we were playing against two people who were very good at the net. My usual attempt to use a third shot drive or other hard drives to get the ball by them was not working consistently. They were either whacking the ball back hard or dropping it short and making us really work hard to move forward and hit a shot.

We were behind, but not by that much so I decided to start using drop shots into the kitchen area. My dink game is pretty good and I don’t lose too many dink points. I thought, “After all, what have I got to lose if other shots aren’t working.?”

Much to my surprise, this became an effective strategy. I was aiming primarily for the backhands of the opponents and every once in a while, down the middle. Sprinkle in my partner’s effective lob every now and then and the game was very close.

Lucky for us we were able to win although barely.

Here’s the point:

This was recreation play and not a tournament. Winning or losing didn’t mean as much to me as did making a good show. The one strategy I generally like to use, i.e. hitting hard drives, was not working.

Changing strategies to the softer game via drop shots turned out to be a better choice. Let’s say that we continued to lose points and ended up losing. It still would have been a good chance for me to get experience with the softer part of the game.

Keeping the ball low in pickleball is the key to winning points. A low ball is hard to attack and often results in a weak return. Of course, we need to be good at the soft game as well to take advantage of this situation.

Don’t be afraid to change strategies if what you are doing is not working.

A FINAL NOTE – I often talk to my partner during the game to share ideas, strategies, etc. This keeps everyone on the same page.

What are your thoughts?

**********

 

More Pickleball Videos and Information

To See additional Pickleball Videos & Information Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

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


**********

 

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 2014 – 2018 – JBRish.com



Pickleball: Between Games Don’t Just Wait

When you are playing in a non-tournament situation what exactly is your goal? Is it to get exercise? Is it to have fun? Is it to do your best? Is it to do everything you can to win? Whatever your goal may be, I think we all want to do well.

The question then arises…If you are at a club and there is a ten or fifteen minute wait between games, what do you do with that time? I think depending upon your answer to the goal question above, you may have a couple of different answers, but some coaches suggest that there are several things to consider doing.

* If there is space, can you get on a practice court and stay warm?

* Is there a wall you can use to hit against? You can practice your dink or reflex vollies.

* Can you do some in-place movement to stay limber?

NOTE – The ideas above were excerpted from the article 3 Pre-Game Tricks to Play Better Matches by Mark Renneson. While his essay focuses on those in tournament or more serious play, I believe we can all benefit from his admonition that between games “Don’t just stand (or sit) there.”

If you are a serious, competitive player, you might want to check out the article linked above.

More Pickleball Videos and Information

To See additional Pickleball Videos & Information Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

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


**********

 

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 – 2018 – JBRish.com



pickleball, non-volley zone, kitchen, faults, rules, legal, partner, bounce, enter

Pickleball: Video- Dink Destroyer

Jordan Briones of Prime Time Pickleball demonstrates what he considers a major mistake many people make in their dinking technique. After describing and explaining the issue, he offers tips and a practice exercise to help overcome a habit that may destroy the best approach to successful dinking.

When I watch novices/beginners play pickleball, I see this mistake many times. Another mistake that beginners often make is taking a step backward at the NVZ hoping to “catch a better bounce” of the ball. Learn to take it in the air if you can.

1 – It avoids the ball taking a funny bounce

2 – It keeps you in position

3 – It takes time away from your opponent.

More Pickleball Videos and Information

To See additional Pickleball Videos & Information Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

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


**********

 

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 – 2018 – JBRish.com



Pickleball Video: Volley those Dink Shots

Jordan Briones, host of PrimeTime Pickleball, offers a video to explain why it is important to learn to volley some dink shots. When first learning this technique, it may be hard to determine which shots should be volleyed and which should be bounced, but Jordan addresses that in the video.

Also…pay attention to the technique he describes re: paddle position and grip.

Volley Dink Success

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)


**********

 

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 – 2018 – 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)


**********

 

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

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)


**********

 

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 – Defend the Wide, Angled Dink

According to official pickleball rules, the middle of the pickleball net is lower than at the ends:

  • 2.C.4. Height. The net shall be suspended over the center of the court and shall be 36 inches (0.914 m) high at the sidelines and 34 inches (0.86 m) high at the center of the court.
  • Inernational Federation of Pickleball – Official Tournament Rulebook

    The lowered portion of the net often provides a “safety factor” during the dink game where players try to dink at an angle across the center section of the net. During an exchange, a ball may pull a player very wide of the court because of the angle of the shot and leave that player with either a weak return or a very difficult return.

    In the video below Mark Renneson, pickleball player and coach, demonstrates the technique of hitting the ball around the post.

    Is this something you think you would like to try?

     

    About Third Shot Sports

    Click the link to register to receive the Third Shot Sports Pickleball Newsletter

    Click the link to see Third Shot Pickleball Past Newsletters.

    Click the link to visit the Third Shot Sports Pickleball website.

    Thanks to Mark and Third Shot Sports for allowing this to be presented on JBRish.com

     

    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)

    Jeff Shank’s Pickleball Strategy – Opponent Weaknesses, Soft Game Necessities & More

    One of the topics in this segment of Jeff Shank’s tips is how to find the weaknesses in your opponent’s pickleball game and what to do once you have that information.

    NOTE – When playing in a non-competitive environment, if I find that our team is much better than the other team or only one person on the other team, I work with my partner to alter our strategy:

    1 – Don’t try to overwhelm a weaker player with the serve. Give them a chance to return the ball otherwise nobody is going to have any fun.

    2 – Don’t hit every shot to the weaker player. Include the stronger opponent as well. I often go out of my way to hit to a stronger player especially when I know they are better than me. I feel really good if I can score a point off of a very strong player. Keep pickleball a fun game by hitting to both opposing players. One way to do that is to always hit to the person on the other team serving the ball.

    3 – When I hit a ball to a weaker player, I will often hit a shot I think they can handle, i.e. less pace, etc. This gives me practice in learning to control my shot and it provides practice for the receiving player in returning the ball.

    CAUTION: I have found myself in the following situation, but I don’t worry about it:

    I have been on a team and we discovered that we are potentially much stronger than the opposing team. We may find ourselves ahead by five or six points so we begin to lighten up. At times, the opposing team is then able to muster enough good shots to make it a close game or even win. To me that’s OK. If it is a clubhouse game for fun, it doesn’t really matter.

    NOTE: This is my personal philosophy and I am not suggesting it has to be yours.

    4 – I sometimes use a game with less skilled players to practice shots I need to work on such as the third shot drop shot.

    What does Jeff Shank say about the soft game? I know many players who will try very hard to avoid dinking and playing the soft game. Why does Jeff suggest the soft game is so important to learn?

    What does he suggest when you mishit a ball?

    What does Jeff say is “more important than just about anything else?”

    Other topics include the importance of drills, how to anticipate your opponent’s shot so you can be ready and what to do when a high ball is headed to the non-volley zone on your side of the net.

    NOTE – To find out about this series of posts, i.e. 100 Pickleball Strategies by Jeff Shank, read the first post HERE

     

    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)

    Jeff Shank’s Pickleball Strategy – Time Out, Dinking, Ego

    We are continuing our series based on Jeff Shank’s YouTube video about pickleball strategy. In this segment Jeff explains why, when playing in a tournament, it is important to take time outs at certain points, the importance of dinking and how to handle your ego.

    Dinking – A love-hate relationship

    There are those who do whatever they can to avoid the dinking game. Sometimes this leads to unforced errors because although a return dink may be the best option, a player may lack confidence or run out of patience and try to hit a hard line drive return.

    The good news and bad news about dinking:

    Bad news first…It is a big part of the game when your skill set gets you into the 3.5 and above playing levels. Skilled players dink to win.

    The good news…It isn’t that hard to gain proficiency in dinking.

    Jeff offers a number of tips:

    • What type of foot movement does he suggest?
    • What stance should the player have when waiting for a return dink?
    • What is the problem with cross-stepping?
    • What is the best dink option that provides the largest margin for error?
    • What are the advantages to taking a dink as a volley if possible?

    No room for ego

    After the dinking lesson, Jeff explains why pickleballers (as well as other team sport members) need to play with no ego. What that means is, recognize when other players (i.e. your partner) are better and let them take certain shots. Also…listen to information that other players might have about your opponents.

    NOTE – When I play doubles, I will usually discuss our opponents with my partner. I try to tell them who has a spin serve, who is good at lobbing, etc. I also like to explain that if I run to their side of the court to cover a lob, they should move over to my vacated side. I will often yell “switch.”

    Weak partner, strong partner relationship

    If you play in tournaments or at very competitive venues, listen to what Jeff has to say about the weaker-stronger partner relationship.

     

     

    For a refresher video about how to perfect the dink shot, click HERE

    NOTE – To find out about this series of posts, i.e. 100 Pickleball Strategies by Jeff Shank, read the first post HERE

     

    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)

    Jeff Shank’s Pickleball Strategy – Net Dribbles, Lobs and More

    In this video segment, watch for these points:

    Net Dribbles


  • How to handle balls that dribble over the net to give yourself time to get out of your non-volley zone (NVZ).
  • NOTE: Other top players advise that if you can angle the ball cross court while you retreat from the NVZ, it will give you more time to recover since to hit the ball back to you will take the opposing team member a fraction longer. Presumably your partner is already at the NVZ in anticipation of a possible return to them and they are not on the move.

  • What shot should you hit if the opposing player goes after a ball that dribbles over the net on their side and the ball is returned to you a bit high?
  • CLARIFICATION: The only reason the above technique works is because the ball is returned too high. If the return was a good dink into the half of the NVZ closest to the net, only a dink return would be advised.

    NOTE: At the 27:05 mark the sound gets very low so you might want to raise it!

    The Lob


  • Under what circumstances should the lob be used?
  • What is the best shot to use to recover from a bad (too short) lob and you suspect that it is coming right back at you?
  • Why does Jeff Shank suggest you should say to your partner: “Come up! Come up!“?
  •  

    Keeping the Ball Deep


  • Why should you serve the ball deep?
  • Why is it even more important to get the serve return deep?
  • Lefty-Righty Potential Advantage


  • What advantage would a team have (in many instances) if they are playing against a team with a right-handed player and a left-handed player?
  •  

    NOTE: Jeff points out that his suggestions are not the ONLY way to play the game, but he feels these are appropriate strategies for most players. Many pickleballers will develop some of their own personal strategies and as long as they work for you, stick with them.


    **********

    NOTE – To find out about this series of posts, i.e. 100 Pickleball Strategies by Jeff Shank, read the first post HERE

     

    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)