Playing Tip: For All You Big Swingers

Some sports rely on big backswings for returning shots. In pickleball, this isn’t so. For one thing, the court is short so the ball doesn’t have to go very far. Secondly, the pace of volleys is fast so there really isn’t time to take a backswing.

Good players learn to punch the ball. You punch a volley shot by extending your arm from the elbow. In the ready position, your elbow is already out in front of you and your feet are shoulder width apart. First, aim by opening or closing the face of the paddle to set the angle. Then extend your arm from the elbow joint, keeping your wrist firm, and punch at the ball. Make contact with the ball as far out front of your body as possible for more control. Don’t let the paddle drop below your wrist.

Use this punch shot unless your opponent hits a very fast volley to you at close range. In that case, just set the height and angle of your paddle to block the shot, and pray. Blocking is pretty effective with almost no movement.

Tom Karas
Power Pickleball Fantasy Camps

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