How to Become a Better Pickleball Player
“(Pickleball) athletes should set up a time to practice specific skills as the cornerstone of their program, as it is foolish to think that any kind of success can be achieved without a strong attention to detail and efforts to polish those important (Pickleball) skills. –Coach Mo
How to Become a Better Pickle Ball Player
Now that you know the basics of Pickleball, you would want to improve your newly acquired skill. Mastering a skill takes a lot of effort, determination, time and practice.
We must overcome frustrations and change our mind set in training. It’s a matter of emptying your cup to fill in in with better techniques and strategies.
Here are a few tips that can bring your game to the next level:
- Set your goal and drill it! – An hour of practice 3-5 times a week can really improve your game play. Set a certain time to practice each technique. You can do this with a partner or on your own.
Find quick drills that can improve speed and precision. Take note of your strengths and weaknesses and work on them accordingly. A sample drill could be:
- 10 minutes of serving to a partner, practicing return of serves, and crucial third shots. Once finished, switch it up with your partner, repeating the process.
- 10 minutes of practicing backcourt strokes – focus on backhand/forehand and 3rd shot development
- 5 minutes of midcourt practice – volleying head to head
- 5 minutes of dinking
- Grip tight, grip right – Most Pickle Ball players only keep one hand on the paddle when making their shots. The proper grip can really make a difference. A player can have much greater control hitting the ball if he uses two hands to steady the paddle before hitting the ball. Use the continental grip. The point of the “V” between your thumb and index finger should be placed on top of the handle of the paddle when the face of the paddle is perpendicular to the ground.
- Work on your Posture and Positions to Improve Ball Control
-When volleying, keep elbow out in front of your hip with paddle head above wrist for better ball control. Never drop the head of the paddle on low shots. You must keep skin wrinkles on your wrist at point of contact.
-When you are waiting for the ball, you should be in the “ready position.” Your elbows should be out in front of your body, your feet should be shoulder width apart, and you should be on your toes. The head of your paddle should be higher than your wrist. You should see wrinkles on your wrist. Never drop the head of your paddle and let those wrinkles disappear. The angle of the face of the paddle should be slightly open (1 o’clock to 7 o’clock).
-Always make contact with the ball as far out in front of your body as you possibly can for more power and more control of placement.
- Watch out for mental errors. – Whether you’re playing single or with a partner, you must get your head in the game by taking note of the following mental errors
- Improper shot selection
- Hitting balls going out of bounds
- Over hitting
- Not enough patience
- Not keeping track of wind
- Not having a mental book on your opponents assets and deficits
- Not communicating properly with your partner
- Too predictable.
- Play with the wind and know what works for you. – Which direction should you hit toward with the wind or against the wind is a personal thing. There is no right or wrong, it is a personal thing.
Types of Wind:
- A steady wind in your face is excellent for a person who likes to lob.
- A heavy wind in your face is not good for lobbing and would be an advantage to a person with a great overhead because the ball tends to stop rather than go over their heads and drop in the court.
- A heavy wind at your back is an advantage to a hard hitter because it could ad 15-20mph to their stroke making it much harder to react.
- If the wind is coming across the court either way, you must stay away from the side of the court that the wind is blowing toward and have the wind on your mind at all times.
- If winds are gusty, the player must be constantly feeling the wind and play it properly.
- Try and convince yourself the wind is bothering your opponent as much as it is bothering you.
- The team that plays the wind the best will usually win.
As you use these tips to help you become a better pickleball player hopefully you’ll
improve and be more mindful in developing your skills. Enjoy the game and even develop
some techniques of your own. Keep practicing!