Proper paddle position is a key skill in pickleball. Having your paddle in a good “Ready Position” can reduce the time it takes you to perform your return shot and reduce your percentage of errors.
Whether we get tired or lazy, it’s easy to let your paddle drop to your side especially later in the game when you are starting to feel fatigued. While a simple reminder to keep your paddle can help kick the bad habit a bit, there are some much better strategies that you can implement to go beyond the simple advice of keeping the paddle up and ready.
Many times, beginner pickleball players are told to keep the paddle at the 12:00 position (imagine a clock) straight at the net and then transition to 9:00 for backhand shots. Although this works for many players, it can create some weakness that opponents can easily take advantage of. Many players get into trouble when the ball comes over their weak side shoulder (left side for right-handed players) and they flip or turn the paddle into weird positions rather than hitting a solid backhand.
Another problem on the 9:00 position is the elbow comes out from their torso and up (“chicken wing”). Simone recommends adjusting the ready position to 10 and 2 o’clock with elbows tucked, hands in and belly button high. This body positioning enables Simone to cover 75% of her shots and easily transition from forehand to backhand shots and eliminates the awkward “chicken wing”.
Great video and great advice Simone! Watch the full video here:
If you have played pickleball more than once, you have likely heard of the legendary”Third Shot Drop”. Jordan Briones of Prime Time Pickleball, has a great and simple drill that can and should be used in your warm ups to make your third shots as easy as cherry pie.
Why bother with a third shot drop? And do you know that it’s often used as a 4th, 8th, or any shot of the game?
Allows transition time for you and your partner to advance to the no volley zone.
Varying your shots is funner for you and your partner and your opponents.
“Do you struggle with your 3rd shot drop? If you do or if you’d simply like your 3rd shot to be better then this is the lesson for you. In this video we’ll cover a 3rd shot drill that you can do every time you play to gain consistency and control of your 3rd shot.”
For a long time, many of us have been told, forehand takes the middle. But, is that always a good idea?
In this first video, Tony Roig at In2Pickle explains the “X” .
“We are always looking to gain a strategic edge in pickleball. Understanding the “X” can help you determine which player on the serving team should handle the third shot after the ball has been returned. The “X” is not a one-size-fits-all concept, but rather a concept to be understood and applied as part of a well-rounded approach to the game.”
In the follow up video below, Tony dives in deeper. “Understanding and respecting the “X” is a critical skill to learn if you want to improve your pickleball doubles play. We also look at keeping the ball away from your body as you hit your third shot. These are critical pickleball skills to improve your game.
This is part of our Project 4.0 point breakdown video series where we break down a pickleball point to look at optimal and not as optimal play so that we can improve our games.”
And now onto Part 2. This video shows real game situations that highlight the “X” in action.