What time does your paddle say?
First in a series from https://www.pickleballportal.com/guides/paddle-positioning/
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.
1) Variation on the Ready Position.
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: