How To Hit Perfect Pickleball Shots In 6 Simple Steps

How To Hit Perfect Pickleball Shots In 6 Simple Steps
Image Credit: Selkirk Sport

Do you want to learn the best pickleball shots and strikes? You must brush up on a wide range of shots to develop into a well-rounded pickleball player and compete at the highest levels.

Serves, returns, drives, resets, drops, dinks, overheads, and other shots are included in this game. Each shot is quite distinctive. You must use a set of consistent approaches whether you’re hitting a hard or soft shot, even if some shots are more similar to one another than others.

They differ based on the sort of shot you’re taking, so it’s important that you understand them, internalize them, and apply them effectively.

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So if you love pickleball, you want to learn more about it, then please bookmark our website so you don’t miss any important updates about pickleball. In today’s article, we’re going to cover 6 big core techniques that need to be present on each shot you’re hitting.

Step number1. Your body movement before and after the shot

The first and most important part of a successful hit is the motion proceeding and following the shot. My focus here is primarily on the split step. The first action you must take is to be able to react quickly and accurately to the ball’s location.

three players playing pickleball on the court
Image: Screenshot/The Comprehensive Post

That’s basically just a hop off the court, and as soon as your feet hit the ground, you can tell which way the ball is going and sprint in that direction. In different contexts, the split step may need to be more or less pronounced.

The likelihood of having to quickly move to the next shot or cover a great distance necessitates a more pronounced split step. Your opponent has more options to send you left, right, back, or forward if you’re at the back of the court.

When you’re at the baseline as opposed to the non volley zone line, you’ll have to make more of a sprint to reach the ball. As a result, if you’re in the transition zone, your split steps will be noticeably more pronounced at the baseline and in the middle of the court, because you’re probably engaged in a dink exchange or attacking and counterattacking, they’ll be muted near the non volley zone line.

Normally you won’t have to go too far from where you currently are at that stage and speeds become more important. There’ll be a slight spring in your step, but nothing too out of the ordinary.

You want that bounce so you can get where you need to go if you ever get caught having a run back for an overhead, although your split steps will likely be less pronounced near the non volley zone line that they are further into the court, this is not always the case.

Following your shot, you must also move into the position you’ll need to be in to adequately block your opponent’s next attempt at a shot. That’s crucial. So you’ll need to be in a position to split step once more before proceeding to the next shot.

Now, your position to strike the ball depends on a number of factors, including your split step movement to the ball and recovery from after hitting the shot. This means that both pre and post-shot motion is crucial. That’s crucial for each and every pickleball shot you’ll be making.

Step number 2. Effective coil and Uncoil

The second essential hitting feature is a coil and uncoils that work perfectly with every single shot. A good shot requires the use of the whole body, beginning with the legs.

There are some shots that call for more body, while others call for less or to get the most out of your groundstrokes and full swings you should load up and coil up your body when hitting softer shots like drops or dinks, or when hitting traditional volleys in which you primarily use the oncoming pace of the ball and merely redirect and send that pace back, you will need less of it.

Your knees and hips will turn inward more than your feet and your chest and shoulders will turn inward more than your hips. You’re making a little bit of a spring out of your body, and when you get into the shot, you release and unwind that spring, allowing the force of that unwinding to hit the ball.

Many players, in my opinion, are using far too much force, which is counterproductive. You should load up as much of your body as possible and use your kinetic chain to smash that ball. As I said, be more pronounced in some contexts than others, but it should never be absent. To make that shot, the best players use their entire bodies, which is something you can easily observe.

Step number 3. Good use of off-arm

Using your off arm effectively is the third essential component of hitting the arm that isn’t used to hit the ball is called off arm. So if your right handed your off arm is your on arm, and likewise, if you’re left-handed your on arm is your off arm, the actions of the off arm will be very between the forehand and backhand sides.

A man try to play a shot in a pickleball game
Image: Screenshot/The Comprehensive Post

As we discussed in the previous section, the forehand is used to turn into the shot and set up your coil. You should only lean on it for support during the swing and then move it out of the way very slightly as you’re hitting arm swings around to contact the ball.

You may look like you’re letting it go as you make the shot, but it’s actually helping you maintain your upper body stability. On the back end side, the off arm goes backward and acts as a counter level to the dominant arm that is swinging forward and through the shot, depending on how hard you hit the ball, the counter level effect will be more or less pronounced.

Using a two-handed backhand for some or all of your strokes, your non-dominant arm will be on the paddle at the same time as your dominant arm, helping to power the stroke forward. The role of the other arm, regardless of whether it’s dominant or non-dominant one, is always important. You shouldn’t let it hang flat across your body. Yes, it must be active and operational.

Step number 4. Appropriate backswing

The fourth essential component of hitting is a good backswing, but a proper backswing, I mean, one that is in the right length. I’m referring here to the difference between a one-headed backhand and a forehand. So the problem with the backswing is different for each side.

Backswings are typically too big on the forehand side and too short on the backhand side, as far as I can tell. It’s all related to rotating the shoulder. To fix your excessive backswing, focus on turning from your shoulders rather than reaching back with your forehand. Your shoulders will rotate as a unit and point laterally as you complete the turn.

From there, you can drop into your motion without having to bring your upper body too far back. Therefore, refrain from reversing the direction of your forearm’s reach, because it takes a little more effort to coil up and turn your body towards your backhand.

I find that backswings are typically shorter. You have to turn more than you think in order to uncoil and use that kinetic chain effectively throughout your backhand shot, with which we’ll allow you to generate more effortless and easy power.

You don’t spin around quite enough. You won’t be able to engage your entire body in the action. The backswing will happen naturally if you turn more with your backhand. Similarly, you shouldn’t be reaching back with your forehand and then turn it to set it back, examine them and make changes as necessary.

Addition to a minimal amount of backswing is all that’s required for dinks, drops, and resets. To use the paddle, simply put it down and push forward rather than bringing it back and swinging into it.

Instead of swinging at those softer shots, you should set down and push. So think about your backswings or take back some of the points I’ve made here and make any necessary adjustments.

Step number 5. Eyes On Contact

The fifth and final core hitting component is making direct eye contact with the other person, keeping your eyes and head down as you hit the ball will help you track it all the way into your paddle, allowing you to make clean contact with the ball right where you want it.

Keeping your gaze on the point of contact also prevents you from lifting your head prematurely in order to get a better look at your target, which can cause your upper body to lift and your shot to go higher than intended.

Keep your gaze fixed on the ball so you can swing for the fences on every shot from drives to drops to volleys to dinks. The one and only time this does not apply is during a tense volley exchange.

It’s tough to keep eye on the ball all the way until it makes contact every time because your eyes don’t move fast enough to track it back and forth for a long time you’re going to have to do your best to keep them a little bit softer and rely a little bit more on your peripheral vision to really get yourself through that hand’s battle.

Track the ball as best you can in those quick hand battles and try to get a good swing on most of your shots before they contact the ground.

Step number 6. Contact in front and good spacing

The sixth essential component of hitting is making good contact in front and maintaining appropriate spacing for the shot you’re hitting. Every shot requires contact ahead of the ball, but the exact location of that contact will change depending on the type of shot you’re taking.

Give you an example. When using a one-headed backhand for a drive, you’ll make contact further forward than when using the same hand for a slice. When performing a backhand slice, your contact point will naturally be located further back than when performing a backhand drive.

You should switch up your contact points for different shots. But keep in mind that the best place to transfer your body’s momentum onto the ball is always in front of you. You can’t forward Project Energy onto something that’s behind you. That’s not how the system operates. The kinetic efficiency is poor.

Resetting and blocking are two more good examples. You should not reach out in front to meet that contact like you would for other shots, but rather bring it closer to your body. Simply put, you’ll be more in command and in a better position to slow it down.

It’s easier to slow down the ball if your arm is already bent. When you reach out to catch it, then if your arm is completely straight. Therefore, when performing a reset or block, the contact should be slightly closer to the body, but still out in front.

Drop shots from greater distances require an extended swing that is shorter than a full ground stroke, depending on the force of the shot and your proximity to the net, the rebound from a block may be minimal to nonexistent.

It’s possible that all you have to do is hold the paddle steady in front of your face at the right angle and let the ball bounce off your paddle and back over the net with no follow-through at all. Due to the increasing prevalence of power in modern pickleball.

This occurs frequently and increasingly. If you want to hit with a lot of power, you need to watch your follow-through on groundstrokes and other larger shots. Watch out for excessive follow-through or softer shots, which should have a softer follow-through anyway.

Look out for extra motion at the end of the stroke that causes a loss of control. You should check in on your forehand and backhand sides, as well as your hard driving shots and your softer shots as needed to see what’s going on and make the necessary adjustments.

There are seven essentials that must be taken into account and utilized correctly for every type of shot. Evaluate your shooting and think about whether you’re using these methods effectively.

Once you find the sweet spot for each shot, you’ll notice a dramatic improvement in your game’s overall control and power. So what do you suggest is the best tip to hit pickleball shots? Tell us in the comments. Also, don’t forget to share this article with your fellow pickers.

Also Read:

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