Land of the Sky Tournament information can be found by clicking on the button above.

Newcomers to the site should note the pickleball book "chapters" in the left column and the repository of expert articles and videos in the right column.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Beginner Clinic

My first true beginner clinic was held January 20 in the Hendersonville Athletic/Activity Center. We had 11 attendees who worked on the basics of hitting the ball. The goal was to gain an understanding of how the paddle angles direct the ball as well as the proper positioning and stroke techniques for the main shots.

The first exercise was tapping the ball while standing in place.  Tapping was done with the forehand side, then the backhand side, and finally, alternating the backhand and forehand sides with each tap.  The exercise was intended to show the players that swings should be made with a firm wrist and using the arm rather the wrist. Those who tried to flip their wrists soon learned that the ball was deflected due to the erratic paddle angles that resulted.

The second exercise was hitting the forehand and backhand drive shots. The objective was to hit the ball in the center of the paddle with the paddle face perpendicular to the court and in front of the body. Hitting the ball hard was encouraged in order to develop the proper backswing and follow-through. There was no concern for the lines or net, as the focus was on form and feel.

The third exercise was hitting the forehand and backhand punch volleys. Again, the objective was to hit the ball in the center of the paddle with the paddle face perpendicular to the court and in front of the body.  Hitting the ball hard was encouraged while limiting the length of the stroke to about 1 foot.

The last exercise was hitting the serve, with the same objectives of developing a hard hit to get the serve deep while keeping the service motion within the rules.

One more shot was introduced but not practiced - the dink.  A theme for the entire session (except for the serve) was that all shots were similar in that the paddle position is parallel to the court with the paddle face perpendicular to the court.  The dink was shown to be similar while being a soft shot compared to a hard shot.


February Clinics are Scheduled

The best part of this post is that we have a committed schedule for the next two beginner clinics.  They will be held February 3 and February 17 (Wednesdays) from 12:00 - 2:00 at the same location - Hendersonville Athletic/Activities Center at 708 South Grove Street, Hendersonville, NC.  The next clinic will focus specifically on the serve and return of serve, emphasizing proper techniques and developing a strategic approach for each.

The clinic is designed for beginners but also works well for those who have played and want to see further improvement.  The great thing about this schedule is that we have one court for the clinic and two courts for play.  Players can rotate between live play and the clinic as they choose.

Beginners who missed the first session are welcome to join.  We will be able to work on the session 1 concepts during the session 2 exercise.  If anyone who missed session 1 would like a quick individual overview, please contact me and we can meet prior to the beginning of the February 3 clinic.

Please feel free to join us for these clinics. Encourage others who may be interested to check out the fastest growing sport in America!

No comments:

Post a Comment