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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Conversions - Resetting the Point

A serious weakness in my personal game is the inability to slow down the game when in a battle of volleys and smashes. As discussed in my post on Conversions, changing the pace or style from a previous pattern results in a much greater chance to win the game. Deb Harrison recently released a video (Reset the Point) in which she shows how to bring the point back to neutral from being in a war.

Deb states that a "war" must either be won or reset.  If the opponent appears to be gaining an advantage, the strategy must be to reset to neutral by dinking to slow the game. It is difficult to slow hard shots but there are a couple of ways to do so.

First, a player can execute a freeze drop. This is done by simply holding the paddle flat and stationery without swinging at the ball. Depending on the speed of the ball when it hits your paddle, the ball may deflect too hard to dink, though. That will be discussed in the last segment of this post..

Second, a player can execute a block drop. This is done by tilting the top of the paddle backwards and swinging the paddle forward, not down. The tilt of the paddle softens the return and pops the ball up slightly.

As mentioned above, softening a very hard shot is more than a matter of hitting with a flat or tilted paddle. It also requires soft hands. Deb does not discuss this aspect but Mark Renneson does in the following video called Drop Volleys in Pickleball.

Mark's tips for a drop volley include:
  1. Soften your hand to absorb the impact.
  2. Do not add to the speed by swinging.
  3. Keep your hands out in front of your body to maintain control.
Remember this, though. Having the knowledge to perform these shots is much different than executing the shot. These shots require a soft touch that must be practiced. My experience proves the point.

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