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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Groundstrokes with Sarah

I have written several posts on the groundstroke, including The Forehand Ground Stroke, The Backhand Ground Stroke, Strengthening the Backhand Ground Stroke, and Backhand Ground Stroke - New Video. These posts cover the entirety of the swing, discussing weight shift, backstroke, follow-through, eyes, contact point, etc. Sarah Ansboury has a video called Groundstrokes focusing on a couple of these points .

Sarah first discusses the tendency of many people to ignore the body when hitting groundstrokes. Instead, these players use only their arms, a technique that will provide some success at lower level of play but will limit their success as they advance. Note the open stance in the below photo. This allows only the arm to be used in hitting the ball.

As players advance in skill levels, using the body provides the added power and transition into the next shot to become successful. The key is to transfer body weight forward with the stroke and transition into the court.

Sarah also states that the contact point should be out in front of the hip with a long arm extension to allow the weight transfer in conjunction with the step.

Finally, Sarah discusses the compact swing. A long backswing results in much less consistency, especially on a small court with quick returns like pickleball. The backswing should be short and not loop back behind the body and the follow-through should be extended but not across the opposite shoulder. Note the paddle's position below. That is the extreme of her backswing.

Please note that the same techniques apply to both forehand and backhand strokes. I have pictured only the forehand groundstroke for brevity. Sarah demonstrates both in the video below.

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