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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Video - Kitchen View Only

Today's post is interesting because it shows the play of top players by isolating only on the kitchen. It comes from Poach PB and is called Pickleball Kitchen View.

The first thing you will notice is how little play is missed by not showing the rest of the court. Almost all play occurs in the area between the kitchen lines. Obviously the serve and return and return of serve are hit beyond these lines. But the return of serve is almost always answered with a third-shot drop to allow the serving team to join the other team at the kitchen line. Some other key points to note:
  • Once all 4 players are established at the kitchen line, the dinking game ensues. As discussed in the dinking series, many dinks are not just tapped across the net but are targeted to get opponents off-balance or out of position. A couple of examples follow (the red arrow shows the position of the ball).
This ball drives the player wide.

This ball is hit behind the feet on the backhand side.
  • Players take every opportunity hit the ball hard when the odds favor them. Mostly, this means smashing a high ball. But sometimes it also means hitting a smash off an easy dink to the forehand.
  • If the first smash fails to put the opponents at a disadvantage, the dink is used to reset the point.
  • Don't be predictable. The "Ernie shot" was used twice in this short video because the shot was anticipated.
The player in white executes the "Ernie shot"
  • When players get stuck in the backcourt, their opponents keep them back with deep shots. Dinks and other short shots are not used since they will allow opponents to advance to the kitchen.
  • The dinking technique is nearly 100% from the side with the paddle cocked at the wrist. This requires getting low by bending the knees and hitting with a slightly open paddle face.
Note the knees and paddle position.

These guys make it look easy...but even they make mistakes. All it takes is practice, lots of practice.

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