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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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Basic Pickleball Strokes

As I previous wrote, I am in the process of becoming a certified pickleball instructor. The certification would be issued by the International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association (IPTPA), an organization which I discussed in the post International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association. The IPTPA founders, a list of the "best of the best" in the pickleball world, developed a set of basic elements of good pickleball strokes. The following is based on that list.

1. A simple and fluid pendulum swing initiated from the shoulder and introduced with the dink can be consistently used for all strokes.

2. The basic stroke requires a shorter backswing than tennis or racquetball and a good follow through, swing from low to high.

3. The continental grip is the preferred grip as it eliminates switching between forehand and backhand grips.

4. Avoid a vice grip on the paddle, having a relaxed yet firm grip will help you "feel the ball on the paddle."

5. Avoid underspin or topspin strokes until mastering all the basics. The lone exception is when an advanced player from tennis, racquetball, or another sport already has mastered spin and is obviously comfortable and error free in it´s execution.

6. Footwork during the stroke is critical. Movement should primarily be side to side especially at the NVZ and baseline.

7. Use the cross step when a ball is out of reach.

8. Proper body position in relation to the ball is the first step toward well executed strokes.

9. Make contact with the ball out in front of you and accelerate through contact.

10. The ready position is your recovery position after every shot and puts you in the best position to anticipate and react quickly to your opponents next shot.

11. Have your paddle chest high and way out in front of you. Feet should be shoulder width apart with your weight on the balls of your feet.

12. When moving from the baseline toward the NVZ line the paddle should be up and in front of you as in the ready position. When your opponent is about to make contact with the ball take a split step and land in the ready position.

This list confirms what this blog has been presenting since its start. I hope none of this is new to regular readers. If it is, please go through A Pickleball Life book chapters in the left column to acquaint yourself with the concepts.

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