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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Use your Paddle to Stay Engaged

Previous posts have focused on Follow the Ball and Face the Ball as guidance for team and individual positioning, respectively. Now, we'll add to those with a video from Sarah Ansboury called Paddle Tracking. Sarah communicates that using the paddle to follow the ball keeps the body in the right position as well as keeps the paddle up.

In a nutshell, Sarah's technique is to point the paddle at the ball while holding it up and in front of your body. The following photos show the technique as the ball moves.

She posits that this technique keeps a player engaged in the play by "connecting the brain to the body". As such, it helps to avoid the common pitfall of dropping the paddle, as shown below, or other attention lapses.

In addition to helping to maintain focus, the high paddle position helps to physically make better shots. The ball is hit out in front rather than behind or beside the body. It uses the shoulder rather than the elbow or wrist to make the shot. It helps in the poaching technique by allowing increased aggressiveness. It balances the body against the bias that Mark Renneson discussed in Face the Ball. 

It really looks like an interesting technique that I plan to incorporate into my game.

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