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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

More NVZ Drills - Offensive Lobs

No one wants to drill, everyone wants to improve...

This post continues the series of Non-Volley Zone drills with the focus on offensive lobs off the dink. It follows drills for volleys and dinks. It continues the focus on NVZ-first learning in alignment with the RV Picklers' recent articlePickleball 101. 

NVZ Line Drills - Lob

Ball Toss Drills for Lob

As comfort levels at the NVZ improve, additional shots can be added. One of those shots is the offensive lob off of a dink. Lobbing is the act of hitting the ball in a soft high arc over the opponents’ head so that it lands in the opponents’ backcourt. Offensive lobs are hit near the NVZ line. The first lob drill consists of tossing the ball in order to get players comfortable with the arc and effort necessary to clear the opponents' reach and stay in-bounds. A drill to improve technique and shot-making follows.

Simple Ball Toss
Description: Two players stand at opposing NVZ lines facing each other.  One player stands erect with his paddle held over his head. The other player should have a bucket of balls to supply his drill. Using the paddle hand, this player tosses a ball underhanded over their partner’s paddle and into the backcourt.  Toss 20 balls and then switch positions.

Goal: This exercise trains the player to understand the effort required for the proper arc and distance to clear the opponent and still land in-bounds.

Offensive Lob Drills

Simple Lob Drill
Description: The simplest lob drill for 2 players is to stand at opposing NVZ lines and dink the ball back and forth. Each player should hit the ball to their partner such that the return dink can be made. After 4-6 dinks, a player should look for the right dink to hit a lob. The other player may make a return off the lob if he can do so without retreating. Each player should hit lobs for 10 minutes or more. 

Goal: This drill will teach the player touch (how hard to hit the ball), proper paddle face angles, and proper selection of the dink to lob. A partner’s return overhead smash teaches the lobber the need for good execution.

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