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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Keep Your Eye on the Ball to the Paddle

Keep your eye on the ball - even if you can't see it...

Last week we used an item from The Best Advice You Ever Got to go into detail on the "paddle up" instruction philosophy. This week, we will use that same source to discuss another instructional philosophy - keep your eye on the ball.

This must be the single most universal instruction in all of "ball" sports. From the first time baseball players grab a bat, they hear "keep your eye on the ball". The same is true of tennis, football, and all other sports, including pickleball. One example is shown below in a Tip of the Month from Coach Mo (my emphasis added).

DO: Make a split step at the point of contact of your opponent's shot. A split step is when both feet are shoulder-width apart and parallel to each other. DON'T: Always try to hit the ball while backpedaling or running forward.
DO: Punch your volleys and swing at your ground strokes. DON'T: Always swing at your volleys and punch your ground strokes.
DO: Get your paddle ready at the split second your brain registers forehand or backhand. Very early preparation of your paddle before you hit the ball is the most important tip of all. DON'T: Ever ready your paddle as early as possible before hitting the ball.

List partially omitted

DO: Make a sound to yourself at the exact point of the ball's contact on your paddle. This will help you concentrate on watching the ball hit your paddle and also help keep your head up. DON'T: Lift your head too soon before you make contact with the ball.

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