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Monday, May 8, 2017

Paddle Tracking

The secret of the next shot is readiness...

On Saturday, I posted a Sarah Ansboury article that discussed the need for players to keep their paddle up. Today's article explains the paddle tracking technique in more detail. Like the previous article, this contains her video of the same subject.

I recently sent a survey to everyone that purchased my first ebook, 3 Pickleball Strategies that Will Improve Your Game, asking what topics they wanted me to cover in future books. The most frequently requested topic was how to anticipate a pickleball opponent’s shot. I believe there is one thing you can do that is the key to this question. So I’ll address it today.

Track the Ball with Your Paddle

I just released a YouTube video that covers the topic of tracking the ball with your paddle. (You can watch the video below.) I want to encourage you to use your paddle like a heat seeking missile. To do this effectively you must:

  • Learn to Maintain a Neutral Position:  I went into more detail on the neutral position on the RVPicklers site recently, but let me reiterate a few key points here:

  1. Feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart;
  2. Stay on the balls of your feet;
  3. Bend from you hips, keeping your chest and head up;
  4. Stay relaxed, shoulders down, long neck
  5. Hold paddle out in front of you.

  • Hold Paddle out in Front of You: I can’t emphasize this enough! I see too many players holding the paddle too close to their chest. I want the larger muscles in your shoulders to control your motion, not your elbows or wrist. I want you to make contact with the ball in front of your body whenever possible.
  • Angle Your body Toward the Ball:  Don’t stand parallel to the net and turn your head. Instead, move your torso and shift your weight to ensure you are in the correct position to return the ball if it comes your way.

Benefits of Tracking the Ball with Your Paddle

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