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Monday, June 19, 2017

Sarah's View of the Around the Post Shot

Practice creates comfort...

The around the post shot is not difficult. Actually, it is fairly easy when you recognize that there is no net impeding the path of the ball. The issue for me was mental. Brian Staub mentioned in last week's video that the first instinct for many players facing a sharply angled ball is return it in the same direction. That was me. I always reacted the same way - a crosscourt return that was often put away by my opponents because I was dragged so far off the court.

As Sarah Ansboury usually does, she addresses some of the mental aspects in an article in the RV Pickler blog called Hit Around the Post…At Any Level of Pickleball. An excerpt of that article is shown below.
Look for Opportunities to Hit Around the Post
Perhaps you think this is an advanced shot. But now I see it at almost every level. The trick is to simply look for the opportunity and try it. When my friends and I decided we needed to hit it more, we gave everyone a rule when we were practicing. Every player had to at least try and hit around the post once in a game whether or not we made it.
By doing this we started thinking about it more and even started setting each other up to create this shot. Now every woman in that group hits this shot regularly.
Around the Post Basics
There are times when hitting around the post is an easier shot than trying to go back over the net. Here are a few important things to keep in mind:

  1. Look for the Angles:  Sharply angled balls create the opportunity for this shot. So look for this opportunity as the angle increases during cross-court rallies.
  2. Don’t Rush It:  You want the ball to fly wide of the court. It is easier to hit the ball that is 2 or more feet outside the sideline than 6″ from the sideline. Don’t rush the shot. The longer you wait the easier it is to hit it behind the opposing player at the non-volley zone.
  3. Allow Your Body to Move Naturally:  This shot most often results in either a clear winner for your team or a miss on your part…so there is no need to recover. Allow your body to move through the shot naturally… don’t worry about stopping quickly, or jerking back into position.
  4. Practice:  Practice with a partner so you develop a habit of looking for the opportunity to hit this shot. Prove to yourself that you are capable, regardless of your USAPA skill level, of making this shot. Remember, you are going for placement (in the court, behind the players at the non-volley zone) so you don’t need to hit a slam. Getting it in the court is often enough.

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