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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Disguise Your Shot

Body language gives away tendencies...

Last week's series was about watching your opponent to get clues from his body and paddle language to determine where his shot was going. It really is a great theory and will against most players most of the time. But players learn that they are giving away their shots and can start to use their body language as a weapon. This is the deception or misdirection mentioned by Aspen Kern in  Aspen's Advice: Body Language and More. It is a topic we broached yesterday and will discuss more deeply this week.

The subject of today's post is disguising the shot by using similar body position and swings while executing different shots. The Pickleball Channel created a video with Morgan Evans titled 3 Ways to Disguise Your Attack and Win the Point that illustrates some techniques.

The first technique describes disguising the power of a shot. Typically the power of a shot can be anticipated by the length of the backswing. A short backswing generates less power than a long backswing. But a short backswing can be used to hit a hard shot as shown below. The first photo shows the follow-through after a short backswing used to hit a dink. The second photo shows the follow-through after a short backswing but using a quick wrist-snap to drive the ball at the opponent.

The same technique applies to a long backswing in which either a soft or hard shot can be made.

The second technique describes changing the direction of the shot to fool your opponent. This can be done just by changing the angle of the paddle face without changing your body position from a previous shot. The first photo below shows the typical body position while hitting a crosscourt dink. The second photo shows a similar body position with a much more angled paddle face that results in a shot down the line.

More advanced deception can be added by using other elements on which opponents focus. Looking in the direction that correlates with your body language sends a strong signal to your opponents and can be very effective.

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