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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Paddle Position

Be ready for everything to be ready for anything...

Back in May I wrote a series of articles about the height of the paddle in the ready position. It concluded with What is the Proper Paddle Position? One part of the paddle position I did not discuss in that series was the direction that the paddle face should be held.

Below is the an image from a previous post that shows 2 extremes of the paddle position. The position on the left is perpendicular to the body and the position on the right is parallel to the body.

Simone Jardim and the Pickleball Channel have a new video called Minimizing Mistakes with Paddle Position by Simone Jardim in which she discusses her approach to paddle position.

Simone calls the position on the left "the 12 o'clock" position. She finds its weakness to be the high volley at the opposite shoulder (left shoulder for a right-handed player). Many players react with a "Belgian backhand" (from Gigi LeMaster) in which the forehand side of the paddle strikes the ball. This often results in the ball being hit down into the net.

Simone calls the position on the right "the 9 o'clock" position. It also has a weakness - the volley at the paddle hand elbow. This position causes the elbow to flare out to form the dreaded "chicken wing". A ball aimed at the elbow is often hit by lifting the elbow and striking the backhand side with an open face. This causes the ball to be popped up.

Simone recommends that the paddle be held at the 10 o'clock position as shown below.

For Simone, this small adjustment to paddle position strengthens both sides.

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