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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Sweet Spot Volley Drill

Make drills fun...

We have been discussing a series of videos from Jordan Briones where he demonstrates different drills. This post is another in the series but is a little different. First, Jordan is not the one demonstrating the drill. Instead, Marcin Rozpedski shows a drill that forces a player to watch the ball the whole way to the paddle. Second, the drill does not consist of a game, but is so unusual that it can be a fun way to learn.

The video, Pickleball Drill | Sweet Spot Volley Drill with Marcin Rozpedski, shows a 2-player drill. One player (the feeder) starts at the NVZ line and the other player (the driller) starts at the opposite NVZ line but in the same half of the court. The feeder simply tosses the ball to the driller at shoulder height. Sounds pretty standard, right? You have not heard the unusual part yet.  

Instead of hitting the volley with the face of the paddle, Marcin hits the ball with the bottom end of the handle. He describes the grip as similar to holding a pencil.

The purpose of this technique is reduce the surface area of the "paddle" to such a small size that the player must watch the ball to the contact point. It is not at all important where the ball goes after contact. The objective is to simply hit the ball. After this drill, the actual paddle face is so large by comparison that it should be much easier to watch the ball to the sweet spot.

The video is below.

As a side note, I have seen a similar, but less extreme, technique used. Rather than requiring the unusual grip, the player holds the paddle in a more normal manner - by the handle. But the player hits the ball with the side edge of the paddle rather than its face. The edge is so narrow that it performs the same function of forced concentration.

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