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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Sarah's Ideal Grip

Control means letting go...

I gave a lesson to near beginner last week. As I always do, I check the grip first and explain the advantages of the continental grip. But there is more to the grip than the paddle handle's relative position in the hand. Sarah Ansboury talks about some of the important parts of the grip in her RVPickler article The Ideal Pickleball Grip, an excerpt of which is below.

Ideal Pickleball Grip

The ideal pickleball grip requires you to hold the paddle with your fingers.  There should be space between the palm of your hand and the handle of the paddle. Rather than your thumb running up the handle, it should go around the handle. This will minimize the risk of hyper-extending your elbow or over-utilizing your wrist.

Let the Paddle Work for You

Choking up too tight on the paddle restricts the movement of your paddle and encourages you to move the butt of the paddle rather than its tip. I’ve written about utilizing the tip of the paddle to track the ball and change its direction. Letting your whole arm relax. as well as your hand, is important when it comes to letting your paddle work for you. If you watch the best players we are always trying to loosen and relax our grips between shots and between points.

Strengthen Your Fingers

If you are concerned that your fingers are not strong enough to properly grip the paddle, let me offer a practice tip. Hold the grip with your fingers a bit lower and looser at the bottom of the handle.  Let your pinky drop off the end of the paddle. Using this pickleball grip, practice dinking in front of you, allowing your arm to relax and try to engage your shoulder as much as possible. Minimize the movements forward and backward and allow the paddle to work for you.

The more we restrict the movement of our paddle and try to control everything the less you will be able to control the directionality and pace on the ball. A loose relaxed hand and arm will allow your paddle to work for you and prevent injury.  It may take some taking use to, but work to assume the ideal pickleball grip.

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