Drills – Dinks

Drills – Dinking

Information for all Dinking Drills
Whenever you are practicing your dinks, you should try to make all balls bounce in front of the no-volley line and they should be short and low enough that the player    you are practicing with couldn’t kill the ball if he/she wanted to do so. While you    will probably have to step into the no-volley zone to hit a lot of the dinks, you    should immediately step back behind the no-volley zone line before the opposing player    hits the ball.

If you and your partner aren’t able to keep the ball going more than 2 or 3 hits, then    don’t try to keep the ball to low or to short. Its more important as a beginner to keep    the ball going so you can gradually get the feel of how hard to hit. Just keep practicing    as often as you can.

The Short Dink – all skill levels
Both players start by standing in the middle of the court and dinking the ball back and    forth nicely to each other for 3 minutes. If you have 4 players, simply have each pair    of players stand in the middle of their half of the court and each pair use their own    ball.

Both players hit cross court dinks back and forth from one side to another trying to    hit fairly sharp angles to each other. Do this for 3 minutes and then do another 3    minutes cross court in the other direction. Do not try to avoid backhands while doing    these drills as you need to begin developing your backhand dinks even if they don’t    work very well in the beginning. Again if you have 4 players, simply have each pair    of players hit cross court in the opposite direction.

Both players dink the ball down the line on one side of the court for 3 minutes and    then 3 minutes down the line on the other side of the court. With 4 players, each pair    uses a different sideline.

If you have 4 players, you should do this additional drill which is to use only 1 ball    and dink back and forth between all players trying to practice all of the above    directions while doing so. Try to hit 1/2 of the balls back to the player that hit it    to you and 1/2 of the balls back to the other player so you are practicing all    directions again. The more advanced players can spend more time on this drill and less    time on the others. Don’t forget to practice this from both the left and right sides of    the courts so both you and your partner practice both forehands and backhands.

The 3/4 Court Dink – Intermediate and Advanced skill levels
To practice this with 4 players, have 2 players stand at the no-volley zone line and    the other two players stand at about 3/4 court position on their side of the net. The    two players at 3/4 court try to hit soft dinks while the two players at the net position    try to hit the ball back nicely so they can try another dink. After a little while,    reverse positions and practice for an equal amount of time. This might take quite a few    practice sessions or one, but eventually you will get the feel of how hard to hit to    make a good dink. This works just as well with either 2 players or 4 players and don’t    forget that you can practice cross court dinks as well as down the line dinks with this    drill just as you did in the short dink drills.

The Baseline Dink – Advanced skill level
To practice this with 4 players, have 2 players stand at the no-volley zone line and    the other two players stand just behind the baseline  on the other side of the net.    The two players standing just behind the baseline try to hit soft dinks, while the    two players at the net try to hit the ball back nicely and near the baseline. After    a little while, reverse positions and practice for an equal amount of time. This works    just as well with either 2 players or 4 players and don’t forget that you can practice    cross court dinks as well as down the line dinks with this drill just as you did in the    short dink drills.

Dinking Game – all skill levels
To help you concentrate and have some fun while learning the dink, you can play a game    with four players where everyone has to dink and you lose the point if the ball lands    behind the no-volley zone line. You can still play to 11 points, but you have to start    the point nicely to each other for this game to work.

You could also play this game with 2 players, but you would have to agree to use only    1/2 of each side of the court for this to work. You can decide whether to practice this    from down the line sides or cross court sides.

Thanks,

Bob Halpin

Training and Grant Program from the USAPA

US Tennis paints the lines in SW Florida
Contact Randy 239.643.7300

Nets can be purchased from:
http://pickleball.com/collections/nets-net-sets
http://store.pickleballcentral.com/Pickleball_Nets_s/37.htm

Training Grant Program Rules
The USAPA Grant program will provide funds to subsidize training programs for school students, local residents, organizations or individuals who are novices to Pickleball and do not belong to a Pickleball club or other organized group.

 

Qualifications

 

Applicants must be USAPA members age 18 and older. Training programs must observe all USAPA rules and conditions.

 

Federal and state government agencies other than schools and universities are not eligible. Other organizations, including but not limited to, local government agencies, housing developments, private resorts, for-profit organizations, organizations not open to the general public or any other similar entities should process their request for funds through a USAPA member. In that case, the Grant will be made to the applicable USAPA member. Exceptions will be made only for extraordinary situations.

 

In general, priority will be given to those individuals or organizations that the USAPA deems most in need of financial assistance.

 

Implementation

 

Grants will generally be given on a first-come first-served basis and will be for reimbursement only. Grants may be approved in whole, in part, or not at all. No advances will be made.

 

When the Grant funding for the current year is exhausted, approvals will cease until the following year. Reimbursement requests for expenses incurred in one calendar year may be submitted the following year if submitted within 90 days of approval of the application.

 

Purpose

 

Costs eligible for reimbursement include but are not limited to USAPA accepted balls, materials for measuring and marking temporary court lines, copying of lesson documents, containers for balls and equipment, and office supplies. Portable net and post equipment is allowable only if purchased from USAPA.

 

Paddles are not allowable because of their relatively high cost. It is highly recommended that you solicit donations of used paddles from your local players. Exclusions from reimbursement include but are not limited to paddles, temporary net and post equipment not purchased from USAPA, court usage costs, traveling expenses, labor and subcontracts, and insurance.

 

Maximum Reimbursement

 

The maximum reimbursement to any person or group is $250. Approvals will be valid for only 90 days unless an extension is specifically approved by the USAPA. Receipts after 90 days will not be honored without specific prior approval. Expenses in excess of the maximum amount may not be resubmitted under a new application for reimbursement.

 

Miscellaneous

 

USAPA reserves the sole right to disperse training funds as it sees fit. All funding and reimbursement decisions by the USAPA are final and may not be appealed.

 

Applications

 

Applications for Training Grant funds may be filed at any time. They may be submitted by completing this survey

 

Third Shot

Third shot

Posted On April 09, 2013

Marsha from Toledo, OH asks: “I was interested in your thoughts on strategy. I hear so many players talk about the third shot being a soft shot so that your team can get to the kitchen line. What is your take on the third shot and what is your strategy when hitting it?”

Jay from Steamboat Springs, CO asks: “I understand the mechanics of the 3rd shot, drop shot, master shot (whatever its called) but need some help with where to place it to combine a solid strategy with the shot. Help?”

Susan from Northville, MI asks: “I’ve read about mastering a 3rd shot. What are your thoughts?”

Answer by “Jennifer Locore”

Great questions- For our purposes here, I’ll stay with “third shot”. I’ve also heard it referred to different names, but they generally describe the type of shot like “drop shot” or “long dink” opposed to being the actual third shot of a point; admittedly, I’d not heard of the “master shot”.

The third shot is a valuable and necessary shot to master; maybe that’s where that name came from. This shot is used when your opponents are already at the net and you’re at the baseline needing to get yourself to the kitchen line. The third shot is a long dink hit from the baseline softly over the net and into your opponent’s non-volley zone. The goal, often easier said than done, is to land it at their feet not allowing them to volley the ball in the air. When executed correctly this shot allows the person (and their teammate) hitting the third shot to get to the net . The sooner you get to the net, the higher chance of winning the point.

The location of placement is dependent on various scenarios, but the middle is generally the safest and highest percentage; in part because the net is lower, but also because you have more room for error and there is always the chance of confusion on the part of your opponents. If the opportunity presents itself by an opponent being out of position, cross court or down the line can be effective. Lastly, I’m sure you’ve noticed players who “play” to the weaker player. That’s a whole other strategy that may be considered as you decide where or who to hit your third shot too.

Whatever you decide, once the ball leaves your paddle move to the net ready for the elusive pop-up. If you’re ready, you’ll be occasionally gifted a perfectly placed ball ready to be smacked for a winning volley shot. That is a great feeling!

 It’s subtle improvements and consistency that will take you to the next skill level.

National PickleBall Champion
National PickleBall Champion

What PickleBall Player are saying.

Submitted on 2013/10/18 at 3:42 pm

Great fun and great people!

Mary

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Submitted on 2013/10/15 at 4:08 pm

Hi Jerry, It’s Kim from Canada eh? I now have fellow players repeating after me ” accuracy over power”. I thank you for your informative site. When I am wondering what I am doing wrong I check back into the categories and always find what I need. Tim and I still talk about our fun time with you all in Naples. Thank you for your dedication to this sport. Kim

 

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Submitted on 2013/10/15 at 11:55 am

Hi Jerry,

Thanks for sending on the pictures and information. The weather looks delightful, and it was so much fun seeing everyone enjoying the game.  I am looking forward to playing with you all very soon! Sally

 

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Submitted on 2013/10/11 at 1:24 am

Hey Jerry, Thanks for the video. All of us at Bonita Bay enjoyed the chance to play with you and your colleagues this summer. Hope we can organize something during the season, once everything has settled down. Best, Steve

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Submitted on 2013/09/17 at 1:15 am

Jerry- You are so valuable and special to so many of us.  Thank you for posting video and pictures.  My turn to take some of you playing tomorrow…..so SHAVE!!

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Submitted on 2013/09/16 at 7:15 pm

Great seeing so many playing.  Looks like some new folks also. I have not been able  to play for a month now due to Achilles tendonitis.  Not at all happy about it either.  I feel like a part of me is missing with my pickleball.  We have had a great summer here in western North Carolina mountains.  We played in the Palmetto Doubles Tourney in Aiken, SC in August and finished a game out of the medal round.  My heel was preventing me from my playing my game, but it was fun.  We saw some fantastic matches.  Our friends, Nancy & Mike Falkenstein, won a bronze medal-their first in sanctioned play.  We will be back in Naples around the first of Oct.  Can’t wait to see everyone again.   Judy & Don

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Submitted on 2013/09/16 at 3:05 pm

Thank you for sharing Jerry!  When I see these pictures, it makes me want to come back sooner than later.  The sunshine looks so inviting, and it’s great to see so many people I know on the courts.

My warmest regards to all!  See you in November. Sally

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Flying over the Earth at night

Explanation: Many wonders are visible when flying over the Earth at night. A compilation of such visual spectacles was captured recently from the International Space Station (ISS) and set to rousing music. Passing below are white clouds, orange city lights, lightning flashes in thunderstorms, and dark blue seas. On the horizon is the golden haze of Earth’s thin atmosphere, frequently decorated by dancing auroras as the video progresses. The green parts of auroras typically remain below the space station, but the station flies right through the red and purple auroral peaks. Solar panels of the ISS are seen around the frame edges. The ominous wave of approaching brightness at the end of each sequence is just the dawn of the sunlit half of Earth, a dawn that occurs every 90 minutes.

 

 

Perfect Serving Form

Chris has great form on her serve. See how the paddle at the top of her back swing is in line with the ball and parallel to the ground . As she drops the ball her arm will come forward in an upward arc to make perfect contact with the ball. If you look at her feet, her weight is on her back foot at the top of the back swing, knees slightly bent.  She will transfer her weight to her front foot as she makes contact with the ball. She never takes her eyes of the ball. I don’t think I have ever seen her miss a serve.

Super form
Excellent form on her serve Chris M

Getting to the Ball

Downloadabel PDF Getting to the Ball

Get Ready for Each Shot

What happens if you don’t make it up to the non-volley zone line and get caught in mid-court? This isn’t the area you’d like to be, but it doesn’t matter where you are on the court — still at the baseline, halfway up to the non-volley zone line, or waiting there: the moment your opponent’s paddle makes contact with the ball, assume the ready position. Really do this! Don’t just think, oh, I can just stop moving. Put your paddle up and in front of you. Keep your weight on the balls of your feet and be ready to move, keeping your eye on the ball. Then, after you hit the ball, head for the non-volley zone as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Find the Right Ready Position

The ready position most people are familiar with is with your feet about shoulder width apart, knees bent slightly, your weight on the balls of your feet, and your paddle pointing toward the net so that you are ready to move to your forehand or backhand, depending on how the ball comes to you. This position comes from tennis where the court is large and there is more time between your opponent’s hit and your return. Using this ready position is fine when you’re at the baseline, but it may not be the best choice when you are up at the non-volley zone.

This close to the net, there often isn’t time to move from this ready position and make contact with a shot coming at you quickly, especially a volley. Try this instead:

Hold your paddle in the backhand position up in front of your chest. This way, you can return most shots by simply rotating the paddle. If the ball comes to your forehand side, just rotate your body toward the ball and you’ll be able to reach the forehand volley.

Gail Leach

 

Pickleball Early Preparation

EARLY PREPARATION is the most important part of the game. It is the most common mistake, because players do not realize they are not prepared early enough. Players in their quest to get to the NVZ line tend to be running out of control at the point of contact of the ball on their opponents paddle. Players sacrifice early preparation for a better position on the court which is very poor technique because if you are moving at point of contact of the ball on your opponents paddle then you are not able to hit a low ball, go back for a lob, or move right or left as quick.

The proper technique is to split step [feet are parallel to each other and shoulder width apart. Similar to the old game of hop scotch] and hesitate for a split second in the proper ready position at the point of contact of your opponent touching the ball. Watch the face of your opponents paddle to be able to read if you will be hitting a forehand or backhand shot and be prepared to cross step to the ball. Using the split step allows you to have a little forward motion and be in control to move quickly in either direction.

If you use this technique every single time your opponent touches the ball it will make you a quicker and more consistent player.

Coach Mo

 

Early Preparation

Pickleball Early Preparation
EARLY PREPARATION is the most important part of the game. It is the most common mistake, because players do not realize they are not prepared early enough. Players in their quest to get to the NVZ line tend to be running out of control at the point of contact of the ball on their opponents paddle. Players sacrifice early preparation for a better position on the court which is very poor technique because if you are moving at point of contact of the ball on your opponents paddle then you are not able to hit a low ball, go back for a lob, or move right or left as quick.
The proper technique is to split step [feet are parallel to each other and shoulder width apart. Similar to the old game of hop scotch] and hesitate for a split second in the proper ready position at the point of contact of your opponent touching the ball. Watch the face of your opponents paddle to be able to read if you will be hitting a forehand or backhand shot and be prepared to cross step to the ball. Using the split step allows you to have a little forward motion and be in control to move quickly in either direction.
If you use this technique every single time your opponent touches the ball it will make you a quicker and more consistent player.
Coach Mo

Get Ready for Each Shot

Get Ready for Each Shot

What happens if you don’t make it up to the non-volley zone line and get caught in mid-court? This isn’t the area you’d like to be, but it doesn’t matter where you are on the court — still at the baseline, halfway up to the non-volley zone line, or waiting there: the moment your opponent’s paddle makes contact with the ball, assume the ready position. Really do this! Don’t just think, oh, I can just stop moving. Put your paddle up and in front of you. Keep your weight on the balls of your feet and be ready to move, keeping your eye on the ball. Then, after you hit the ball, head for the non-volley zone as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Find the Right Ready Position

The ready position most people are familiar with is with your feet about shoulder width apart, knees bent slightly, your weight on the balls of your feet, and your paddle pointing toward the net so that you are ready to move to your forehand or backhand, depending on how the ball comes to you. This position comes from tennis where the court is large and there is more time between your opponent’s hit and your return. Using this ready position is fine when you’re at the baseline, but it may not be the best choice when you are up at the non-volley zone.

This close to the net, there often isn’t time to move from this ready position and make contact with a shot coming at you quickly, especially a volley. Try this instead:

Hold your paddle in the backhand position up in front of your chest. This way, you can return most shots by simply rotating the paddle. If the ball comes to your forehand side, just rotate your body toward the ball and you’ll be able to reach the forehand volley.

Call the score

 just before you serve—not while you’re serving and not too far ahead of the serve. Call the score—then leave a few seconds for any questions or corrections before starting the serve. Doing this alerts all the players that you are preparing to serve the ball. Calling the score while you serve is very distracting to you and your opponents and is considered to be poor etiquette on the court. You’ll find that anything occurring while you serve will cause you to serve out of bounds, into the net, or otherwise to serve poorly.

GaleLeach

PickleBall Lessons

PickleBall Lessons: Taught by Jerry and Tami

Learn the basics or improve upon your basics.

  • Footwork: how to get to the ball.
  • Basic rules: Was that shot good?
  • How to contact the ball, forehand and backhand strokes.
  • Things you can do off-court to improve your game.
  • Video Appraisals available
  • And more…

Private or group lessons

Email info@pickleballnaplesfl.com to schedule your lesson today. Or talk to me at Fleischmann Park between games.

What my students have to say:

“I had a PB lesson with Jerry and just loved it.  Jerry is a great instructor.  He is very patient and very encouraging.  Jerry is focused on making you a better player.  I already scheduled my second lesson. Jerry truly enjoys what he is doing and I recommend  him if you want to learn more about PB and become a better player.”

Chris D

Presently Naples, Fl

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“I took my first PickleBall lesson ever with Jerry and enjoyed it tremendously.  He is a competent, thorough and patient instructor.  Jerry’s huge interest in the game of Pickleball is obvious and infectious.  He truly wants you to succeed, and therefore, gives you the knowledge you need by explaining and demonstrating techniques and the proper way to play the game. 

I feel so much more confident after one lesson, that I have already scheduled another lesson, and plan to continue with his instruction as the perfect way to improve my game.  I would highly recommend that anyone who is new to this exciting game take some lessons with Jerry.  He will solve the problems you have as a beginner and improve and simplify your game.  It was truly an enjoyable experience.”

Linda P., Naples, FL

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” I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed my first PB lesson. It takes great patience and understanding to be able to show a person the skills we need to improve our game, without making the person feel lost. I feel anyone can benefit with your lessons and develop a better understanding of this game. I have only been playing a few weeks, however I feel the lessons are valuable because they will hopefully teach what is necessary not to develop bad habits.”

Thank You

Carol P, Naples, FL

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PB Ambassador at Fleischmann Park is not affiliated with USAPA Ambassador program

Footwork – Reduce Unforced Errors

Footwork

Never step into the non volley zone with both feet. If a ball should bounce close to the net in the NVZ, keep one foot planted outside the NVZ line and lunge forward like a sword fighter. Tip the ball over the net into your opponents’ NVZ and quickly recover with both feet outside your NVZ line. If a player steps into the NVZ with both feet, it will take twice a long to get back out. A player cannot touch the ball in the air when any part of his body is in the NVZ. Good footwork at the net in this situation can shorten the time a player is in a vulnerable position. ( NVZ the Kitchen. Volley: hitting the ball on the fly. Hence, you can not hit the ball on the fly in the Kitchen. The line that surrounds the Kitchen is part of the Kitchen. You can not step on any part of the Kitchen line and hit the ball on a fly. )

Reduce Unforced Errors

The safest place on the court to bounce the ball is soft, low and in the middle of the no volley zone. With this placement, your opponent may hesitate, thinking that his partner will hit the ball. Hit the ball soft so your opponents will have no pace to work with. This is the highest percentage shot.

Coach Mo

Ready Position

Ready Position

Get back to the ready position  quickly after every ground stroke and especially volleys with your paddle way out in front of your body.

A common mistake made while moving forward to net is not having your paddle in proper ready position. Many players have their paddles at their knees or below the net, not up and out in front of the body.

At the point when the ball contacts your opponents’ paddle, you should be in your ready position: elbows and paddle out in front of your body, feet at shoulder width apart, side by side on your toes, not your heals, ready to move left or right. Never be moving at the point of contact of your opponent’s paddle on the ball. No matter where you are on the court, stop and get into your ready position. Never sacrifice being ready, for positioning on the court. If you are not prepared early and properly to hit a ball, it doesn’t matter where you are on court. You probably won’t hit the ball properly. Coach Mo

Click pictures for larger view.

Making Good Use of the Court

Making Good Use of the Court / Planning Your Shots

  • In doubles play with right-handed partners, the stronger partner should start in the odd (left-hand) court to maximize use of his forehand (which is covering the middle). If the stronger partner is left-handed, have him start in the even (right-hand) court and agree that he will take the center-court shots.
  • Get to the non-volley zone and try to stay there. Why? From the NVZ, you can hit drives more deeply, you can volley, dink, and lob, and all of this requires far fewer steps to reach the ball, no matter how it’s hit to you. The team that stays at the non-volley zone the most will usually win more points. Try a drop shot into the non-volley zone or a lob over your opponent’s head that will give you time to safely move up from the baseline to the non-volley zone.
  • When a dink or drop shot lands very close to the net, try to step into the non-volley zone using only one foot, keeping the other foot outside the zone behind the line. As soon as you hit the ball, step back out of the zone behind the line. This may not be possible if you are very short or if the ball barely makes it over the net, but otherwise should become second nature. Stepping back out immediately leaves you ready to return a volley or any other shot without incurring a fault, and it’s much easier to step out if only one foot is in the zone.

Rush to the NonVolley Zone

When you move forward from the baseline, keep your body facing forward. When you reach the desired position close to the nonvolley zone, assume the ready position. All of this needs to be done before your opponent hits the ball.

Any time you can move close to the non volley zone safely, do it. In doubles, it’s best if both partners move in tandem, so if you can both move up safely, do so. If not, wait until both of you can. But what constitutes “safely”? When you are sure you’ll have enough time to get to the non volley line and not be caught in midcourt with a ball aimed at your feet.

GaleLeach

The Basics and General Thoughts about the Game

The Basics and General Thoughts about the Game

Keep Your Head Still Throughout the Shot

When you miss a shot, you may think you weren’t watching the ball. Sometimes you are watching the ball, but you may not be keeping your head still.

When you hit a ball, your eyes will instinctively follow the ball’s path until the moment of contact (even if you can’t really see the ball traveling that fast). Keeping your head still throughout your shot will help you maintain better balance. This is particularly important on shots close to the net, especially when you have to run up to reach the ball. It’s very tempting to raise your head just before you contact the ball in order to watch the intended target. This typically results in poor ball contact and a loss of accuracy.

If you can keep your head still through the entire swing, your shots will be stronger, more consistent, and more accurate.

Get Ready for Each Shot

What happens if you don’t make it up to the non-volley zone line and get caught in mid-court? This isn’t the area you’d like to be, but it doesn’t matter where you are on the court — still at the baseline, halfway up to the non-volley zone line, or waiting there: the moment your opponent’s paddle makes contact with the ball, assume the ready position. Really do this! Don’t just think, oh, I can just stop moving. Put your paddle up and in front of you. Keep your weight on the balls of your feet and be ready to move, keeping your eye on the ball. Then, after you hit the ball, head for the non-volley zone as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Pay Attention to the Details

The little things can win or lose a game. UCLA basketball coach John Wooden used to start every season by teaching his players how to tie their shoes. Actually, he had them learn to put on their socks properly first. All this because it avoided blisters and made game play much more comfortable. It’s the little things that can make a large difference in your game. The grip of your paddle – is it too large or small? Is it too short or too long? Is your paddle too heavy? Not responsive enough? Take time to analyze the details and try new things to make your game better.

Find the Right Ready Position

The ready position most people are familiar with is with your feet about shoulder width apart, knees bent slightly, your weight on the balls of your feet, and your paddle pointing toward the net so that you are ready to move to your forehand or backhand, depending on how the ball comes to you. This position comes from tennis where the court is large and there is more time between your opponent’s hit and your return. Using this ready position is fine when you’re at the baseline, but it may not be the best choice when you are up at the non-volley zone.

This close to the net, there often isn’t time to move from this ready position and make contact with a shot coming at you quickly, especially a volley. Try this instead:

Hold your paddle in the backhand position up in front of your chest. This way, you can return most shots by simply rotating the paddle. If the ball comes to your forehand side, just rotate your body toward the ball and you’ll be able to reach the forehand volley.

GaleLeach

Line calls

Pictures and visuals  help me learn. This picture from the USAPA showing how to accurately view the ball as it hits the line. Some players, especially if coming from tennis, may think the ball compresses giving it more of an area to touch the court surface but that is incorrect. A pickleball is hard and only a small section of the ball actually hits the court. Check out this visual and make the right line call.

inorout

Help Your Partner With Line Calls. When your partner is trying to make a difficult shot, it is often hard for that player to concentrate on the line and the shot at the same time. Your partner is counting on you to make the out call if necessary. It is very common to see players looking straight ahead while their partner is playing the ball. You should always watch the ball so that you can help your partner with the call. Otherwise, you may be giving away points if your partner is unable to make the call.

If your partner calls the ball out and you see that it is clearly in, then you should declare the ball to be good. When you disagree with your partner about a line call, the benefit of the doubt always goes to the other side. Never play the point over. ( I am not sure about this I will check with Cindy and Nancy).

BallInOut

Videos

Watch their footwork, positioning, they never take their eyes off the ball. The paddle is always up and in the ready position.
Videos well worth watching.

Villages Pickleball #1 VS Seattle Superstarts PART 2  Lots of Dinking

2012 USAPA National Tournament – Women’s Singles Final

2012 USAPA National Tournament – Women’s Singles Final 2

USAPA 2012 National Tournament Women’s Doubles Gold 1

USAPA 2012 National Tournament Women’s Doubles Gold 2

 

PickleBall Tips 2

Pickleball Percentages

• NEVER SACRIFICE PLACEMENT FOR POWER. A SLOW BALL AT YOUR OPPONENT’S FEET IS BETTER THAN A VERY FAST HIT TO THE WAIST.

• NEVER SACRIFICE BEING IN THE READY POSITION FOR A BETTER POSITION ON THE COURT. ALWAYS STOP AND BE IN THE READY POSITION AT THE POINT OF CONTACT OF THE BALL TOUCHING YOUR OPPONENTS PADDLE.

• THE TEAM WITH THE LEAST UNFORCED ERRORS USUALLY WINS, NOT THE TEAM WITH THE MOST WINNERS.

• A GOOD VOLLIER WILL USUALLY BEAT A GOOD GROUND STROKER. THE GROUND STROKE IS JUST MEANS TO GET TO THE NVZ LINE AND WIN THE POINT.

• YOUR BEST POSITION ON THE COURT SHOULD BE EITHER ONE FOOT BEHIND THE BASELINE OR ONE INCH BEHIND NVZ LINE. STAY OUT OF NO MAN’S LAND.

• THE TEAM HITTING DOWN INTO THE COURT MOST OF THE TIME WILL WIN MORE POINTS THAN THE TEAM ALWAYS HITTING UP,SO KEEP YOUR HITS LOW TO THE FEET. IT WILL PROBABLY BE THE DIFFERENCE IN A CLOSE GAME.

• NEVER EVER MISS YOUR SERVE OR RETURN OF SERVE.

• MOST OF YOUR SHOTS SHOULD BE DOWN THE MIDDLE OF THE COURT, OVER THE LOW PART OF THE NET, GIVES YOU A LOT OF LEEWAY RIGHT AND LEFT, AND CAUSES CONFUSION BETWEEN YOUR OPPONENTS.

• PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE WHEN DINKING. DO NOT TRY FOR A WINNER UNLESS BALL IS MORE THAN 12’’ ABOVE THE NET.

• NEVER TRY AND HIT A WINNER OFF A VERY DIFFICULT SHOT. JUST PLAY DEFENSIVE AND TRY TO RETURN THE BALL LOW INTO THE COURT.

A GOOD VOLLEYER USES GOOD BOWLING TECHNIQUE

• A bowler first PAUSES to aim the ball at his target— steps toward his target— and follows through toward his target.

• A good volleyer PAUSES to aim the face of his paddle at his target— steps toward this target (if possible)— and follows through toward his target.

• Whenever possible PAUSE to aim (set the proper angle and direction of the face of your paddle) step and finish toward your target. Do not rush or guess… AIM!

 

PickleBall Terminology

Terminology

• Baseline — The line at the back of the pickleball court (22 feet from the net).[3]:A-4
• Centerline — The line bisecting the service courts that extends from the non-volley line to the baseline.[3]:A-4
• Crosscourt — The opponent’s court diagonally opposite yours.
• Dink — A dink is a soft shot, made with the paddle face open, and hit so that it just clears the net and drops into the non-volley zone.[3]:52
• Fault — An infringement of the rules that ends the rally.[3]:xxii
• Foot fault — Stepping on or into the non-volley zone while volleying a ball, or, while serving, failure to keep both feet behind the baseline with at least one foot in contact with the ground or floor when the paddle contacts the ball.[3]:xxii,61,A-11
• Half-volley – A type of hit where the player hits the ball immediately after it has bounced in an almost scoop-like fashion.
• Let serve — A serve that touches the top of the net and lands in the proper service court (it is replayed without penalty).
• Non-volley zone — A seven-foot area adjacent to the net within which you may not volley the ball. The non-volley zone includes all lines around it.[3]:A-4 Also called the “kitchen”
• Poach — In doubles, to cross over into your partner’s area to play a ball.
• Rally — Hitting the ball back and forth between opposite teams.
• Serve (Service) — An underhand lob or drive stroke used to put a ball into play at the beginning of a point.
• Server number — When playing doubles, either “1” or “2,” depending on whether you are the first or second server for your side. This number is appended to the score when it is called. As in, the score is now 4 – 2 – second server.
• Sideline — The line at the side of the court denoting in- and out-of-bounds.[3]:A-4
• Volley — To hit the ball before it bounces.
• Players – 2 or 4

More on the Dink

Master the Dink. The dink is one of the most effective shots in pickleball. The main purpose of the dink is to keep your opponents from gaining or keeping an offensive advantage. The dink is a soft shot that is hit just hard enough to clear the net, but not so hard as to allow your opponent to aggressively volley the ball (volley means to hit the ball before it bounces).

If you don’t have a chance at a strong offensive shot, then chances are good that the best shot selection is the dink. That is especially true if both of your opponents are at the net (at the no-volley line, which is the strongest position in pickleball). If one of your opponents is back at the baseline, don’t use a dink in that situation unless you are pretty sure that he won’t be able to get to the ball. A dink in that situation will just bring your opponent up to the net, which is where he wants to be. If he is at the baseline, keep him on the defense with a deep shot hit with pace.

The keys to effective dink play are patience and precision. It takes patience to keep dinking and to resist the urge to try to create an offensive shot when none is available. Move your opponents around with a variety of shot placements including a cross-court shot at an angle. You want to maneuver the opponents enough to where they make the first mistake, either by hitting the net or hitting it high enough to give you an offensive shot. It takes precision on your part to not make that first mistake. That takes practice to hit the ball with just the right amount of touch. Practice the dink while you are warming up.

Master the dink. It is likely that your opponent has not.

PickleBall Tips 1

Return of Serve. Very often, the best return of serve is a soft floating return that keeps your opponent in the back court. You will be taking advantage of the 2-bounce rule that prohibits the serving team from volleying the return of serve. The soft floater gives you and your partner plenty of time to establish your positions at the no-volley line. When you control the no-volley line, you have assumed the offense and put the serving team on defense. The other advantage of using this type of return is that it is one of the easiest returns to make and greatly cuts down on errors.

There are times when a hard driving return is appropriate. It can be especially effective if one of your opponents has a tendency to move up too quickly after the serve. If he has moved up too quickly, the hard drive forces him to backpedal quickly and forces an off-balance shot. But, keep in mind that your chances for error increase with that type of return. An attempt at a drive return means that it is much more likely that you will hit the net or hit the ball long. The other risk of the drive return is that it may be returned to you before you have had time to establish your position at the line.

Use the hard drive return every now and then for a change of pace and to keep your opponent off balance. But, most of the time, it would be wise to play the winning percentages and return a deep soft floater.

Is it OUT or IN? The ball can only touch the court at one point. As you can see in the first photo below, the center of the ball is touching the red. So, even though part of the profile of the ball is over the top of the line, the ball is out. The second photo shows a ball that is good because the center is touching the white line. Reference: section 6C of the official USAPA rules. Note that this rule is different than the rule for tennis. A tennis ball can flatten out when it hits, so if any part of the tennis ball touches the line, it is called good.

BallInOut

Remember, all lines are good during the rally and the serve except for the no-volley line during the serve. A served ball that touches the no-volley line is a fault and results in loss of serve.

Help Your Partner With Line Calls. When your partner is trying to make a difficult shot, it is often hard for that player to concentrate on the line and the shot at the same time. Your partner is counting on you to make the out call if necessary. It is very common to see players looking straight ahead while their partner is playing the ball. You should always watch the ball so that you can help your partner with the call. Otherwise, you may be giving away points if your partner is unable to make the call.

If your partner calls the ball out and you see that it is clearly in, then you should declare the ball to be good. When you disagree with your partner about a line call, the benefit of the doubt always goes to the other side. Never play the point over.

Anticipation. Pickleball is a very quick game requiring fast reflexes for those quick exchanges at the no-volley line. The best players give themselves an edge of just a fraction of a second by anticipating the shot. If you wait for your eyes to pick up the flight of the ball after it is struck, it may be too late. It is important to take note of the visual clues that will tell you where the ball is most likely to go. Observe the speed and angle of the paddle as the ball is struck so that you can begin to react and shift your weight before the ball is actually hit. Also take note of the position of the feet for another visual clue of the general direction in which your opponent is aiming. You don’t need to look directly at the feet. You can usually see the feet in your peripheral vision as you keep your eyes on the paddle and ball.

Watching the paddle will also help you anticipate any spin that is being placed on the ball. If the paddle is moving from high to low, then the ball will likely have backspin. That is especially true if it is hit with an open face (paddle tilted slightly upward). If the paddle is moving from low to high across the top of the ball with a closed face, it will have top spin. If the paddle is swept horizontally across the body, it will probably have some side spin.

Three Lanes

Three Lanes

Posted On August 16, 2012

Most people think their choice of where to hit the ball is limited to one half of the court or the other. The best way to visualize the court is to divide it into three lanes. One lane down the middle and one on either side giving you three choices, or three lanes, to place the ball. Always know where you want to place the ball BEFORE you hit it.

At the 5.0 level you really have to protect all lanes because they can place a shot down a lane (or line) at any time.

So BEFORE you hit the ball, have a target, pick a lane and go for it!

Written by Jennifer Lucore

National PickleBall Champion
National PickleBall Champion

The Dink Shot

Posted On August 16, 2012

The Dink Shot

Mary asks: I am new to pickleball and everyone talks about the dink shot. What is that?

The definition from the Official Tournament Rulebook states: A dink shot is a soft shot that is intended to arc over the net and land within the non-volley zone.

This shot is important to have in your bag of shot choices. Dink away!

Written by Jennifer Lucore

National PickleBall Champion
National PickleBall Champion

Proper Serving

Correct Serve Motion

Posted On November 30, 2012

Super form
Excellent form on her serve Chris M

Bennie asks: The rules say the serve must be underhand. Many players serve sidearm. Is this permitted?

ANSWER: There has been, and probably always will be, much discussion on this rule; both the wording and the interpretation of it. But bottom line is however you create your serve (sidearm or not) as long as you follow the below rules with your paddle head below your wrist and contact with the ball below your waist – then that is permitted.

For fun I looked up the definition of sidearm according to the Webster Dictionary: of, relating to, using, or being a throw (as in baseball) in which the arm is not raised above the shoulder and the ball is thrown with a sideways sweep of the arm between shoulder and hip.

Also, the odds are if you are serving sidearm you will have some upward arc in your serving stroke.

Here’s the Serve Motion Rules from the International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) Official Tournament Rulebook:

SECTION 4 – SERVICE RULES

4.A. Serve Motion. The serve must be made with an underhand stroke so that contact with the ball is made below waist level.

4.A.1. Underhand Defined. The arm must be moving in an upward arc and the paddle head shall be below the wrist when it strikes the ball.

Written by Jennifer Lucore

National PickleBall Champion