Success at pickleball comes by surprising players with a plethora of strokes that minimize their opportunities to counter your hits. Although you may have already developed a strong skill level, reducing your errors, playing consistently well while keeping your opponents guessing and constantly on their toes, and learning how to keep the ball low in pickleball, will have them scrambling to return and wondering about your newfound secrets.
Why Should I Keep The Ball Low?
The main reason why you would want the ball low in pickleball is to make sure that your opponent does not find a quick offensive opportunity and win a point. Advanced players hanging around the kitchen line can simply dump the ball away from your reach to end the rally effortlessly. Players should focus on merely pushing the paddle forward upon contact with the ball without scoping or swinging. That is all that is required to keep the ball low and alive.
3 Keys To Keeping The Ball Low
Pickleball players know that crazy things can happen when you carelessly pop the ball too high. Hitting down on the ball will most probably send it speeding towards the net unless it’s off a higher bounce so it would be best to just move your arm forward through the stroke and carefully flip your wrist slightly for the finish.
Here are a few elements to consider when you hit the ball higher than intended:
During long rallies, we tend to feel more anxious about controlling the ball to win the point. This may result in stress that creates tension, prodding your fingers to apply a death grip on the paddle.
The Ball’s Contact Point
Let your body work to bring you to a comfortable neutral position before making contact with the ball. Attempting to hit while the ball is completely in front of you yields maximum results as you get full control of the strength and direction of your return.
Settle Yourself Down
Panicking as the ball careens towards you often results in pop-ups. The less tension you have, the more it will allow you to meet and hit the ball at your best, also giving you the flair for a superior follow through since your body is relaxed and comfortable. Bear in mind that wiffles do not pack a lot of weight which means that it won’t require a lot of effort to get it over the net, giving you enough room to focus on your stance, strokes, and strategies.
A slight push, packed with a tiny bit of spin, and the paddle’s angle are vital in defining the ball’s elevation. Pickleball players must learn to trust their athleticism to bring them in the utmost position to hit and just use the paddle as a tool to nudge the ball back. Too much wrist action and an excellent swing are bare minimums since a correct grip pressure and proper body placements are all that’s needed to keep the ball low.
6 Ways to Hit Consistently Low Over-the-net Shots
Advanced pickleball players often juice their basic strokes with a little topspin when sending the ball over the net. A low but hard flat hit is a good offensive choice since they are more difficult to return, making it a favorite to score a point. Here are a few tips on how to keep the ball as close to the ground as possible until you get the chance to volley or smash for the kill:
The Paddle’s Angle
The course that the pickleball takes highly depends on the direction your paddle is facing. Angle the paddle vertically, maybe even slightly downwards, to make the ball go low over the net.
Meet The Ball Early
Attacking the ball when it is at its highest point gives players a better chance of keeping them low. It also adds an element of surprise, catching your opponent off-guard with a quick return and giving you a higher chance of winning the point.
Step Aside From Direct Shots
Opponents hitting the ball directly at you do not necessarily mean that they deserve an ejection. That is just a sound strategy that is meant to leave you on the defensive throughout the rally. Simply shuffle a step to the side to give you the much-needed space to play keeping the ball low.
Hit From The Front
Keeping your body squared in front of the ball gives you the most control over it. Much like in other sports, pickleball requires good footwork since it will be your weapon to take you to the best spots to hit the ball with authority.
Maintain A Good Grip
Whether on the court or the players’ bodies, tensions rise when rallies are tight and long. It is natural for the grip on the paddle to tighten as aggressive play contributes to the participant’s failure to control their tool. Make sure to maintain a light and loose hold on the paddle to play the strokes that you want.
Exercise Playing The Net
One of the tricks that successful net players practice is to aim their shots as close to the net as possible. This eliminates the chances of fast killer hits from the opposing side and grazing the net radiates a player’s confidence. Getting caught in the net can be frustrating at first but can be a very potent offensive weapon once it has been mastered.
The trajectory and power in your strokes largely come from the way you distribute your body weight. The the secret to hitting a strong, low shot lies in the point of contact with the ball and good follow-through. Bending your knees and staying low would help, succeeded by hitting the ball squarely in the center, your
racket angled down and aimed to graze the net.
For novice players, learning how to keep the ball low in pickleball is perhaps the most important skill they need to get a grip on early. Granting that the game is all about fun and camaraderie, having it in their arsenal will prove to be essential when they find themselves in a spot that calls for hits below the belt.