Goal-Setting in Pickleball

Anyone who has learned a new sport knows how frustrating it can be to try to remember a lot of things at the same time. How do I hold the paddle? Where should I stand? Where should I aim? Should I use a backswing when volleying? Etc. Etc. Etc.

Instead of cluttering your brain with a multitude of things, try working on only ONE goal at a time. Tomorrow when you play, concentrate on seeing the ball actually contact the paddle. Which part of the face of the paddle is being contacted? Does a pickleball flatten at all when making contact? Think of only that one objective during the entire time that you are playing.

The next day of play, work on another objective – but only ONE. It might be to be sure to use a backswing and a follow through when hitting ground strokes. You will discover, after several days of playing, that your game has improved! You can always take some Pickleball lessons to improve your skills even further. There are even free Pickleball lessons available, but are a bit harder to find.

The Importance of the Paddle Position in Pickleball

Regardless of the stroke being used in pickleball, the position of the paddle in relationship to the ground and the net is crucial in determining where the ball is going to go. Assuming that you are hitting a straight shot and not putting spin on the ball, the ball will always come off of the face of the paddle at a right angle to the paddle face. When the head of the paddle is perpendicular to the ground, it is said to be a “square face” and the ball will come off of the paddle parallel to the ground. If the head of the paddle is angled down, the paddle is “closed” and the ball will travel downward from the paddle face to the ground. If the head of the paddle is angled up, the paddle is “open” and the ball will travel in an upward direction.

Knowing this is important to the player who is attempting to correct his own errors. For example: if he is consistently hitting a ground stroke into the net, he needs to pay attention to the position of his paddle at the moment of contact with the ball. It’s highly likely that his paddle is in a “closed” position rather than “square”.

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