Pickleball is a fast and exciting sport that requires a combination of quickness, skill, and tactics. One of the most crucial abilities to develop is how to keep the ball low in pickleball.
When the ball remains close to the ground during a match, it increases the difficulty for your adversary to make contact. Hence, enhancing your prospects of securing the point victoriously. But how can one effectively strike the ball at a lower trajectory in the game of pickleball?
Within this manual guide, I will delve into the significance of keeping the ball low in pickleball, providing you with a thorough understanding of its importance. Also, provide you with tips and tricks to master this essential skill. So let’s start!
Understanding the Physics of Keeping the Ball Low
To effectively learn how to keep the ball low in pickleball, it is important to understand the physics behind it. When striking the ball, novice players often prioritize the strength and elevation of their shots, neglecting the significance of the ball’s trajectory and angle.
Nevertheless, the elevation of the shot does not hold the utmost significance. Aiming for a lower ball trajectory can yield greater effectiveness due to various reasons.
- Firstly, when the ball is hit lower, it has less time to travel, making it more difficult for your opponent to react and respond to the shot. This is especially true when playing against taller opponents, as they may struggle to reach low shots.
Additionally, a low shot will also produce a shorter bounce. Consequently, it poses a greater challenge for your opponent to execute precise returns of the ball.
- To keep the ball low, it is important to focus on the contact point between your paddle and the ball. Aim to contact the ball slightly below its center, while also keeping your paddle angle low to the ground. Avoid hitting the ball too high or too low on your paddle. This can lead to a shot that exhibits excessive height or insufficient length.
- Another important factor in keeping the ball low is the use of spin. Topspin shots will naturally have a lower trajectory. They cause the ball to spin forwards and downwards.
Proper Grip Technique
Now that we understand the importance of keeping the ball low in pickleball and the physics behind it let’s focus on proper grip technique. The grip you use affects the angle of your paddle, which can greatly affect the trajectory of your shot.
Footwork and Positioning
If you want to master the art of keeping the ball low in pickleball, then proper footwork and positioning are crucial. It is crucial to assume the appropriate stance to execute low and efficient ball strikes. Here are some key tips to help you improve your footwork and positioning:
1. Move quickly
Footwork is a critical aspect of pickleball, and quick movement is key to keeping the ball low. Maintain continuous footwork and remain prepared to pivot swiftly whenever necessary. Keep moving, and respond promptly to the ball.
2. Position yourself close to the net
By going close to the net, you can improve your chances of keeping the ball as low as possible. The closer you position yourself to the net, the greater the ease in executing a shot with a lower trajectory.
3. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart
Having a stable base is essential for maintaining balance and hitting the ball accurately. Keep your feet at shoulder-width distance from each other and ensure a balanced distribution of weight throughout your body.
4. Use your non-dominant foot to pivot
When hitting low shots, it is crucial to be able to move quickly and adjust your position. Use your non-dominant foot to pivot and move toward the ball. This will allow you to quickly shift your weight and make any necessary adjustments to hit the ball low.
5. Focus on the ball
Once you assume your position, direct your attention toward the ball and anticipate its trajectory. Maintain attention on the ball and observe it. This will help you make precise movements and hit the ball accurately.
Drills and Practice Tips for Perfecting Your Low Shots
To master how to keep the ball low over the net, it is essential to practice various drills and techniques. Here are a few pointers and practice drills to help you perfect your low shots:
1. Practice hitting the ball against the wall
This particular warm-up exercise serves as a superb method to enhance your hand-eye coordination. Stand close to the wall and hit the ball back and forth, aiming for a low shot.
2. Work on your dink shots
The dink shot is a crucial technique that allows you to hit the ball low and close to the net. Practice your dink shots by hitting the ball softly and keeping it low.
3. Use the kitchen to your advantage
The kitchen is the non-volley zone located in front of the net. Use your positioning to your advantage and hit the ball low and close to the net when you are in the kitchen.
4. Vary your shots
Keep an element of surprise for your adversaries by diversifying your shots. Mix up your shots by hitting them low, high, hard, or soft.
5. Practice controlling the spin
Controlling the spin of the ball can help you keep it low. Practice hitting the ball with different spins, including backspin and topspin.
Mastering the art of keeping the ball low in pickleball requires dedication, practice, and experimentation with different techniques. By practicing regularly and incorporating these techniques into your game, you will soon be able to learn how to keep the ball low in pickleball. So, grab a partner, hit the courts, and start practicing today. Who knows, you might turn out to be the next pickleball pro!