Shoulders are a hot topic on the pickleball court. Players often hear phrases like “aim for their right shoulder,” “dink from the shoulder,” or “my shoulder is not what it used to be.” But why are shoulders so important in pickleball, and how can they positively impact your game?
Maintain Shoulder Height
Firstly, maintaining shoulder height with your paddle throughout your forehand and backhand drive volley is crucial. This helps keep the ball from sailing long or plummeting into the net. By keeping your shoulders steady, you can hit the ball with more consistency and precision.
If you’re someone who likes to blast a big forehand groundstroke (can you say “banger?”), chances are that the ball is going to the back fence. To execute this shot successfully, it’s important to keep your knees bent and your shoulders on one plane through the swing. This will help you maintain balance and generate more power.
Lowering your shoulders at the NVZ (Non-volley zone) is another important technique. This new body position promotes a lower athletic stance, which has several benefits. Firstly, it helps you identify balls that are going wide or long, allowing you to make better decisions about whether to hit the ball or let it go. Secondly, it helps you reach and respond to the dink that is aimed at your toes, which is a common tactic used by opponents. Thirdly, it makes you a smaller target for opponents to aim at with a speedup shot, which is an aggressive shot with more pace. Finally, it helps you better assess whether you have an optimal angle for a speedup shot of your own.
Lower Athletic Stance
It’s worth noting that many players forget to bend their knees enough on-court. By focusing on lowering your shoulders, you can trick yourself into good form and maintain a lower athletic stance. This, in turn, can help you improve your game and become a more effective player on the court.
In conclusion, shoulders are a crucial part of the pickleball technique. By maintaining shoulder height, keeping your shoulders on one plane through your swing, and lowering your shoulders at the NVZ, you can improve your game and become a more effective player. So, the next time you’re on the court, remember to focus on your shoulders and see how it positively impacts your game.
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