Keep the Ball in Front for Better Control
In pickleball, it is important to keep the ball in front of you as much as possible. This will give you more control over the shot and make it more difficult for your opponent to return. You will maximize your field of vision. There are a few things you can do to improve your ability to keep the ball in front of you, including:
- Good court positioning: This means being in the right place to receive the ball. If you are too far back, you will have to reach for the ball, which can make it difficult to control. If you are too far forward, you may not have enough time to react to the ball.
- Proper stance: Your stance should be balanced and ready to move. You should have your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Don’t forget to get low!
- Good timing: You need to hit the ball at the right time, which is when it is in front of you. If you hit the ball too late, the ball may pop up and become a sitter for the opponent. If you hit it too early, your aim will be off and possibly out of bounds.
- Smooth, fluid strokes: Your strokes should be smooth and fluid, without any jerky movements. This will help you to maintain control of the ball.
The Benefits Are Great When You Keep the Ball in Front of You
There are many benefits to keeping the ball in front of you in pickleball. Here are a few of the most important ones:
- Improved control: When you keep the ball in front of you, you have more control over the direction and speed of the shot. This can make it more difficult for your opponent to return.
- Increased accuracy: Keeping the ball in front of you also helps to improve your accuracy. This is because you have a better view of the ball, known as “keeping your eye on the ball”, and you are less likely to make mistakes.
- More power: When you hit the ball in front of you, you can generate more power. This is because you can use your body weight and momentum to your advantage. It should feel effortless!
- Reduced risk of injury: Keeping the ball in front of you can help to reduce the risk of injury. Sometimes when you take your eye off the ball, it can hit the side of the paddle and ricochet into your eyes or face. Remember to wear your sunglasses in the daytime or clear safety glasses under the lights at night or for indoor play.
An example of keeping the ball in front of her body, Carrie releases the ball with her outstretched arm to get a smooth and easy serve in play.
Practice Ideas to Keep the Ball in Front of You
In addition, there are a few things you can do to practice keeping the ball in front of you in pickleball. Here are a few tips:
- Start by practicing your volleys. This is a great way to learn how to hit the ball in front of you and develop good timing.
- Work on your footwork. Make sure you are moving your feet in a smooth, fluid motion so that you can stay in front of the ball.
- Practice with a variety of shots. This will help you to learn how to keep the ball in front of you on different types of shots.
- Get feedback from a coach or experienced player. They can help you to identify any areas where you need to improve.
- Use your soft focus, or peripheral vision to keep your eye on the ball, the court, and your partner all at the same time.
- Use your hard focus by keeping your eyes on the pickleball itself. Better yet, try to focus on the holes on the ball for increased clarity.
- Don’t be afraid to move your feet to get into position to hit the ball. Footwork is important in pickleball.
- Practice hitting the volley serve with your arm extended out, into the court to get the correct distance to keep it the ball in front of you.
- At the kitchen (non-volley zone): The further you can reach into the kitchen to attack a ball, the better. It improves your angle of attack as well as cutting down on the reaction time of your opponent.
- Get feedback from a coach or experienced player to help you identify any areas where you need to improve.
It is essential for any pickleball player to keep the ball in front. Following the tips in this blog post can improve your ability to do this and take your game to the next level. When you succeed, celebrate the small victories. They will begin to happen more and more frequently! Pickle on!