Fundamentals of Pickleball

GRIP– Shake hands or continental; relaxed but firm (don’t choke the bird); trigger index finger.

STANCE (Ready Position) – Feet shoulder width/square to ball; weight on balls of feet as opponent strikes ball; paddle chest height/slightly extended towards ball.

FOOTWORK – For right handed player (reverse for lefty); on all forehand groundstrokes, dinks/drops, volleys, smashes and serve…weight on left foot. On all backhand groundstrokes, dinks/drops, volleys and smashes…weight on right foot (Law of Opposites).

SERVE– Opposite foot forward; underhand motion; paddle lower than wrist; ball contact lower than waist; follow through to target; weight shift to target; recover to ready position behind baseline.

RETURN OF SERVE – see groundstrokes.

GROUNDSTROKES– Turn shoulders/paddle back BEFORE ball bounces on your side of court; contact ball at top of bounce; contact ball out in front toward target; follow through to target; accelerate through contact; return to ready position. Swing, don’t punch/chop!

DINKS– From no volley zone; a shortened ground stroke; may hold the ball longer on paddle (lower contact point).

DROPS – From mid court to baseline; slightly shortened ground stroke.

LOB– Full ground stroke; swing low to high; high follow through; apex of the ball’s arc over opponent.

VOLLEY – Turn shoulders; shorten back swing; contact ball eye level; bend knees as needed; short follow through; return to ready position. Punch, don’t swing!

SMASH – Turn shoulders/paddle up; point finger/chin at ball; move sideways (VERY IMPORTANT SAFETY FACTOR); keep ball between you and net; hit up/over ball; follow through to left side of body; return to ready position (right hander).