Where to Start

WHERE TO START?... THE READY POSITION!


What to look for:

  • Always be in your ready position
    • Elbows and paddle out in front of your body, chest high,
    • Your feet shoulder width apart,
    • Your weight on the ball of your feet, ie; heels off the ground.
    • Knees bent
  • Suggest players do a small “hop” to settle into the ready position. This is referred to as the split step
    • Over time it will become a reflex action.
  • Two school of thoughts as to when to do the split step;
    • The split step should be performed whenever your opponent is about to hit the ball so you’re ready to react and move where you need to go.
    • The second is that it should be done just after your opponent has made contact with the ball and your brain has an idea where to send your body.
  • The ball is not going to bounce high up to you like a tennis ball does. Pickleball is a bending game, so bend those knees.
  • Paddle grip--shake hands with the paddle.
    • The skin webbing between your thumb and index finger should be placed on top of the handle of the paddle when the face of the paddle is perpendicular to the ground.
    • This is often referred to as the “Continental Grip”.
  • Beginners should not switch grips.
  • You can use two hands on the paddle and you can switch hands
  • There are several ways to position the paddle when in the ready position
    • You may point your paddle at your opponents (12 o’clock),
    • You may have the paddle’s flat side facing your opponents (9 o’clock),
    • You may have the paddle pointing half-way in between (10:30 ish)
    • Use whichever one works best for you. Just make sure it’s up!
  • Use both sides of the paddle.
    • Never hit a backhand with the same side of the paddle that you hit a forehand with.
  • By maintaining the ready position you will improve your game tremendously.
  • You may place your left hand on the paddle to increase your focus and awareness of its position.