Friday, August 16, 2013

Pickleball Tip of Week 23

Alright Gang,
This weeks tip is a little about the drop shot when your opponents are back at the baseline.

There are some players that actually like to stay back at the baseline and just keep lobbing the ball high to two opponents standing at the NVZ. NOT a great strategy. A good way to make them pay for this poor strategy is the soft drop shot into the kitchen instead of continuously hitting hard shots back.

The lobbers usually can handle your decent smashes straight back at them. And if that is all you are going to do, you could loose the point. So you have to NOT be predictable. If you never hit anything different back at them, they KNOW each time you smash it back at them, and they can get ready  for it.

Hence comes the soft drop shot. WAIT until you have a shot that you can take LOW. While standing right up to the NVZ with a short lob coming your way, you MUST wait for one that is fairly low. You want to disguise the shot by taking your normal backswing you have been using while smashing the balls back at their feet. However this time, at the last minute do your forward swing slow and drop the ball soft into the kitchen. Preferable on the side of the SLOWER opponent. They now have to bust butt to get up and get the ball. Even if they do get it back it will usually either be a pop up you can put away, or it will go deep out.

The shot you are going to do this on MUST be one you can hit with control when the ball is at shoulder height or lower. If you try and do this drop shot reaching way up in the air you wont have as much control and since you are taking the ball up high, it takes longer for this ball to travel down to the ground and gives your opponents extra time to get to it.

I generally try and put some backspin on this shot if possible as with backspin the ball will "DIE" on your opponents court and it will make it even more difficult for them to return it.

Even if you miss the shot, you are putting your opponents on notice that you have this shot in your arsenal and they have to be on guard for it. They can no longer just hang back at the baseline hitting lob after lob.

jeff shank

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