Monday, August 5, 2013

Pickleball Tip of Week #3

This weeks lesson is on the lob. Not my favorite shot. To me, most players use the lob as a crutch, instead of using a better more advanced shot.

Before the soft game is learned, most players have two shots, the hard or banger shot and the lob. If there is one shot that you can win at the highest levels and not have to use....its the lob.

If you watch top players ( last weeks video is a great example of this ) they dont use the lob a lot. I took one game at random in that 2010 finals match and sat down and counted the shots. AFTER the serve and serve return  84% of the shots were soft shots, 15% were hard or attempt at winner shots, and 1% were lobs.
Dont get me wrong, there are a handful of players in The Villages that use the lob effectively and can gain an advantage or win points with the lob. But 95% of you use the lob as a crutch.

Best uses of lobs>>>>>
1)As an offensive shot when you are up at the NVZ and your opponents expect a dink.
2) As an offensive shot when the serve returner has just returned your serve and is running up to the net,... going back over their head as their momentum is going forward.
3) As a defensive shot when your opponents have cranked an overhead at you and you have NO OTHER option to just get the ball back.
4) As a defensive shot when your opponents have hit a drop shot way out of your reach, you can use the lob to give yourself MORE TIME to get back on the court and into position.
5) When your opponent(s) are infirm and cant move or are weak and cant hit an overhead .

When you are caught near the back of the court with your opponents cranking overheads and you are lobbing back to just get the ball back, you and your partner are always looking for the first possible shot for  you to work your way back up to the net. That would be a shot that is not cranked quite as hard and you can drop the ball into the kitchen, OR you hit a lob that drives your opponents back or they have to hit your lob with their backhand, where they are less likely to hurt you. As soon as you and your partner recognize this IMMEDIATELY get up to the net.

Your goal should be to replace lobs that you are making from the back court with soft controlled shots into the kitchen.

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