One of the most frequently asked questions by pickleball beginners is: how do I keep the ball low? The reason you want to keep the ball low is because it limits the shots your opponent can play in return. You don’t want the ball high as then they can volley or smash, and that’s you on the receiving end of difficult to handle offensive play!
Here are a few tips that should help you keep the ball low, and keep it in play until you get the opportunity go in for the kill!
6 Tips To Keep The Ball Low
The Angle of the Paddle
Quite simply, if you angle the paddle facing up, the ball will go high when you hit it. To keep the ball low, angle the paddle vertically or – if you are confident enough – perhaps slightly downwards. This will help keep the ball low over the net.
Particularly when close to the ‘kitchen’ line, you’ll often see experienced players seemingly over-reach for the ball. What they are doing is trying to hit it when it is at the highest point they can reach, which gives them a better chance at keeping it low. Practice this, and remember not to venture into the kitchen!
Don’t Let Direct Shots Catch You Out
Your opponents will often try and hit the ball directly at you, which leaves you on the defensive and often results in an high return. The trick is to step slightly out of the way of oncoming direct balls, which gives you that little extra space to play with to keep the ball down.
Keep Your Grip Loose
It is not unusual for players, especially when rallies are lengthy, to naturally tighten the grip on the paddle. This results in more aggressive play and less control. What you need to do is ensure your grip is light and loose but enough for you to handle the paddle, in order to play the shots you want.
Practice Catching the Net
As in all games, practice makes perfect, and one way of keeping the ball as low as possible is to practice to the point where learn to just graze the net with the ball. You will fail many times at first, but after your confidence is built you will become less afraid to attempt super-low shots that touch the net and still go over. These can be winning shots.
Keep the Ball In Front
If you watch experienced players you’ll see they invariably hit the ball when it is in front of them. This s because this area gives you the most control over the ball. This is another technique you need to practice if you are to perfect what is an important part of a successful game of pickleball.
Those are the major tips that any experienced pickleball player will impart to you if you want to keep your ball low in play – and it is the best way to make sure you are the player in control and not your opponent. Practice them and make sure you get them right, and you will certainly improve your game.