Where to start? What to look for!

Ready Position

Always be in your ready position
  • Elbows and paddle out in front of your body, chest high
  • You may place your left hand on the paddle to increase your focus and awareness of its position
  • Have your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Your weight on the ball of your feet, ie; heels off the ground
  • Keep your knees bent

By maintaining the ready position you will improve your game tremendously.

Split Step

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 schools of thoughts as to when to do the split step;

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Ball Bounce

The ball is not going to bounce high as a tennis ball does. Pickleball is a bending game, so bend those knees.

Paddle Grip

Shake hands with your 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”.

You can use two hands on the paddle, many pros use a two-handed backhand and you can switch hands. Beginners should not try to switch grips. Keep it simple.

Paddle Position

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 both sides of the paddle. Never hit a backhand with the same side of the paddle that you hit a forehand with.

Use whichever paddle position works best for you. Just make sure your paddle is always up!

© Cochrane Pickleball Club 2020