Third Shot Drop

From Tennis to Pickleball

May 19 2024

Tennis players have an inherent advantage when it comes to playing pickleball for the first time. But not every racquet skill is applicable on the short court.

Things to Leave Behind

1. Tennis Volley - The tennis volley can get you into trouble on the pickleball court. Cincola explains that hitting a volley with an open paddle face and crossover step will get you into trouble when making the switch.

The open paddle face leaves you prone to popups. More often volleys in pickleball use a square or slightly closed paddle and topspin.

A crossover step makes it more difficult to recover to neutral after a volley. It also puts you at a higher risk of accidentally stepping on the kitchen line.

2. Big swings - A shorter swing on the pickleball court is advisable for a number of reasons. The court is shorter, the ball is lighter, the paddle is smaller, and there is less recovery time than in tennis.

Cincola suggests the paddle rarely be brought behind your body for a backswing. A backswing in line with your body is adequate to generate enough power with the pickleball.

He also suggests an abbreviated follow-through. Shorten the follow-through when possible to increase recovery time and finish closer to ready position.

Habits to Bring and Adjust

3. Spin - Understanding spin provides a huge leg up when transitioning to pickleball. The pickleball paddle and ball, however, are less efficient at creating spin than a tennis racquet and ball.

That means adjustments in the paddle face need to be toned down compared to tennis. The paddle face should not be as closed as a racquet face would.

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