Ask A Coach: Vulnerable Volleys
I'm getting ready for some big tournaments and I find that I'm getting overpowered at the net. I think of myself as someone with good hands but when my opponents blast the ball at me, I have trouble getting it back in play (let alone doing anything offensive). Advice? - Marty K., Mobile, Alabama.
Hi Marty. You're predicament is one that many people are facing as the game of pickleball evolves. As the paddles get more powerful and can produce more spin, the game is moving towards a faster pace and more of a power game. You need to be ready to handle it.
First, watch this video on how to play drop volleys. It is vital that you are calm, your hands are soft and out front, and that you don't try to add speed to the ball.
Second, you may want to check your paddle. Is it totally smooth to the touch or is it textured? As the game evolves, paddles are being made that have a rougher surface. This roughness provides more friction on the ball and can help you gain some control that smoother paddles lack. The technology truly is making a difference.