I got to hit last Friday for a total of maybe 10 minutes (no more than 15) for the first time in over 5 months.
And it will be the last time for probably at least another few weeks.
I’m still on the mend from a back injury and could feel the pain creep up on me even after such a short time.
Still, this is major progress and I’m thrilled about it.
Whenever one is trying to get better at/succeed at, compete and win at something, in this case pickleball, there will be those times that you may be mad about a line call, frustrated with your poor play or upset about any other thing that may be happening on the court.
In those moments, please try to remember and celebrate the simple yet important fact that you have the privilege to be out there and the opportunity to have fun at something you love.
Smile and enjoy it because it could easily not be so.
I will be the first to admit that I have lost sight of this in the past and have on many occasions been carried away by my frustrations and I will make a point to reflect back on this time when I wasn’t even able to step on the court.
It was great to get to hit a bit with Jordan and I can’t wait until we get to drill together again.
My injury got me thinking about other people’s injuries.
The most common injuries sustained on the pickleball ball court is when players are moving back incorrectly for an overhead.
Because they are moving the wrong way they end up falling backwards and hitting their head which is of course very dangerous.
In the video posted above, Jordan is going to cover the absolute worst way to move back for your overheads.
As mentioned, it leads to injury but it is also very slow and totally ineffective in covering any ground at all in order to get back for a lob in a reasonable amount of time to be able to make a play on the shot.
He’ll also cover a few different correct footwork patterns that are not only safer but much more effective.
They will allow you to get back faster and take those lobs out of the air much more often.
Because who wants to be running all the way back there to chase down a lob right? Lol!
Check out the video (and blog below). It’s a very important one.
In today’s blog we’re going to talk about the number one thing that could be killing your overhead smash.
This is the number one mistake that I see beginner players, and even intermediate players, making. That mistake has to do with their footwork.
You’ll see all four players at the net or maybe the opposing team at the baseline hitting a lob and they’ll be at the net in ready position. Then, they’ll see the lob go up and then immediately they’re going to start backpedaling.
They have their eye on the ball and they’re backpedaling with their torso facing the net.
Depending on your age and your athletic ability it’s very dangerous to be going back like this because you could fall, trip over yourself, and hit your head or something like that.
On top of this, you’re not going to get back as fast as you could if you were in the correct position using the correct footwork
What is the correct position/footwork?
As soon as I see the ball go up I want to turn into position which means…
I’m going to pivot and move my right foot back (as a right hander) and my torso is going to be perpendicular to the net.
You’ll see a lot of the really good players, when they see a lob go up, they immediately turn and you notice that their feet are perpendicular to the net okay.
Being sideways and perpendicular to net is going to give you a very balanced overhead and you’ll be in control of your shot.
My friend Danny is going to feed me some overheads right now..
I’m going to talk about/show the first way which you don’t want to be hitting these overheads. As soon as Danny hits the ball I’m just going to immediately start backing up (with my torso facing the net) and I’m very off-balance when I hit that shot.
Instead I want to pivot my right foot back and then immediately go in this sideways position and make sure I’m contacting that ball out in front.
So here we go… I’m in a ready position and as soon as I see that lob go up I’m immediately going into this ready position with my left foot in front of my right foot (being a right hander) so that I could really swing through that ball.
It’s always easier to go forward than to go backward so better to go a bit further back than not far back enough.
With my initial step into this position I’m going to really take a step back just in case the ball is going really deep into the court because if I go back too much I could easily just come forward.
If I just turn into this position and the ball is way above my head then I’m still going to have to go way back and I’m going to have to hit it falling back which you don’t want to do.
So, as soon as I see the lob go up I’m going to step back and try to create some space just in case that lob goes really deep.
It’s a lot easier to move in this position. I can move vertically and I can move laterally on the court.
Just like as a quarterback, you’ll never see them back with their shoulders facing down field and throwing the ball. They’re always going to be sideways, ready to throw.
Just like a quarterback will throw the ball is the correct position for your overheads.
This will help you get to the ball faster and it’ll help you avoid injuries.
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