For one of my first ever pickleball clinics that I taught to a big group of approximately 80 women, I was the lead coach and I had a few assistant coaches.
It was a BLAST!
At least half of them were brand new to the game, and many of them got totally addicted!
It is absolutely nuts how pickleball is exploding across the country.
The game is still in its infancy, and it’s thrilling for us to be here at the beginning to witness the growth and explore all the new possibilities this sport has to offer.
I LOVE the sport and I’m so happy to have a part in helping the pickleball community grow!
In Cancun, it was my job to handle the intermediate/advanced group which was made up of mostly 3.0s and 3.5s. I think we had maybe one 4.0.
One of the things I constantly notice with players at this level, is that they’re mostly hitting the ball way too hard.
Even when attempting dinks…the dinks are simply too hard.
We did a lot of dinking drills and their dinks were mostly either too low, too close to the net, and/or had a very flat arc and shot past the NVZ line.
And once one player hits a dink too hard, the receiving player tends to take a step back to let it bounce (when they should hit a volley dink).
That same person will then dink back as hard or harder as the dink they just received. As soon as this happens the whole dink rally falls apart.
This happened repeatedly.
I understand why this happens. It’s because it is actually a difficult skill to take pace off the ball and still hit it back to the other side with precision and control.
It is far harder to take pace off a ball than it is to hit it back at the same speed (or harder) than the ball you are receiving.
FAR FAR harder.
And the more pace you have to take off the ball, the more developed your skill has to be to still have control.
So, here’s my challenge to you, the next time you’re out there drilling your dinks.
(And if you’re not drilling, please start IMMEDIATELY!)
Hit every dink back SOFTER than the dink you receive. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.
Nothing crazy, just 10 or 15 minutes of this once or twice a week. (Three times a week for bonus points)
Do this regularly over a period of weeks or months and watch your soft game improve dramatically.
Many players want to learn how they can hit the ball harder but it’s as important, and quite possibly more important, to know how to slow it down effectively.
Especially in a game like pickleball where the 3rd shot drop and dinking are such a big part of the game.
In the video at the top, we go through a 4 part progression that will teach you how to take pace off the ball and really be able to control it well.
Check it out above…
We also go over the drill below if you keep on reading.
Today I’m going to show you the two touch drill which is going to work on your paddle control and also your touch off your paddle.
There’s four different levels. We’re going to go through all of them right now.
Level 1: Bounce, Touch, Bounce, Touch
For the very first one you’re going to start out with dinks. I’m going to dink a ball over and then she’s going to hit it up and then dink it back.
As I get the ball I’m just going to hit it up to myself and then hit it back.
This is a good paddle control drill that you can do with your partner.
It works on your touch and feel for the ball.
Level 2: Bounce, Touch, Touch
We’re going to dink the ball. She’s going to hit it up off her paddle first and then volley it back into another dink and make it land in the kitchen.
Keep in mind you don’t want to go way too high.
Level 3: Touch, Bounce, Touch
The third level of the two touch drill is with volleys.
I’m going to hit her a volley, she’s going to volley it and let it drop in front of her and hit me a volley.
We’re hitting pretty soft and conservative at first but as you get better you can speed up the ball.
It’s a little bit harder than it looks but as you keep doing it over time it becomes pretty natural.
It works on your touch and also your drop volleys.
Level 4: Touch, Touch
For the fourth level of the two touch drill we’re going to hit volleys and as the volley comes back shes’ going to hit it up and it’s going to land right back on her paddle and then she’s going to volley it back.
I hope you guys enjoyed the two touch drill.
If you guys do these drills it will really lock in your touch and also your feel up at the net with your paddle and the ball.
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