In today’s video/blog we’re going to talk about how to block hard shots when attacked at the net in pickleball.
The reset shot is a shot that we want to hit when we are not in a good offensive position. This is more of a defensive shot.
Sometimes we’re dinking up at the non-volley zone and our opponent catches us off-guard with a fast ball. Because we’re not really ready that ball either goes in to the net or out.
When we’re in a defensive position we want to be able to reset that shot back into the non-volley zone so that it’s an unattackable ball so that my partner and I can get back into the game.
I have my friend Danny with me here to practice the reset shot with.
We’re dinking and sometimes he hits a good shot or he moves me off the line and I want to be able to reset that shot so that I can get back into the kitchen.
At times, you may find yourself out of position where you’re stretching or reaching for the ball. These are times that you should not speed up the ball because you want to give yourself time and hit a slow shot that drops in front of your opponent’s feet to give you time for you and your partner to come up to the net.
That’s one thing that I’m going to be talking to you about today – the reset shot.
Work with a partner. One person is going to be working on the shot and then the other person is going to be hitting ball to them. Start with medium pace at first and as you get better you can speed up the ball even faster.
The practice balls should be aimed to your body so that you can work on softening the ball.
You should practice from no-man’s land and from the non volley zone line. No man’s land is not the ideal place to play in a point but sometimes we find ourselves there depending on how the point plays out.
In a game, the goal for my partner and I is to get back up to the non-volley zone line.
So let’s do this this drill here…
I’m going to dink to Danny and then he’s going to hit it right at my body, I’m going to try to block it and get that arc over the net.
He’s hitting me a good pace ball and I’m just working on trying to slow that ball down, get that arc and trying to drop it in front of him.
After I hit about one or two I’m going to back up and try to continue working on the shot.
I wouldn’t back up in a real game but it’s going to help you practice this reset shot from from midcourt where sometimes we find ourselves in that kind of position.
I’m trying to slow the ball down even if his ball is a little bit deep. In a game I would hit this shot and actually come back in.
Danny will hit me about three or four shots and then on the on the third or forth one I’m going to try to come in on that ball and get right back up to the kitchen/NVZ line.
Key Points to Remember..
There’s a few things that players struggle with when they’re hitting the shot. A lot of times they try to reset in the kitchen and then the ball goes really high and then it gets smashed again by their opponent and they can’t control that ball.
There’s a few things that are really key to hitting this reset shot or block.
The first thing is, it’s not a swing. When I’m blocking these balls I’m not swinging. The faster the ball is coming to you the less you want to swing.
You’re using the pace of that ball.
If I punch it or if I volley it or even swing at it…that ball is going to sail out or it’s definitely going to go a lot further than you’re intending it to go.
The whole purpose is that we’re trying to drop this ball into the non-volley zone so that we can get back into the point since we’re on the defense. My partner and I are trying to get back into neutral positioning on the court.
Open Paddle Face
I’m letting the ball come to my paddle. My paddle face is up. When I say it’s up, it’s open as opposed to closed.
If my paddle face is closed or facing down the ball will go right into the net.
I want to make sure it’s open so that ball comes off my paddle so that it’s just dropping gently right in front of my opponent in the kitchen.
Contact Point Out In Front
My contact point is always out in front. I’m not way out reaching/stretching and I don’t want to get it too close to my body either. I want my contact point to be about a foot or two in front of me.
If Danny hits me a really fast ball I can take it back a little bit depending on the pace of his ball. But, I’m definitely not swinging at it. I’m letting the ball come to me.
I have a pretty loose grip. From a scale of one to ten, ten being the tightest, I’m around the middle and I’m letting that ball come off the paddle.
My grip is pretty stable. I’m letting the ball ricochet off my paddle. There’s not a lot of movement in my paddle when that ball is getting to me.
There’s a few things that you can change if your ball is going way too far. Either your grip is too tight or you’re actually pushing it.
If your balls are going too short then maybe your grip is way too loose and also your paddle face is probably facing more down.
Remember we want to get the ball to arc up and over the net.
Lean Forward With Your Weight
Keep your body momentum in mind- I’m not leaning back. Every time you lean back that ball is gonna lift up because you’re not balanced.
We want to make sure we’re leaning forward with our weight.
I’m also just catching it early out in front.
So that’s the reset shot. This is a shot when you’re on the defense and your opponent is attacking you. It’s a shot to get back in a neutral position.
We want to be able to soften that ball up and over, then get back into position so that my partner and I could set up a winning shot for our ourselves.
I hope you guys enjoyed this video/blog!