Pickleball players come in all kinds of different skills and styles.
And it is up to you to figure out the best way to overcome these players.
But, without a doubt, one of the most difficult players to face are the ones that hit the ball hard.
Real hard. Real often.
Every shot puts you on your back foot. And, if you don’t know how to respond to it, it can completely overwhelm you.
But don’t worry. Those hard hitters have a weakness, though. You can use their power against them.
But it takes a bit of work, a bit of know-how, and a bit of planning.
These pickleball tips for facing hard shots will help you even the playing field.
You ready? Got your paddle nearby and your shoes tied tight? Let’s go to it.
Don’t Hit it Hard, Too
One thing players try to do when facing a banger is to hit it hard right back to them.
Fight fire with fire, right?
Unfortunately, this does not work.
First, you already have less time to react to this harder shot than a regular shot. So, trying to do something you’re not completely comfortable with is a bad idea.
Second, you probably can’t match their power anyway.
Instead of trying to fight fire with fire, use their power against them.
Luckily, there are a lot of pickleball drills we can use to help us out!
Practice, practice, practice
The next time you have a chance to practice, you want to focus on beating these hard hitters specifically.
Luckily, you actually have an advantage facing them. You just need to learn how to do it.
Because these bangers are putting so much force into their shot, you don’t need to supply your own. You just need to focus on control and placement.
You get to use their power against them.
A punch volley is exactly what you need to do.
This is a slight motion instead of a full-on swing. As the ball makes contact with your racquet push it forward instead of swinging.
Because you’re just pushing it forward, you’ll have better accuracy which leads to…
Hit ‘em where it hurts
Aiming is the next step to beating these hard hitters on the court. With your punch volley, you’ll have a nice and compact swing and better aim once you get used to it.
The goal of your placement is to throw your opponent off. Just like they’ve been throwing you off.
The perfect place for your shot is right at their feet.
With a low shot like this, all they can do is take a normal shot back. They cannot get power on it without sending it straight in the net or way out of bounds.
See it for yourself
If you want to see these ideas in action, make sure to check out this video of Simone Jardim, one of the best pickleball players in the world, go over with these ideas with some of her students.
With these tips, you’ll be able to take the power out of the bangers on the court and even the playing field once and for all.