If They Can Land a Transition Backhand Volley, They're Probably Pretty Good at Pickleball
How do I know if someone is savage when visiting new courts? You might think the guy that’s decked out from head to toe in sponsored apparel is the top dog. But that’s rarely the case.
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Either way, don't judge a book by its cover. But if you’re going to judge something, a good signal to look for is a strong transition backhand volley.
When they're in no man's land reaching for a low backhand and still hit a winner, you can be confident that the rest of their game is solid, too.
Example: Greg hits a third and approaches the kitchen line. I do my best to keep him back by aiming my fourth at his feet. Specifically, his left foot, if he’s a righty.
He has a choice:
- Either step back and play the ball off the bounce - the safe option
- Or, step into the court and play the ball as a low backhand volley - the high-risk option
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In Daytona, I got burned three times by a player stepping into this shot. They sniped a backhand down the middle, each time for a winner. I think he even yawned on the last one.
Needless to say, the match did not go my way. It was, however, a valuable learning experience. My loopy fourth deep in the court would not fly. The right play is to keep the ball lower and disguise where the shot is headed.
Related: Follow This Journey for an Advanced Dinking Technique
The takeaway: if you see someone execute the transition backhand volley with ease, they're most likely a savage.
If you find yourself on the court with a savage, don't be concerned about wins and losses. Note which of your shots are Major League material and which ones belong in the Busch League.
Take the opportunity to test your skills instead of going for highlights.
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