A ball off the net cord is one of the most dramatic plays in pickle. The crowds ooh and ahh when the ball clips the tape and falls over the net. It sounds like sundown on the 4th of July on Championship Court.
When you're on the receiving end, it's hard not to get caught up in the excitement. You turn on the boosters and fly up to the net, praying not to pull a hammy on the way.
When you're on the sprint for a net cord or even a drop shot, it's important to stay calm. If you don't, your sprint and lunge turns into wasted effort.
Ryler DeHeart: confirmed student of the game 😂 pic.twitter.com/8rIoTMBdKH— The Dink Pickleball (@Pickleball) June 21, 2023
Most players know to drop the ball in the kitchen to buy more time in this scenario.
When you're on a dead sprint, the extra momentum gets transferred to the ball. Your safe dink turns into a popup on a silver platter.
In situations like this, it is important to maintain your calm and focus on footwork. Ensure that you step close to the net, anticipate the ball's trajectory, and use a controlled wrist action to softly hit the ball back over.
Aim for placement and control rather than power. This strategy increases the chance of a successful return and prevents a rushed or error-prone shot.
Next time you chase down a dribbler, be sure to:
- Loosen your grip to soften your shot
- Play the ball cross-court to take advantage of kitchen width
- High tail it out of there - you may have bought a little time, but you still need to get out of the kitchen or tuck and roll