Generating power in your pickleball game is all about managing space — specifically, the space between you and the ball.
Ideally, you want the ball to be at arm’s length to maximize your potential power.
Let’s say that again: you want the ball to be at arm’s length to maximize your power. If your elbow is bent, you’re sacrificing power.
That applies to forehands, backhands, overheads, volleys, all of the game’s scenarios.
It’s easy to find the right space at the baseline when the ball has time to bounce. At the kitchen line, your time is cut down dramatically.
One thing you see at the pro level that you need to add to your game is the slide step.
Instead of stepping forward to generate power, you can use a slide step in either direction to:
(a) generate more power
(b) create the right space between you & the ball
When the ball is aimed at your torso, take an evasive slide step left or right to keep the ball at arm’s length. Instead of flubbing the ball back, you can smack a counter for the win.
In lieu of moving laterally, you will also see the pros drop vertically to create space. The scorpion shot uses the same concept to get out of a jam and answer with power.