Sometimes in pickleball, we get in trouble. You may hit the ball high and your opponent sends it back at you with pace. In these moments, if you can’t counter, your goal is to reset the shot back into your opponent’s kitchen. But this is easier said than done.
Today we’ll cover a few pickleball tips that will help you hit consistent resets so you can improve your defense, stay in the rally, and win more points.
Pickleball Tips | How to Upgrade Your Pickleball Defense with Block Shots in 5 Easy Steps
- 1 What is the Reset Shot or Block Shot?
- 2 1. Establish Your Lower Body
- 3 2. Anticipate Your Opponent’s Shots
- 4 3. Paddle Up
- 5 4. Make Contact Out Front
- 6 5. Use Soft Hands
- 7 Pickleball Tips for Using the Reset in Games
- 8 Related Articles
- 9 5 Surprising Facts from PPA Pickleball with Jim Ramsey | Ben Johns, Anna Leigh Waters, and More
- 10 How to Prepare for a Pickleball Tournament: An Ultimate Guide with Checklist
- 11 5 Important Pickleball Strategies for Outlasting Your Opponent
What is the Reset Shot or Block Shot?
The goal of this shot is to absorb the pace from a fast ball and to neutralize your opponent by returning an unattackable shot back into their non-volley zone. It’s important to know that this shot has simple mechanics, but because it is so simple, it feels counter-intuitive. Your instincts may tell you to counter-attack every fast ball, but that’s not always possible. Sometimes you must actively choose to play defense. To do this, you must be patient and keep the ball in play.
1. Establish Your Lower Body
When you’re at the non-volley zone, you’ll want to establish your feet, bend your knees and balance your weight evenly. You should not be leaning back or to the side. A strong base and lower center of gravity will help you absorb the ball better.
2. Anticipate Your Opponent’s Shots
To play good defense, you must keep your eyes on the ball and watch for any signals your opponent sends. What does their paddle angle, body mechanics, and their backswing tell you? By engaging your mind, you can anticipate your opponent’s attacks and block them.
Game time pickleball tips: If this is a new shot for you, your natural reaction may be to counter attack every shot, but that’s not always possible. To override this tendency, try stepping into a game telling yourself to be patient, and focus on blocks and resets. If you need help with timing your shots, check out the video I did on hitting smart shots. I’ll put the link in the description.
3. Paddle Up
It is much easier to block a fast ball when your paddle is up. Your paddle should be at around chest height between 10-12 oclock.
Game time pickleball tips: If you can anticipate your opponent’s shot, position your paddle in a way that gives you the best advantage. For example, if you know your opponent likes to aim for your chest, have your back hand ready.
4. Make Contact Out Front
It’s difficult to block the ball from behind your body, so keep the ball out front. When you’re blocking, let the ball come to you. Your arm should be stable and the paddle should do the work for you to absorb the pace. This means you’re not swinging and you make contact in the sweet spot of your paddle.
Game time pickleball tips: Your paddle face should be slightly open to keep from hitting the ball into the net.
5. Use Soft Hands
Your grip pressure should be 3-4.
Game time pickleball tips: If you continually hit the ball up, your grip is likely too tight or your paddle is facing up. Learn more about grip pressure here.
Pickleball Tips for Using the Reset in Games
As you step onto the court and use the block shot, use these pickleball tips to give your resets an edge:
- If you need more time to react to fast balls, you can take a step back. One step could make a big difference in your reaction time. But after you block, be sure to get back to the NVZ.
- The team to get the ball on the ground in a fast-paced volley war is likely to be the team that wins the rally. This is because it’s much harder to reset a face-paced shot off the ground.
- Don’t give up – if a ball is popped up in a rally, you may want to give up and get out of the way to avoid getting hit with the ball, but if you can get your paddle on the ball and survive the attack, you improve your chances of winning the rally.
Have you watched a ppa pickleball match on the PPA tour in the last few months and heard the announcers discuss some stats from the game or display some stats? If so, there’s a good chance those stats were collected by a man named Jim Ramsey.
Jim is the first broadcast statistician for the PPA and he has spent the last 35 years in broadcast.
I got a chance to talk with Jim and discuss stats that are important to the pro world, themes that he’s seeing, and the 5 most surprising stats he’s collected over the last few months.
Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the world because it’s easy to play, it’s a great way to make new friends, and you can be as competitive or recreational as you want. But when you move from pick up games to pickleball tournaments, it raises the stakes, the level of competition, and the intimidation factor can go up.
Today we’re going to look at how to prepare for tournaments from tip to tail by breaking it down into stages, so you can easily take it step by step.
It’s my hope that with this video you’ll learn what to expect from tournaments, how to enjoy them and how to compete at a higher level with confidence.
Pickleball is an incredibly fun sport because it’s easy to start but difficult to master. In fact, skill and physical ability are only half the battle. When your opponents are equal to your skill level, the game becomes more strategic and mental.
Today we’re going to unpack some smart pickleball strategies that could give you an edge and help you improve the next time you’re on the court.