Anyone who has played pickleball knows how it feels to cause a pop up.
Whether you’re causing the pop up or getting hit with the ball because of a pop up, this is one of the worst feelings. Today we’re going to cover the common reasons why pop ups happen and what you can do to stop them.
It’s my hope that with this video you’ll learn how to eliminate errors from your game, play with more consistency, and win more points at the net.
When you’re dinking at the net, one of the primary goals is to hit unattackable shots, so pop ups are your worst enemy because they’re essentially an assist for your opponent. A few common reasons pop ups happen are due to issues with individual mechanics and timing. The good news is those things can be fixed with a few easy tips.
Watch the full video here.
Pickleball Tip #1 for Pop Ups: Fix Your Grip
One of the most common causes for pop ups is your grip pressure.
It’s important to have soft hands at the net and to do this, you need to have a grip pressure of 3 or 4 out of 10. To test this, you can tap the sides when holding the paddle. You should feel it move if your grip is 3 or 4.
Also, one of the best indicators of where the ball is going is your paddle face. If you grip your paddle in such a way that it is facing up when you hit the ball there’s a good chance this could force the ball up. For example, your paddle should not be straight up and down at 180 degrees. It’s better to have a 90 degree angle.
Pickleball Tip #2 for Pop Ups: Stabilize Your Wrist
Another common cause of pop ups is due to wrist action during your swing.
When dinking, you want to hit the ball using a pendulum swing motion from your shoulder. This means your shoulder should be doing the work and your shots should be connected from your paddle to your shoulder. Your arm and wrist are stable and your movement is smooth and compact. If you engage your wrist, you break the connection to your shoulder and open the door to more inconsistent shots. It only takes a small movement to pop up the ball with your wrist versus your shoulder.
Pickleball Tip #3 for Pop Ups: Avoid Overreaching with Volleys
When you’re at the net, it’s a good thing to volley the ball or hit it out of the air because this takes away time from your opponent. However, if you overreach when volleying, this can cause pop ups. When you’re volleying the ball, you want to keep the ball in your optimal contact zone. If you don’t know what that is for you, try reaching for shots and find the place just before it is uncomfortable. That is the edge of your optimal contact zone. When you overreach, you should notice a shift in your balance but also your lower body will be in the air. This is a sign you’re overreaching.
Also, it’s important to note here that you’re making a decision to take it out of the air or not. Look to make this decision quickly and to be prepared physically.
Pickleball Tip #4 for Pop Ups: Keep the Ball Out Front
Sometimes your opponent will push you deep or wide and force you to move. If you choose not to take the ball out of the air, you may be tempted to hit the ball from behind your body or outside of your optimal contact zone. This can easily cause a pop up. Instead, choose to take a step back, keep the ball out front, and return an unattackable shot.
This rule also applies for shots that stretch you to the side. If you overreach to the side, this can throw you off balance. Instead, take a step and establish your feet before you swing. Always remember to keep the ball out front and establish your feet first before you swing.
Were These Pickleball Tips Helpful?
Which tip was helpful for you? Let me know in the comments.
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