If you wonder how to hit a pickleball harder Here are the best ways to hit the pickleball harder without limiting efficiency and control.
Pickleball isn’t a game of power and that is why it is equally famous among players of all age levels. However, there definitely comes a time when you need to hit the pickleball hard to win some points or survive a rally.
Once you have mastered the control and spin in pickleball, you are ready to learn how to hit it hard. In this guide, I will share the best ways to hit the pickleball harder without limiting efficiency and control.
Related: 5 Best Padel Rackets For Spin
How To Hit A PickleBall Harder?
Hitting the pickleball hard isn’t a big deal but hitting the pickleball hard without limiting control is a matter of concern. You need to utilize the power in a way that doesn’t affect the spin and control. The first thing you need to do is pick up the right gear. Secondly, you should focus on your skills so that you can surprise your opponent with a perfect combo of power, control, and spin. So let’s begin with:
1. Choose the Right Paddle
The thickness and construction quality of the paddle plays a key role in how you hit the ball. Pickleball paddles are classified as power paddles, control paddles, and all-court paddles. When you are all ready to hit hard you need power paddles. Usually, pickleball paddles are not advertised with these terms so it can be a little hard to tell which is actually a power paddle.
A power paddle comes with a thinner core between 10 mm to 14 mm. These paddles let you generate maximum power even with a light swing. A thinner core offers impressive power and pop with a little power input but definitely it cuts down the feel and control. Face construction also impacts the control spin and power. If you want to hit hard a fiberglass racket is the option you can have.
Fiberglass or carbon fiber offers incredible pop and power for the paddle. Graphite is also a great option but graphite paddles are very expensive.
The weight of the paddle is another important factor to consider. Most beginners and intermediates prefer midweight paddle weighing between 7.56 to 8.3 Oz for the perfect balance between power and control. However, for hard-hitting, you need a heavy paddle. Heavy paddles weigh between 8.2 to 9 Oz.
In addition to weight, you need to consider the handle length and paddle shape. The longer the handle the more power you will be able to generate. Also, a paddle with an elongated shape can hit harder than a wide-face paddle. The maximum pickleball paddle length can be 17 inches. A heavy paddle with an elongated shape and a 5+ inch handle is the best choice if you want to hit hard.
2. Master The Body Position To Hit The Ball Harder
Finding a power paddle isn’t enough to become a banger. You need to master the body position that allows you to generate power without losing the spin and control. Depending upon the types of spin and power you are getting from your opponents you need to choose the right body position. If you want to hit the pickleball hard, make sure your upper body is in a relaxed position.
Your shudders, arms, and neck should be neutral so that you can make a hard swing for maximum power. Always stand with your legs at least shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. The most important thing here is proper weight distribution. Your maximum weight should be on the balls of your feet and only a little weight on the heels. It helps you come forward quickly and hit the ball with maximum energy.
Remember you cannot beat the rally just with power and therefore you need to balance the power and spin. So always keep the paddle in front of you with its face open. Since you are in a power game, you can expect fast exchanges and the body position lets you respond quickly with maximum power and control.
3. Learn How To Rotate Your Body
If you want to generate power it is crucial to learn how to rotate your body. If you don’t know how to balance or control your body, you can’t make solid contact with the ball. A hard swing isn’t enough to generate power. Instead, you need to utilize your full range of body motion and this is possible only when you know how to rotate your body.
Here is how you can practice rotating your body while hitting the pickleball:
- Stand straight with your legs shoulder-width apart and your upper body fully relaxed.
- Extend your arms and grip your hands together just in front of your chest; it will help you rotate your body as a single unit.
- Now turn to the left side and make sure all your body parts like arms, hips, heels, shoulders, and chest are turning as a single unit.
- Now turn to the right side and repeat this exercise 5 to 10 times.
- It will improve upper and lower body synchronization.
Now come to the second exercise that focuses on the ground strokes rotation. It will help you learn how to rotate your body while hitting backhand and forehand strokes.
- Imagine you need to pick up an object on the outside of your left foot and place it on a waist-line level shelf on the right side of your body.
- Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Use your paddle arm to lift the object. When you swing your arm to lift the object, rotate your whole body with your arms.
- Bring your arm just in front of your left foot and then turn to the right side of your baby. Bring your paddle arm to the level of the waistline. Repeat the exercises 5 to 10 times by imagining the objects on the alternate sides of your body.
- When you rotate your body to the left side the right heel will come off the ground and vice versa. If it is not happening it means you’re not performing the exercises correctly.
- Practice body rotation in drill sessions to improve your control while hitting the pickleball hard.
4. Learn how To Spin The Ball With Power
You cannot win the game without a spin. So, you must give up on some of your power while generating spin. Therefore learning the strokes and drive that bring power and spin is crucial to surviving in a power game. A hard topspin drive is one of the most effective strokes that can overpower your opponent and help you win some easy points.
When to Hit Hard Topspin Shot?
- When your opponent is afraid of pace
When your opponent is weak in returning hard stuff, this is the best stroke you can play. A topspin forehand drive with extra power can put your opponent in real trouble.
- When your opponent is in the transition area
The transition or No Man’s Land is the area between the baselines and the kitchen. This area is strategically favorable for soft strokes. But when you hit the hard drive with topspin, it will simply make your opponent lose control and hit an overpowered shot that will go beyond the limits.
- When you want to surprise your opponent
Being unpredictable is one of the best strategies in pickleball. If you are hitting soft shots throughout the game, you can hit a powerful forehand drive with topspin to outplay your opponent. Here is how you can hit a topspin drive/stroke:
- The best way to hit a topspin drive is to snap your wrist up when you make contact with the ball.
- This drive is quite similar to a forehand drive in many ways.
- Keep the paddle in front of you with its face open.
- When the ball is at your forehead, swing the paddle the same way as you swing to hit a forehand drive.
- Snap your wrist up the moment you make contact with the ball.
Though it needs a lot of practice, it is the best way to balance power and spin. It allows you to add maximum power and spin. The spin will make the ball come down and keep it from going out of bounds. The best area to play this stroke is the transition zone but it can be a little costly to stand in this zone especially when you are in a power game.
5. Hitting An Overhead Smash
An overhead smash is one of the best power shots you can play in pickleball. It is an aggressive shot executed from high in the air that lands at a very sharp angle in the opponent’s court. However, you need to execute it with maximum efficiency if you want to keep it within bounds and win a point. A well-executed overhead smash is almost impossible to defend.
When And How To Hit The Overhead Smash?
An overhead smash is a return of a high-lofted shot hit by your opponents. The best place to hit an overhead smash is the non-volley zone line. If you are in a transition zone or at a corner, you can’t expect a perfect overhead smash. Here is how you hit a hard overhead smash:
- Position yourself in the no-volley zone line with your paddle face closed.
- You might be wondering how you can hit hard with a closed-faced paddle. Remember you are hitting a ball that is already over your head. If you hit it with an open face it is likely to travel too high and will land out of bounds. So you must keep the paddle face closed and the top angle of the paddle should be downward.
- Track the flight of the ball and when it comes closer turn sideways and bring the paddle just behind your head (to the level of your ears).
- Swing the paddle arm slightly up and then forward to make solid contact with the ball. The aim is to make the ball land at a very sharp angle in the opponent’s court.
- As you swing your paddle arm forward, shift your body weight from the rear foot to the front foot.
- Your paddle arm should follow a downward arc motion.
You can generate power in pickleball by using elongated rackets with thin cores. Position yourself at a non-volley zone line with your legs shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. It will help you make hard swings and generate more power in pickleball.
An overhead smash is the hardest shot in pickleball. It is a forceful shot that is played as high in the air as the player can reach. Usually, it is a return of a high-lofted ball. The overhead smash lands at a very sharp angle in the opponent's court making it impossible to defend.
To hit a hard forehand drive in the pickleball keep your paddle in front with its face open. Initially load your weight in the back leg and slightly shift it from the back to the front leg as you swing the paddle. Swing the arm in a way that your contact point should be in front of your body. To make it a hard drive, snap your wrist up at the time of contact.
I’m hopeful that these tips will help you become a banger in pickleball. Hitting the pickleball harder is one of the key pickleball skills as it allows you to make your opponent play overpowered strokes that will land beyond the bounds. Hard hits can win easy points if executed properly. You must combine hard hit with spin and some sort of control to make them undefendable and land within bounds.
Oliver Parker is a recognized authority in the world of pickleball, renowned for his in-depth knowledge of paddles and shoes. With years of expertise on and off the court, he provides invaluable guidance for players of all levels. As a seasoned player, Oliver has not only honed his skills on the court but also conducted rigorous testing of equipment, providing readers with meticulously researched reviews and recommendations.