Learn how to keep the ball low in pickleball to avoid highly aggressive and attackable shots for a smooth game.
I have been playing pickleball for years now and learned a lot from senior players and my coaches. Pickleball, like other court games, involves techniques and tricks that help you in competing and increase the chances of winning; likewise, the coaches are instructed to teach players about that. The one consistent technique to tackle the ball is “keeping it low when playing”, and I’ll stick to that in this article.
Learn How To Keep The Ball Low In Pickleball and why it is Necessary
The concept of keeping the ball low in pickleball is useful in keeping your opponent player away from being offensive. As a general rule of thumb, a high ball is called an attackable ball, as instructed by the coaches, and it is welcome for an aggressive or offensive shot hit from the opponent. Shortly, you need to give lesser chances of aggressive shots to the opponent for a better game.
Different ways to keep the ball low in pickleball
There are different ways to keep the ball low in pickleball, let’s go through the most practically effective ones:
reducing the swing
The first way to avoid high hits and keep the ball low in pickleball is by “reducing the swing”. You’re suggested to make small moves and resist back swings, or you’ve to stop the paddle movement quickly.
This is because high-pressure results in a higher ball than a player actually intends, and it resultantly makes an attackable ball. This can be done by keeping the movements limited and avoiding swinging your pickleball paddle freely.
Target opponent’s feet
Secondly, you need to target your sight at the opponent’s feet to keep the ball low. That might sound odd, but it is technically the most adaptive and effective way to avoid attackable balls in pickleball. I learned this way from my coach years ago and he said to stay away from the high contacts and keep your target as low as you can to make the game better.
This tactic aims to make their (opponent’s) contact point low to avoid high balls; I and my partners started calling this finding their laces!
Even if you’re making low contact but your opponent has high contact, the tactic is a failure. In other words, you have to focus on their laces and force them to focus on your shoelaces to succeed using this technique. This is a comparatively viable strategy and I strongly recommend it to all level players based on my experience.
Related: Pickleball rules kitchen
Thirdly, you need to strike the ball in pickleball as early as you can so that it stays in the meantime and becomes lower. This is because when you strike the ball it goes high due to the force you put on it, but eventually, it will start reaching the ground by gravitational force. Thus, the idea of hitting the ball early in pickleball is realistic enough to avoid attackable balls.
On the other hand, if you wait for a long time to strike the ball, the technique doesn’t work, and you might end up with high balls.
You need to understand that hitting the ball and reaction time is short and it plays a crucial role in pickleball. When you strike the ball quickly, it bounces and takes time to come back to the ground and loses the gained momentum—physics brother! So, avoiding rainbow shots will help you in keeping the ball low in pickleball.
Pro Tip to keep the ball low in pickleball Game
As a pro tip, I like to add that you should try to hit the ball at the kitchen line in the pickleball court and wait for a bounce. I hope you know that you can’t step over the kitchen line.
Next, try using soft hands in the pickleball paddle to avoid high balls. This is another significant technique to keep the ball low and it will be done by maintaining the amount of pressure you apply. By keeping the hands soft I mean to put as light pressure as you can on the paddle while hitting the ball as high pressure will cause the ball to move high and end up in the attackable shot.
Therefore, a light and gentle grip will help you in developing a less yet sufficient amount of pressure on the paddle.
The goal is to smack the ball to the net and win more points than your opponent player or team. You have equipment called paddles or rackets which you need to pass the ball to the net.
These are the five basic rules of pickleball: (1) the ball should stay in the boundary, (2) one bounce on each side, (3) the baseline is the serving area, (4) the non-volley zone is prohibited, and (5) game ends at off points i.e., 11, 15, 21.
A high ball also called an attackable shot, is a welcome for an aggressive or offensive shot hit from the opponent. So, it should be avoided using different techniques explained in this article.
It would be daunting to memorize all the tips and techniques explained in this article, especially for beginners, so I suggest you practice them all one by one and adopt one that suits your gaming style. By that time, you’ll develop better skills and one by one start adopting different ways to keep the ball low in pickleball. This not only resists the aggressive shots but makes the game overall better and increases your winning chances.
I’m Amelia Cole, a passionate writer and sports enthusiast specializing in pickleball and tennis. With years of experience on the court, I offer valuable insights and practical tips for players of all levels. My articles provide expert guidance, breaking down complex techniques into easily understandable concepts. Join me as I share my love for these exhilarating sports, helping you unlock your full potential and enjoy the thrill of pickleball and tennis.