5 Steps for Mastering the ATP

5 Steps for Mastering the ATP

Summer Skills Series:
5 Steps for Mastering the ATP

The around the post (ATP) is arguably the most exciting shot in pickleball. Sure, it gets the oohhs and aahhs, but it also gets you points. 

The ATP isn’t just a trick shot for YouTubers and the pros. It’s for any pickler looking to take their game to the next level. Here are five steps for mastering the ATP.

Step 1: Wait…wait a little longer…wait some more…

ATP could stand for All The Patience. Once you see your opponent’s shot could give you an opportunity for an ATP, you need to move your feet quickly, but hold onto your swing as long as possible. The biggest mistake people make that turns a potential ATP into a HTP (hit the post) is swinging too early. Let the ball clear the net and get as wide on the court as possible before taking your shot. You usually have more time than you think. By the time you hit the ball, your paddle should be about six inches off the ground. 

Step 2: Keep your eye on the ball

Not to sound like your dad in every sport you played growing up, but he’s right: you have to keep your eye on the ball, especially for an ATP. Many players get so concerned about the net, post, and opponent that they don’t maintain eye contact with the ball throughout their shot.

Step 3: Aim for two feet inside the sideline

Another mistake people make when trying an ATP is aiming for the sideline, thinking it’s harder to defend. But it’s such a high risk shot that you should aim for two feet inside the sideline, giving yourself margin. 

Step 4: Don’t swing big

The ATP is so effective because the low flight of the ball and awkward angle makes it tough to defend. You don’t need to add power on the shot. If you accomplish an ATP at any speed, your chances of winning the point are high. 

Step 5: Get back in the point

Once you start moving to hit an ATP, your teammate should shade you by covering your side of the court. If your opponent returns your shot, your teammate will have a better chance at keeping the ball in play. But after that, you should be back in position so your teammate can slide back into their position too.