Pickleball analyst, Jim Ransey, analyzed the gameplay of professional pickleball matches to see how the game has evolved in the past few years. His top finding: players are more aggressive.
Pickleball players are moving beyond simply outlasting their opponents. They’re using power to be assertive and take control of the point early.
Even Ben Johns, the best pickleball player in the world, said he’d rather have power than fast hands. Easy to say when you have both.
So, how do you increase power in your pickleball play?
Here are five tips for powering up your pickleball game.
Shorten your backswing
Many amateur picklers think the bigger your backswing, the harder you can hit the ball. They treat their arm like a spring that loads up power. But successful power players will tell you that’s not where power comes from. It comes from your body and wrist, not your arm. You should shorten your backswing to where you can still see your paddle out of the corner of your eye. The paddle shouldn’t go further back than your body.
Hit the ball in front of your body
You should avoid hitting the ball behind your body. You won’t get power there. Create space between your body and your paddle. And create space between yourself and the ball. Power starts from the ground up. As you swing, turn your hips towards the ball so you make contact in front of your body. A short backswing will help you hit the ball in front of your body because you’re reducing your swing time.
Loosen your grip and snap your wrist
Snapping your wrist starts with a loose grip. Pickler suggests having your grip at a 4 out of 10 in terms of strength. You can then tighten your grip when you make contact with the ball. Tyler Loong is a professional pickler and arguably one of the hardest hitters on the pro tour. He says to imagine your paddle like whipping a towel. If it hurt your little brother growing up, it can surely hurt your opponents.
Hit the ball when it’s falling
You should use power when the ball is falling. You’ll have more control and be able to create more pop on the ball. This is especially helpful when considering whether to drive or drop on your third shot. If the ball is rising, drop the ball, meaning focus on placement, not power. Try to drop your shot into the kitchen where your opponents can’t hit it out of the air. If the ball is falling, use power to drive the ball at your opponent.
Use a paddle made for powerNot all paddles are equal. We believe paddles should match the style of the player. That’s why we have a paddle line dedicated to power players. Our Power Series Paddle has an edgeless design with a large sweet-spot and a rough-grit carbon face for optimum power. Additionally, our Pro Series Paddle was designed to increase control without sacrificing power. Your form is the main contributor to your power. But your paddle could give you the extra boost you need to take your game to the next level.