Although pickleball is a fun, social, and friendly game, it can soon develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game; if you have played the game before, you will be able to relate. Since the ultimate goal is to defeat your opponent, you would probably be eager to know How To Hit A Pickleball Harder.
You will need a heavier fiberglass or carbon paddle to hit a pickleball harder. If you are not getting the power you need, you might want to consider swopping it for a 9-ounce paddle. Learn how to make a topspin on your pickleball shots by just snapping up your wrist to generate more power.
Hitting a pickleball harder often means some practice. It all starts by mastering your dinks, third shots, and control base. Once you perfect the drills, you can move in by adding some power. Let’s find out how you can put this into practice to increase your game’s strength.
Mastering Your Body Position To Hit A Pickleball Harder
Hitting a pickleball harder starts with mastering your body position; they both work hand in hand. Below are some techniques that will ultimately help you pack that power punch.
Always Be Prepared
- With your knees slightly bent, keep your feet apart.
- The weight should be on the balls of your feet and not on your heels.
- Your shoulders and upper body should be in a relaxed position.
- Your pickleball paddle should be in front of your body and pointing slightly upwards. This position will help keep you in readiness so that as soon as the opponent smashes the ball, you know you are in readiness with your paddle to hit it harder.
Learn How To Dink
A dink is a short drop that originates from the non-volley line, goes into the opposing net, and drops into the opposite non-volley zone. The dink shot is the crucial part of any game.
You cannot just stay at the baseline relying on the power shots. If you combine both the dink shot and the power shots, you will be able to up your game and hit the pickleball harder.
Never be intimidated by approaching the non-volley zone. The dink shot can neutralize any power play. A dink shot is one of those plays where hitting the pickleball harder could be to your detriment. If you are strategic, you can quickly neutralize a hard hitter.
Playing a dink shot can force an error on him, and soon as he hits trying to smash it past you, it ends up going out of bounds and you earn the point. Pickleball is not just about hard hits. If you want to bring on your “A” game, you must be versatile in hard and soft shots. A person that is only a hard hitter ends up with a disadvantage because he is always looking to smash the ball. Their impatience ends up to their detriment.
To perfect this, you can bend your knees and keep the paddle’s edge at a 45 degrees angle to the net. Keep the elbow and wrist stable, swinging from the elbow and not the wrist. Get the paddle ready in position to hit the next shot.
Practice Your 3rd Shot
The third shot is the shot that serves as the team’s second shot. With a neutral grip of your paddle, be ready for a forehand or backhand return. To create a great arch, always try to lift the shot. The 3rd shot is a hard shot to perfect and takes practice.
The key to success is not approaching the non-volley zone on every 3rd shot. Most players will rush to the net. You might get caught out of position if you rush to the net. So rather stay back and set up the approach on the next shot. It would help if you read the other players by monitoring their habits, and once you can read their actions, you will be able to defeat them at their own game.
Simplify Your Shots
A lot of the time, a pickleball player will pick up habits on the court from other players. These shots might not always be shots that cause the ball to be hit with more power and add value to the game. By simplifying your shots, you will be able to get ahead of your game.
The Lob Shot – This is the most used shot and limits the element of surprise. Using this shot too often will give your opponent the upper hand as they anticipate your shot and be ahead of your game.
Dinks And Dropshots – Dinks and drop shots are the safest options. A smooth drop shot over the net is what will win you the most points.
Soft Floating Return- The soft floating return deep to the baseline is the easiest serve to make. Keeping it simple will help get the ball over the net.
Deep Hard Driving Shots – These are the most effective when the opposing team members are on the backcourt; you can keep them there with deep hard driving shots. You want to try to keep the pace of the play up and keep them away from the non-valley line.
Steady returns will help keep them at bay and put you in the driving seat of the game.
Does A Pickleball Paddle Affect Hitting The Ball Harder?
Having the correct paddle can make a difference in the impact on which you hit the ball. A heavy paddle puts more power into the hit, while a lighter paddle will provide more control. A typical paddle will weigh, on average, 7.5 – 8.5 oz.
If you are not getting the adequate power, you need when hitting the ball, you might want to consider changing to a 9 oz paddle. Avoid settling for a paddle heavier than 9 oz, as it will bring fatigue to your arm.
A fiberglass or carbon fibre paddle will help put the weight off your paddle while still giving you the ability to hit the ball with much-needed power. A honeycomb core is also an excellent alternative to keeping the weight off the paddle.
A smooth paddle will restrict the spin on the ball; this is the one factor that is vital in hitting the pickleball harder. A paddle with sufficient grit will grip the ball slightly.
How To Hit A Harder Pickle Ball Serve?
Developing power in your serve is where it all begins. Most pickleball players make the mistake of doing an arm serve. Typically crossing their arm for the serve as their non-dominant shoulder stays static. So, the power you ultimately generate will be from the arm without allowing any core muscles to join in the serve—this action results in a serve with minimum power.
To hit the ball harder and create a power-packed serve, you want to ensure that you let your non-dominant shoulder go as you are serving. You want to serve with your arm and shoulder as you move with the shot; it allows your legs and core to engage in the stroke and be part of it.
It then imparts energy from the legs in the core into the ball and sends it on its way. When you release your non-dominant shoulder, let that shoulder go with the serve, which will bring your legs and core into the shot, imparting more energy into the shot and making the serve go deeper. By rotating your whole body with the serve, you will manage to get more power into the serve.
Creating A Top Spin To Hit The Ball Harder
Learning how to put topspin on your pickleball shots is what might be the spin-off in getting you to hit the ball with that much-needed power. If you are new to pickleball, you might not understand “topspin.” Let me pique your interest.
Topspin is when the ball rotates over itself, which you can proceed by snapping your wrists as you contact the pickleball, effectively driving the ball down with a spin. This action will result in your hitting the ball harder, forcing it down on the opponent’s side.
Getting this right is practice, practice, and more practice. You can start with a simple drill of grabbing a few pickle balls while standing on the pickleball court. Slightly ahead of you, bound the ball on your forehand side. As if you are hitting a routine forehand, sweep your paddle towards the ball. As you contact the ball, quickly snap your wrist up.
The ball’s landing spot will give you an indication of the amount of power that is packed into this shot. Once you practice, you will be able to determine how much energy and how much spin will be required, allowing you to adjust as you perfect the drill. Pretty soon, you will be on your way to hitting those killer shots.
How Will You Know When To Hit A Pickle Ball Harder?
“With great power comes great responsibility,” which means knowing when to use that power. In the case of pickleball, you are not always required to hit the ball harder. In fact, in some stages of the game, a slower shot might be more effective in defeating your opponent.
Ultimately you want to know when and when not to hit the ball harder so that you can score that extra point and keep your teammates happy. So, here are two scenarios that might help guide you.
When you are at the kitchen line, and when the ball pops up above the net without bouncing down at your feet, this would be one of the times that you dive in and drive a powerful shot back.
When you are deep in the court away from the line, and your opponent thinks your return may land closer to the net, you surprise them and drive in the powerful topspin shot, hitting it harder to send it down the line. These are instances when the game will test your speed and agility.
What To Do If Your Opponent Hits The Pickleball Harder?
It is a known fact that a player that hits the ball harder and faster dominates the game of pickleball. We have explored ways that you can hit a pickleball harder, but what do you do if your opponent retaliates and comes back with a harder blow?
Does this mean defeat for you? How long you survive in a game will depend on how well you can block a hard-hit shot. So even if the other player brings on his “A” game, you won’t be taken down without a fight.
Once you learn the art of blocking, it won’t matter if you are playing with bangers that have a more multidimensional game. To absorb the energy coming to you, you would like to drop it relatively low, maybe somewhere in the kitchen, but not into the net.
You want to be able to tilt your paddle slightly somewhere around 11’o clock, which gives you the ability to move side to side. Make sure that the paddle is away from your body. The closer the paddle is to your body, the harder it is to absorb the shot’s energy.
While waiting, make sure you watch the ball to the paddle. You want to have a relatively light pressure grip when you hit the ball. Make sure you wear some eye protection whenever you play pickleball.
You will move the paddle high to low, trying to deflect the ball, but just about an inch; you will need to put a little backspin on the ball. So, when the ball hits the ground on the other side, it will stay low and be relatively complex for your opponent to return.
If you think the ball is out, try to avoid chasing it. Solid blocking is the best way to defend against any hard hit.
How To Improve Your Power In Pickleball
Improving your power shots in pickleball will enable you to hit harder. Have a tape or chalk handy that you can use to mark two little XX’s on the wall to represent a target. Practice always makes perfect.
If you are doing a 3rd shot drive and want to return down the line, hit a forehand for the right-hand side. Focus on the target and smash the ball with your paddle. This practice will help improve your power when hitting the ball.
The key to hitting a pickleball harder is patience and lots of practice. If you want to improve your game, you need to consider both soft and hard shots. This combination will enable you to outsmart, outwit and outplay any opponent.