We all consider ourselves pickleball purists – 3rd shot drops, dinkathons, speed ups and eloquent winners. However, the pace of play can at times be dictated by the lowest common denominator. The dreaded bangers.
A person that only drives the ball, a neanderthal
Hey DinkTankNorm – man that guy is a banger, all he does is drive and smash.
What are some strategies we implement to neutralize the banger:
Slow the game down. You know they want to hit it hard. Commit to hitting the third shot drop off your serve and get yourself to the net. When they are serving be prepared for the drive and take pace off the ball and drop it into the kitchen to start the dink battle.
Once you have committed to the drop and have slowed the game down, make it slower. You got everyone to the kitchen and you are in a dink battle. Keep playing the ball into non attackable spots with your dinks. Be boring, but effective. They don’t have to be perfect shots but keep the bounce low. Move them around with dinks to the sides and down the middle to keep them guessing. You know they want to play fast and they will inevitably speed the ball up faster than they should by taking some opportunities on balls that are too low to take the offensive on – either hitting it into the net or sailing it out of bounds.
We know they want to attack so keep that paddle up at all times.
- Dink Battle – When in a dink battle, keep it up as they are going to attack.
- 3rd Shot – When you would expect a 3rd shot drop, keep the paddle up. Use that time to work on doing more than deflecting and purposeful with your defense. Try to make them move and keep them on the baseline. If you can deflect with depth you keep them from stepping into an offensive drive
We know they want to hit the ball hard so continue to commit to making them uncomfortable. This isn’t the old basketball adage – how do you frustrate a zone team or a pressing team. You play zone or press them. The best way to catch them off guard is put them in positions they don’t want to be in.
What are some strategies you use to stifle the banger?