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3 Skills to Improve if You’re Stuck at 4.0

3 Skills to Improve if You're Stuck at 4.0

Summer is coming. That would have been a much more enjoyable Game of Thrones plot. It definitely is something to look forward to when it comes to pickleball. The chance to get in more sessions (without paying for court time) and to improve the game. 

General Statements about My Game:
Strong Forehand
Strong Defender
Above Average Athleticism
Above Average Serve
Average 3rd Shot Drop
Average Dinker
Average in Hands Battles
Developing Backhand
Too Many Errors (Too Aggressive on Low Balls)
Ambitious in Erne Attempts

This summer I am focusing on progressing to the next level and I wanted to dig into a few of the skills that I plan focusing on early in the outdoor season.

Backhand Slice / Dink Patience
In order to improve my net play and remain a patient player – I want to begin to hit shots that provide some element of touch/spin to challenge the opponent. This is to add more than just hitting a soft dink to a non-attackable bounce height/depth. 

The shot I believe that will help me do this is the backhand slice from the left side of the kitchen line. Commitment to playing this shot consistently and drawing the opponent into a mistake or leaving a ball high is the desired outcome. 

Here is a quick tutorial from the Kitchen on how to play the shot. 

I plan to work this in during warm ups (make sure just not to straight away dink in your warmups) and then start playing it in games where I am not the weakest player. 

Backhand Groundstrokes
While my backhand has improved tremendously over the last 2 months I still find myself gifting a few points here and there with an overly ambitious or sloppy backhand. I want to keep developing by hitting the ball with pace and depth on service returns but also be prepared to continue to develop consistency with a backhand drop. Remembering that I don’t have to hit winners with the backhand but I just want to make sure I get myself to the net without rushing. 

Serve Depth/Return of Serve Depth
While most of the games I play in I am not going to win many points directly off a serve or a return to serve, they are still a tremendous weapon if you can hit the ball with pace and deep. It enables your opponent to either hit a more challenging return that you can step into have that much more of a challenging ball to try to play a 3rd shot drop on.

Again – I am not trying to win points here but I am going to provide increased focus to try to move to an offensive position with these shots. There isn’t a lot of drilling for me here as I generally will get to play singles once a week where this becomes more imperative and I will get frequent repetitions. 

What are you trying to add to your game this summer?

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