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What is the Overhead Slam in Pickleball and How to Improve It

The overhead slam, also known as the smash, is one of the most powerful shots you can make in pickleball. It's a game-changer that can help you win points, but it's essential to have the proper technique to do it correctly. In this article, we'll explain the overhead slam and some tips to help you improve your game.

The overhead slam is a shot in pickleball that allows you to hit the ball with great force and speed. It's typically used when your opponent's return pops up high in the air, allowing you to fully extend and strike the ball downward. The key to a successful overhead slam is to contact the ball in front of your body and rotate your shoulder to generate power. It's a skill that requires practice and precision.

 What is the Overhead Slam in Pickleball and How to Improve It

If you want to improve your overhead slam, here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Turn sideways

When you see the ball going up for a potential overhead slam, quickly turn your body sideways. This position allows you to move backward and be prepared for any high lobs that require you to retreat. Avoid backpedaling, as it can throw off your balance. Instead, turn sideways to maintain control and stability.

2. Raise your hand

As you pivot and prepare to hit the ball, raise your hands with a 90-degree bend at the elbow. This position provides the power you need for an effective overhead slam. Think of it like a baseball player throwing a ball, where they reach a 90-degree angle at their elbow before releasing the throw. Use your non-dominant arm to guide the motion and keep it up as you approach the ball. This helps with balance and ensures a smooth and powerful shot.

3. Drop the paddle back, then reach up and follow through 

Before executing the overhead slam, drop your paddle behind your head and reach up with a straight arm as if you're trying to high-five the ball. This motion is similar to the serve in tennis. Break it down into two parts: going up and coming down. Pause briefly at the contact point, where you make contact with the ball, and then bring the paddle down for a successful slam. Be careful not to mix up these two parts of the motion, which can result in a missed shot. Going up instead of coming down might send the ball out, while coming down too early may hit the ball into the net.

By mastering the overhead slam, you'll become a formidable pickleball player. Remember to turn sideways, raise your hands properly, drop the paddle back, and break the motion into two distinct parts. Practice these techniques, focus on footwork and timing, and you'll be able to execute powerful and accurate overhead slams. With dedication and practice, you'll soon be smashing the ball over your opponent's head, scoring more points, and taking your game to the next level. So, give these tips a try and watch your game improve!

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