7 pickleball pro tips for effective blocking

Mastering effective blocking on the pickleball court involves a mix of skills that come together to create a solid defense. If you're looking to enhance your blocking game, here are 7 valuable tips to consider:

7 pickleball pro tips for effective blocking
photo credit: dave toni
 7 pickleball pro tips for effective blocking

1. Get Low and Athletic: 

Picture this - the lower you are, the quicker your reaction time. When you're in a defensive mode, crouch down by bending your knees. This stance not only readies you to respond swiftly to incoming shots but also positions you for a solid block.

2. Position Your Paddle Ahead: 

Imagine your pickleball paddle as your shield. Hold it out in front of your body, ensuring that it's not overly extended. Why? The idea is to connect with the pickleball before it gets too close to you. This kind of block is all about making the ball's trajectory softer so it lands just where you want it – in the "Kitchen" area.

3. Angle the Paddle Right: 

Think of your paddle as a steering wheel. Depending on how the pickleball is approaching you, tweak the angle of your paddle. For shots that are heading downward, tilt your paddle slightly downward too. If the shot is more level, keep your paddle neutral. This position helps you create backspin, allowing the ball to glide over the net and then drop quickly on the other side.

4. Loose Grip:

Soft Touch: Imagine holding a delicate object. That's the kind of grip you want on the pickleball court. Hold the paddle gently, like a 4 out of 10 on the strength scale. And, grasp it more with your fingers than your palm. This will give your touch a finesse that enables you to tame and guide your opponents' fierce shots.

5. Predict Your Opponent's Moves: 

Ever played a game of chess? Think of this like anticipating your opponent's next move. Pay attention to their body language, paddle position, and where they're standing on the court. These cues can help you predict where they might direct the pickleball. For instance, a big swing might signal they're going for a fast shot.

6. Simplicity is Key: 

Less can sometimes be more. Rather than attempting elaborate moves, focus on the basics – resetting and neutralizing. When blocking, avoid extensive backswings or follow-throughs; these can lead to mistakes. Stay composed and simply guide the pickleball with your paddle held out in front of you. Keep your wrist, arm, and body movements controlled and steady.

7. Practice Makes Perfect: 

Remember, nobody becomes a blocking maestro overnight. Regular practice is your secret weapon. Hone your technique, work on your timing, and refine your positioning during practice sessions. Don't shy away from challenging opponents either – they'll help you fine-tune your blocking skills in various game scenarios. As you progress, your blocking prowess will turn you into a formidable force on the pickleball court.

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  • Anonymous
    Anonymous December 9, 2023 at 8:24 AM

    Nice article...thanks Blazingfact

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