How to Hit the Pickleball Around the Post (ATP) Like a Pro

One of the most impressive shots in pickleball is the Around the Post shot, or ATP for short. This is when you hit the pickleball under the top of the net and around the net post, landing it on the other side of the court. You usually do this when your opponent hits a very angled shot that goes off the court after bouncing. Instead of giving up on the point, you can chase the pickleball and hit it around the post, surprising your opponent and winning the rally.

How to Hit the Pickleball Around the Post (ATP) Like a Pro
 How to Hit the Pickleball Around the Post (ATP) Like a Pro

But hitting an ATP is not easy. It takes skill, practice, and confidence. If you want to master this shot and use it to your advantage, here are 5 tips to follow:




1. Anticipate 

The first step to hitting an ATP is to know when to go for it. You need to be alert and ready for any sharp crosscourt shots from your opponent. These are shots that bounce near the sideline and have extra speed or spin that make them go off the court. These are perfect opportunities for an ATP because you will have a clear view of the other side of the court and a chance to hit the pickleball around the post.

2. Footwork and Set-Up 

Once you see an ATP chance, you need to move quickly and position yourself well. Your feet are more important than your paddle or any other part of your body for this shot. So, use your feet and: Stay low and balanced. You need to bend your knees and keep your center of gravity low, because you might have to hit the pickleball very close to the ground. Stay with the pickleball. You need to match the speed and spin of the pickleball with your feet, so you can catch up with it and hit it at the right time. Use an open stance, if possible. Try to face the net as much as you can, rather than turning your body sideways. This will help you stay stable and ready for the next shot. But sometimes, you might have to turn your body and run sideways to reach the pickleball. In that case, it’s okay to use crossover steps, as long as you get to the pickleball.

How to Hit the Pickleball Around the Post (ATP) Like a Pro
 How to Hit the Pickleball Around the Post (ATP) Like a Pro

3. Patience 

The most crucial tip for hitting an ATP is to be patient. You need to wait for the pickleball to go off the court, so that you have a clear path to hit it around the post and onto the other side of the court. The farther the pickleball goes off the court, the easier your ATP will be. So, don’t rush and hit the pickleball too early. Wait until it is about to bounce for the second time. This means you will have to hit the pickleball very low, about 15 centimeters or so above the ground (which is why you need to stay low, as mentioned before).




4. Compact Execution 

Once you are ready and have waited for the right moment, it is time to hit your ATP. To do this shot well, you need to stay compact and to:

  • Keep your eye on the ball;
  • Take a short swing;
  • Get your paddle on the side (and maybe on top) of the ball, so you can hit the ball back into the court;
  • Hit the ball in front of your body; and
  • Stay steady, so you can get back to your position and get ready for the next shot if your opponents can return your ATP shot.

Also, if you are very good (like the pickleball pros), you might be able to spin the ball to make it curve around the post. To do this, you will need to be on the side of the ball with both your feet and your paddle, so you have enough time to do your shot. But hitting a flat ball (without much spin) will be easier to do.




5. Know Your Target 

When hitting an ATP, don’t aim too close to the edge of the court. Aim for about 60 to 90 centimeters inside of the edge of the court. Try to aim for your opponent’s feet and keep the ball low.

Remember, the around the post shot is a hard shot, but the ATP can be very useful when your opponents make you run off the sides of the court. When you have a chance to do an ATP, go for it because these shots are hard to stop and may win you more points for you and your partner (plus, they are very fun to do right).

To help you learn these tips and the ATP shot, go out on the pickleball court and practice with a friend to make these tips part of your game. Hit wide shots to each other and practice your anticipation, footwork, set-up, patience, compact execution, and aiming!

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