If you’re a 35 and under pickle ball player I can almost guarantee you that your footwork is holding you back there’s one very specific tendency that three five and lower level players have with their footwork that’s causing them to not get to the ball efficiently I’ve coined this the lean the lean is when you’re sliding.

Side to side with your upper body and not moving your feet so for example if I’m dinking out here a 35 might do this and then when the ball comes over there they’re going to do that by leaning their body side to side so here’s what I mean see how I’m reaching for the ball without moving my feet and what happens here is I’m off.

Balance my feet are planted my heels are on the ground so even when the ball comes to my forehand I might not move there I’m just going to stay in that same spot this is one of the Hallmarks of three five Lev play a lot of three five players they’re not being pushed to move side to side what ends up happening when.

You’re reaching out with your arms instead of moving your feet is you’re going to have a different contact point every single time so if I hit the ball over here that’s a different contact point from hitting here which is a different contact point from hitting here I want to consistently have the same contact point every single time I.

Hit that’s what’s going to allow me to hit the best shot possible and hit a replicable dink so that way it gets good in my muscle memory and I don’t have to worry about doing something differently every time so instead what I want to do is move my feet side to side to be able to cover those shots so if the ball comes to here I’m going to slide over to.

Get my contact point right by my outside foot if the ball’s coming over here I’m going to slide over so that way I’m hitting the ball at the same position relative to my body every time so what it would look like is something like this where every shot I’m on my toes I’m sliding to make contact right by my outside foot I’m going to show you guys.

Today a drill that’s going to help you m master that footwork that footwork of moving side to side and sliding like a crab remember if you’re ready to level up your game you need to make sure that your rating reflects that so it’s important to make sure that you’re using a rating that can accurately depict what your level is the official rating of the.

Pickle ball Clinic is the UTP rating created by Universal tennis the utr rating is proven in the tennis world as the most accurate rating system it’s the one that everybody uses I played Division One tennis and I always found that my utr was pretty much perfectly accurate to predict whether I would win or lose against other players with.

Similar ratings so pickle ball needs something like that there’s a million ratings out there you got to make sure that you’re using one that truly and accurately reflects your game so sign up for UTP we’re going to put a link in the description below so you can go ahead and do that so here’s the drill that we’re going to do to make sure we’re.

Practicing our side to side footwork and getting a real habit for moving laterally across the port so my partner is going to feed me in a ball I’m going to dink it back to the middle every single time but between each dink I’m going to slide out to alternate touching the center line with my foot and the side line with my foot so just to.

Demonstrate that without the ball I’m going to slide Center and back then I’m going to slide sideline and back and the important thing here is we want to make sure that I’m moving first my outside foot I want to take a good first step to the ball so the foot that’s in the direction that I’m moving goes first so my left foot is going to go first when I.

Go to the center my right foot is going to go first when I’m going to the sideline that’s going to be the opposite when I’m on the other side of the court so again left foot out to come to the center slide back right foot to come to the side slide back now we’re going to add the ball we’re going to put it all together so that that drill is just for.

Practicing your footwork it’s important to remember that that’s not a realistic scenario because I’m moving side to side before the ball’s hit and my partner was hitting right back to the middle every time now I’m going to show you guys a drill to incorporate the side to side footwork with moving out to hit the ball and keeping that consistent contact.

Point that we talked about earlier now I’m going to hit everything right back to the middle and my partner is going to alternate hitting the ball side to side to the center and to the sidelines I’m going to have to move out to get those shots and hit them with a consistent contact Point remember that is right by my outside foot here we.

Go now the third and final progression of this drill we’re going to put it all together with our partner where we’re both moving side to side and we’re both practic and hitting good targets with our dinks so I’m going to start off by hitting everything diagonally so it’s like a mini crosscourt dink just on this side of the court and my partner is.

Going to hit everything straight ahead like a mini down the line shot just on this side of the Court we call this the figure8 drill so to sum it up if you do those three drills with your drilling partner your footwork is going to get so much better you’re going to be able to get to easy.

Spots on the court and your opponents are going to have a much harder time pushing the ball out past you so to sum it up we have three progressions of that drill the first one we’re sliding side to side in our partners just thinking everything to the middle that’s just to work on our footwork that’s not a pattern we’re going to use in an actual.

Game the second progression our partner is going to hit side to side and we’re going to slide out to the sideline slide out to the middle line hitting the ball both times and then the third progression we’re going to put it all together in a figure eight drill where one side goes crosscourt one side goes down the line on every ball and we slide.

Side to side in the figure eight pattern
Here Matt talks about something holding back most 3.5 and under players: footwork. He discusses “the learn”, a term he coined for one of the most common mistakes made when it comes to moving on the court. This video will help you master your footwork and maximize each step you take on the court, helping you get to the ball quicker, and in a better position to hit a successful shot.

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