Hi there i'm mark granison and welcome to another episode of pickleball today today we are on location at swing pickleball club collingwood ontario all right so i love to see how many new creators are out there making various pickleball content right and sometimes.

It's fun and sometimes it's funny sometimes it's very serious but i love seeing that there's new stuff out there now one of the things i've been noticing lately has been people talking about the technique they should use when hitting forehands i'm not talking about a forehand volley or a forehand tank i'm even a forehand drop for that matter but.

Like a powerful forehand and this could be a forehand drive that you hit from the back of the court could even be a forehand serve right a sort of regular serve and i'm seeing some information out there that uh it's not the best it's not the best let me clarify.

What they're talking about and why it might not be ideal okay so the thing i'm seeing a lot of has to do with hitting four hands either as ground strokes or often as serves and the suggestion here is that as you hit that forehand right that you should rotate around that this back leg comes around as you hit right if i'm hitting a real server my leg like.

This can you hit a serve like that yes should you hit a server like that i don't think so i don't think so it doesn't mean you can't a very good friend frank anthony davis he serves like that and he's a very good pickleball player so it's not like it's wrong to do it this way but it's not the.

Most efficient way it's not the most efficient way to as you swing to have that back leg come around miss the serve and here's why so first off let's think about balance and let's think about a fairly common human activity walking when you walk assuming you're a walker someone who walks around and assuming.

You walk like most people who walk walk right you will notice that just naturally what goes on with your upper body matches what's going on with your lower body except they're opposites right so when i walk forward to you as my left leg goes forward my right arm goes forward same thing as.

From going backwards right we get this opposite action happening but we do that because it's balanced right as that bottom half starts to go forward right as my bottom half starts to go forward this left side goes across to act as a counter balance right they're matching each other.

They're just opposites try walking with your right leg and right arm going in unison right try doing one of these walks right it doesn't feel very natural it doesn't feel very comfortable doesn't look very comfortable can you do it yeah but does your body want to do it no that's a.

Little bit what happens when we serve and we're advocating for that back leg to come around at the same time that we're swinging right when i swing my arm forward and my right leg comes forward at the same time right that's a lot like walking with your right leg and your right arm swinging forward at the same time.

Right is it possible yeah but it's not very balanced way to do it but there's another reason why this isn't great technique okay so i managed to find this elastic band here at swing actually several elastic bands together but that's fine so what do we use elastic bands for well lots of things but i like to shoot them by people and if you want.

To shoot your elastic band and make it go far or make you go fast we need to create tension here right because then when that tension releases then it goes well your muscles are a lot like elastics that's why you stretch right they're more elasticy they're more flexible right they're more flexible muscles are.

A lot like elastics and it's important if we want to be able to generate power easily that we can create that stretch right if there's no stretch and when you shoot it you get nothing we want to create that stretch now how do you create that stretch when you're serving with your muscles let me show you as i'm getting ready to serve.

Or as i'm getting ready to hit my forehand drive if the upper body and the bottom part of my body sort of separate they act independently that's how we create that stretch right as i rotate through here right we call this a pre-stretch here right i'm creating some stretch on this side and then as that stretch releases.

Right that's where the power comes from now what happens is if this bottom leg or this back leg as i'm swinging forward here right we never get that tension happening right so we need some separation here right and yeah it's fine if that back leg.

Comes forward after the fact after contacts happen it's sort of like a follow-through right you allow it to happen but it's after the fact we want that separation between the top half and the bottom half because that's where that juicy power is juicy power juicy power juicy power so you can smack those balls.

With very little effort now we talked about this mainly in terms of hitting forehands whether it's a forehand serve or a forehand ground stroke right creating that separation upper half and lower half but it's also important when we hit backhands imagine if as i get ready to hit my backhand i go forward like this too.

Right the left side of the upper body and the left side of the lower body they're moving at the same time so we're not getting that nice separation where the power is so what's better well what's better is as i'm sideways and coiling that this rotation can happen.

Right i create that stretch i allow the power to come and then this back leg comes forward after the fact looks like this so i'm not advocating that the back legs stay back right we want to allow it to come forward but it's after the fact if we use it at the same time as contact we're not getting that great elastic.

Action all right if you've been around pickleball for any amount of time you know that the non-volley zone the kitchen plays a really important role right we often think about the kitchen we think about what we can do there's t-shirts right stay out of the kitchen.

Or whatever but what i've noticed and this is true whether it's in person whether it's the clinics i teach whether it's the instructor certification courses we run uh whether it's the online stuff we see there are a lot of people out there that don't actually understand what the real rules are about the.

Kitchen or the non-volley zone so why don't we clarify them once and for all okay so myth number one is that you cannot go into the kitchen until the ball has bounced right i saw this just this morning on someone's tick tock a pickleball company saying ooh better not go into the kitchen until the ball has bounced this is false this is not a rule.

Remember the kitchen's real name is the non-volley zone the non-volley zone that's important it is not called the do not enter me until the ball bounces zone it's a non-volley zone right so i can go into the kitchen i can go into the non-volley zone whenever i want i just can't volley if i'm in this area right and the volley is when we hit.

A ball out of the air without a bounce that is a volley you cannot volley in the zone but you're allowed to go into it whenever you want right so this is the first thing that's really important you can go in here now why does this matter what's an example a real practical example of needing to know this rule that you can't.

Go until the ball has bounced or the fact that that's not a rule i guess is what i mean let me give an example all right have you ever been playing pickleball when maybe there's an exchange at the net bang bang bang and someone hits a ball and it's going way up high usually this is when someone miss hits the ball goes off the edge of.

Their paddle and goes straight up and that ball as it's going straight up you're over here thinking wow that ball went straight up if it lands in the court it's going to land so short to the net might not even get over the net but if it does land it's going to land really close to the net have you ever been there i have if i.

Think that i cannot go into the non-volley zone until the ball has bounced then i'll be way back here behind my non-volley line watching that ball come waiting waiting waiting and when it finally lands then i've got a rush to come forward to make my shot right and no one likes to rush forward to have to make a shot.

But if i understand that i can go into the non-volley zone whenever i want even before the ball has bounced then when i'm back here at my non-volley line and that ball goes way high i see it right i can then step forward wait allow it to bounce and then smack it no rushing necessary so knowing this.

Rule is gonna save you some time and some rushing okay so that's one rule that we sort of made sure we're clear on right is that you don't have to wait to go in here you can go in here whenever you want you just can't volley in there so here's another one of course the non-volley zone is a two-dimensional surface right so i can't be touching.

Here when i play my volley out of the air including the line but i can occupy the air space right that's why you see players come up to the net and they get close and they reach out here they can occupy the air space you can volley if you're above the line now we also know that if i'm straddle you can't see.

That if i'm straddling the line like this okay that's okay i can still play my volley like this i'm occupying the airspace no problem we know that i can come up close i hope we do right here i'm at the outside of the line right i can reach over the net this way not i can't reach over the net you.

Know what i mean i can reach over here and play an ernie as that ball is coming okay so you can occupy the air space over the non-volley zone you just can't be standing on the line or inside of it when you play your volley okay now finally the last rule that we've got to make sure that we're clear on while i cannot volley.

On the line or inside the kitchen the non-volley zone i can volley from outside of it but if i play my volley and the momentum from my volley pulls me into the non-volley zone that's a violation that is an infraction and if you're coming to pick up a new from another racket sport especially from.

Tennis where it's really common that you play volleys and move forward it's likely that you're going to have this violation happen pretty frequently at least at first one of the tricks is that you have to be able to play your volley right and control your balance so you don't fall in there.

Now when is the statute of limitations expire when can you go into that kitchen after playing your volley well it doesn't expire at least in terms of the momentum rule i remember my very first day playing pickleball i did one of these i hit oops i was going to fall in i kept my balance and i waited my opponents hit.

The next shot in the net and then i stepped forward like this i said oh i'm so glad i waited till the point was over and they said oh no you lose there's no statute of limitations you can be doing this for five minutes the ball hit the net a long time ago and if at five minutes in one second you step forward because your momentum takes.

You forward then you lose okay so that's where really important there's no statutory limitations you've got to be able to hit that volley control your balance okay make sure it's not the momentum that's taking you in and then you're fine.

All right if you've played much pickleball i'm sure that you have tried to hit a drop from the back of the court and there's a decent chance but that drop has set up too high and now your opponents get to smack it and that's no good is it we hit those balls too high so how do we solve this problem right this is an email i get from people all.

The time is like mark how do i avoid popping up my drops and by the way this can go in the same category as popping up dinks so let me talk about it so first things first we have to understand what is it that controls the height of the ball right if i send that drop and it goes too high and my opponents get to smack it that ball is too high so what.

Is it that controls height now i bet if you're at home right now watching this you say oh mark i know what controls height the paddle angle and that's true that is one thing that controls the height of the ball the more open my paddle is the more likely that ball is going to go up and the more close the paddle is the more likely that ball is.

Going to stay lower right so paddle angle is one thing that controls height true but there's a second thing that controls how high a ball travels that's what we call the swing path now if my swing path let's say i have this nice straight up and down perpendicular paddle face okay i promise i'll keep that angle okay so let's say.

I've got this good angle but if i swing from high to low as i hit my drop from high to low then that bar is more likely to go up right that's how we create topspin and if i have that same paddle angle but i swing let's say from high to low right i come down that ball is more likely to then go down that's no good either okay.

And if i have a more level swing path then i'm more likely to get a ball it's too low then i'm more likely to get a ball that stays lower so that's two things that affect the height of a ball one is the paddle angle and one is a swing path but that's not all a third thing that influences how high a ball goes is how fast it comes off the paddle.

Now let's say you're playing a drop i mean i think that drops should generally be hit as a fairly straight ball but there is some arc to it especially if you're receiving that ball down here which might force you to play the drop so there is going to be some arc the question now becomes how big is that arc going to be and if when.

The ball comes off the paddle it's coming off really fast it's going to be a much bigger arc here like this and that bigger arc makes it more likely your opponents are going to smack it at you and if you hit slower with that arc as the ball comes off the paddle well it's going to be a smaller arc tighter to the net like this.

So the third variable when controlling height is the speed of the ball off the paddle so we as hitters better think about how do i control the speed of my paddle how do i control the speed of the ball so one factor is how fast the paddle is moving at the moment of contact and so what we often see is people who are hitting too fast off the.

Paddle is they will swing and they will slow it down right and they'll try to decelerate as they hit the trouble is often when that deceleration happens it's too late and the paddle has already hit the ball and then the energy gets transferred but there is another way to hit the ball slower even still while accelerating watch all right so my.

Normal back swing is way back here right you can see the butt of my paddle there's going to be a certain amount of speed created as my paddle moves toward the ball right it gathers speed as it's going toward the ball it gathers momentum that momentum gets transferred to the ball and then it goes pretty fast.

Right if i swing the same way but instead of having that paddle way back here i only bring it back to here let's say it's got only a third of the distance to travel before contact well now all of a sudden it's going to be a lot easier for me to hit the ball slowly because the puddle doesn't gather as much momentum here why don't we look.

At this from another angle okay so i'm doing this as a backhand now so again if my backswing is way back here let's call this a 10 out of 10. even if i don't swing that fast it's got so much distance it's traveling before contact the paddle is going to gather a lot of momentum which gets transferred to the ball.

And then all of a sudden i've got too much speed as it comes off and it sits up and they smack it but instead of having this 10 out of 10 backswing let's say i just bring it back to here let's call it a 6 out of 10. well now when i swing even if i accelerate that ball is going to travel a lot slower because the paddle hasn't.

Gathered so much momentum and if i want it even slower than that let's call it a 3 out of ten right so this is a really important factor when it comes to controlling the height of the ball it's controlling the speed of the ball when you're playing this drop and having a shorter backswing can.

Help you let's see a couple more okay so there you have it if you want to have better control of the height of your drops or your dinks for that matter you've got to have better speed control and you're going to have better speed control if you can control the size of your backswing all things being equal a longer backswing will produce more speed.

And a higher ball when you're playing that drop and a shorter backswing will produce less speed and a lower ball when you're playing that drop good luck all right thanks for watching pickleball today today i would love to know what do you think about the show what would you like to see more of what would you like to see less of do you like this on.

Location stuff let me know send me an email mark thirdshotsports.com of course you can find us on all the social media facebook instagram youtube and of course tick tock our tick tock is doing very well send me a note you can find us at third shot sports until next time oh thanks to our buddies here at swing pickleball in collingwood if.

You're in the area be sure to check them out until next time i'm mark anderson see you soon juicy power you
In Episode 23 of the Pickleball Today Show, pro pickleball coach Mark Renneson discusses myths and facts about body rotation on powerful forehands, clears up some misconceptions about the non-volley zone, and helps you control your drops and prevent pop-ups 🏓

Thank you for watching Episode 23 – The Pickleball Today Show.

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