Short Hops

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Short Hops

For most shots we have at least two choices - a drive or a drop shot. But I am seeing a lot of players these days taking short hops, or as pickleball officially calls them, half-volleys. These are shots that you hit immediately after they hit the ground (on the way up), and the "short hop" name comes from baseball where infielders in particular take a lot of "short hop" balls.

In my experience these short hops are extremely difficult to control. Many of them (if not most) come back at you as overhead slams, which is not a particularly good thing. Using them a lot also likely means that you have virtually no patience and/or you are out of position most of the time.

The bad news is that once you get dependent on these, it really hard to break the habit.

You will probably need a video of yourself in action to see how bad the problem is. Then start concentrating on getting yourself into a good stroke position early and waiting patiently for the ball to be where you want it to be. Remember that the very best way to hit a drop shot is is when it is on the way down after bouncing to its maximum height. That's a long way from a short hop position and will require some strong awareness and focus. The benefit of course is hugely improved control and effectiveness.

And yes, occasionally a short hop is the only option, but it should be kept for emergencies only.

See you at practice.

Michael Gauthier
‚ÄčNDY (Not Done Yet)

Michael Gauthier

Michael Gauthier

Owner, Pickleball Strokes

These pickleball tips and insights have all been previously published on Facebook, but not everyone gets to see all of those. So this is the official and complete home for all of my pickleball writings.  

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