by Phil Arinno


The volley should be the easiest shot in pickleball, but it is often times the most missed. Far too many players try to do too much with the paddle head during the volley. The more you move the paddle head during the volley (i.e. swinging, downward chop at the ball) the more difficult it is for the ball to contact the center of the paddle face.


Center contact of the paddle face is the most important element in volleys. You can have the best technique and have the paddle face correct, but if you hit the ball off center of the paddle you will lose the full force of the shot. Keep your focus on the incoming ball.


Close to 80% of the direction of the ball is created by the paddle face at impact. Without the awareness of where your paddle face is pointing, your volleys will be inconsistent and not predictable. When you become aware of the key elements of volleying your time spent on the courts and at the net will become more enjoyable.


The more force the ball receives at impact will determine how far the ball will travel back to the other side of the court. The firmer the grip the farther the ball will travel. The more relaxed your grip the more you can absorb the incoming speed of the ball. When you can control the ball speed, you can access all parts of the court.