The Backhand Roll

If you subscribe to Pickleball Magazine then you may have already read this article. I didn’t discover the sport until late 2018/early 2019. This article was published well before my love affair with pickleball began so I’m only now reading it.

What is this shot, exactly? The backhand roll is a quick, surprising power shot with topspin that I’ve only ever seen effectively done by more advanced players. There are few intermediate players that I know who can execute this shot but, hopefully, that will change with this post.

Why is this shot so effective? Besides the surprise element, opponents usually find it difficult to counterattack so it puts them on the defensive. So if this shot isn’t a winner, then the next shot is usually a pop-up or easy, defensive shot that you or your partner can finish with a put-away. Another reason that this shot is effective is the topspin keeps the ball in the court so you can be more forceful and aggressive with it. Even if the opponents decide to let the it go, the ball will generally stay in play. And, finally, this shot allows you to attack balls from below the net which beginner to intermediate players rarely expect.

Here’s a great video explaining the backhand roll from the folks at PrimeTime Pickleball.

The video explains the setup and execution of this shot pretty well but, if you would like to read the full article by Ben Johns, you can find it here (go to pages 38-39). For those who have tried this shot, what do you think? Have you had much success with it?

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