Around the Post (ATP)

The around the post shot (often referred to as ATP) in pickleball is a legal shot where you return the shot to the opponent’s court without going over the net. It’s anticipated and sometimes successfully defended in higher level play but, in lower levels, it’s usually unexpected and often a winning shot.

The ATP is actually not very difficult to execute, specially if you’re playing against someone like me who is prone to setting these up with my wide cross court dinks. However, if you’ve never tried this shot before, it can seem tricky or challenging. If that’s you, then here’s a helpful video from professional pickleball players Simone Jardim and Dekel Bar.

Here are some things to remember to successfully execute this shot:

  • Anticipation is key. Always be on the look out for ATP opportunities. When you’re in an extended dinking rally and the opponent is moving you around and their dinks are getting wider or sharper, expect an ATP opportunity to present itself and be ready to seize the moment.
  • Pay attention to your footwork. You must be ready to follow the ball outside of the court so when the ball falls to the appropriate height/distance from the ground (ideally about a foot or lower) you aren’t off balance or reaching when you execute this shot. In the next video, Barrett Kicheloe from Pickleball Kitchen demonstrates the proper footwork to use for executing this shot.
  • Don’t rush the shot. Patience is key. Don’t get overexcited and rush the shot or you’ll run the risk of hitting the post rather than going around it. Wait for the ball to bounce beyond the outside edge of the court and wait to strike the ball until it’s dropped to about a foot off the ground. The closer the ball is to the ground when you hit it, the harder it will be for your opponent to defend/return the shot.

This last bullet is probably the most challenging for me. It’s so hard not to get excited when an ATP opportunity presents itself because it’s such a fun shot.

Anyway, let us know in the comments if you’ve found these videos helpful. See you on the courts!

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