Basic and Not-So-Basic Pickleball Shots

Besides learning how to keep score, it is helpful to learn pickleball terminology. Here are a list of the various shots that you might encounter while playing.

1) The serve is an underarm stroke to start off the point. Click here to learn more.
2) A dink is a small drop shot into the kitchen area. Click here to learn more.
3) A volley is a shot that is executed before the ball bounces.

4) A drive is a forehand or backhand stroke hit low and hard after the ball has bounced.

5) A smash is an aggressive shot hit in a downward motion, with the aim to end the point.
6) Literally the third shot of the game hit by the serving team often from the back of the court after the second bounce. The third shot can be a drive but when the player chooses to execute a long link or a soft, arching shot that lands safely in the kitchen, this is referred to as a third-shot drop.
7) Similar to the third-shot drop, if the 5th shot is played as drop shot or long dink, then this is referred to as a 5th-shot drop. This usually occurs from around mid-court area and is a good option when your team is unable to get to the non-volley zone (NVZ) after your third shot.
8) Backspin or slice is when you create a rotational spin by swinging the paddle through the underside of the ball. This commonly used by more advance players on the return of serve.
9) A roll volley is when you generate topspin by using a low to high motion. Forehand roll volleys are more common but advanced players can also execute a backhand roll.
10) The reset is an advanced drop shot either made as a volley or off the bounce. The purpose of this shot is to neutralize an opponents attack by dropping the ball into the kitchen and therefore resetting the point.
11) Around the post (ATP) is when a player hits the ball around the outside of the post. This shot does not have to be above net height and is actually most effective when it is just inches above the ground.
12) An erne is an advanced stroke where a player jumps the corner of the kitchen to hit an attacking volley closer to the net. A player can also take a smaller step over the corner of the kitchen and run down the side of the court to hit the ball closer to the net. The jumping and landing foot cannot touch the kitchen line or it is considered a fault.

13) A lob (not pictured) is shot that floats high above the opponent’s head with the aim of landing at the back of the court to cause opponents to have to run back. You can learn more about lobs here.

Credit goes to Mark Price for the list of terms and images used in this post. Mark Price is a PPR certified pro prickleball coach based out of Georgia. Please visit his website to learn out his pickleball training camps and/or book a coaching/training session.

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