3rd Shot Drop #1 Secret – Paddle Positioning – All About The Lob

Universal Rackets Weekly Update!

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The #1 Secret To An Amazing 3rd Shot Drop

The 3rd shot drop is one of the most difficult shots to master and hit on a consistent basis. However, there is one secret that all high level players and pros are following that allow them to hit drops with ease.

The secret to an amazing 3rd shot drop is to hit the ball on the way down instead of the way up. When the ball is coming, you want to let it bounce, decline THEN hit instead letting it bounce and hitting right away. In order to hit the ball on the “way down” you need to hit the ball later (if you hit too early you will not give it a chance to decline). Click here for a quick visual of this secret.

There are 2 main drills that we use in our Universal Rackets clinics to teach players the drops. Drill #1 is the “bean bag” toss drill: one player is up at the kitchen hitting the balls back while the other player is in the transition zone “bean bag tossing” the ball into their partners kitchen. By working on tossing the ball like a bean bag, it will teach the player the feel/motion that is needed during a drop. Once the player gets comfortable we will have them grab the paddle at now try to actually hit the ball using the same motion. Drill #2 is the slinky drill. Both players start at the kitchen straight ahead, the one player stays up at the kitchen and hits the ball back while the other player’s goal is to hit the ball into the kitchen and take one step back after every single shot that is successfully made into the kitchen. Once the player gets all the way back to the baseline, they will work their way back up to the kitchen. Basically you start out as a dink, and then you take a step back until you get to the baseline and then work your way up until you get to a dink again. This is a great drill because it teaches you the feel, the repetition and gets you to hit drops in different situations based upon what type of ball you hit and where you are on the court. You will realize the further back you are the more forward and up you will have to swing as you have to cover more court. Click here for drills to master your 3rd shot drop!

Realize the number one way to get better at drop is to practice them outside of gameplay situations. Grab a partner, work on the drills above, hit the ball on the way down and hit better drops!

Click here for a full video on how to hit 3rd shot drops!

50+ Programs Are Starting This Week! PA & Jersey Shore

This week the following programs will be starting: Sea Isle, Stone Harbor Session 2 Junior & Adult Pickleball Clinics, Phoenixville Pickleball Clinics, Tredyffrin Pickleball Clinics, Lower Merion Pickleball Clinics, Radnor Pickleball Clinics, Whitemarsh Pickleball Clinics, West Chester Pickleball Clinics, Philly Pickleball Clinics, Lower Merion Junior Pickleball Camp Session 2, Tredyffrin Tennis Camp Session 1, Sea Isle Pickleball & Tennis Camp Session 2, Radnor Tennis Clinics.

Click here to view all of our programs!

Cornhole For Cancer X PicklePalooza Is This Friday July 12th In Sea Isle!

Universal Rackets will be partnering with For Pete’s Sake to raise money for the For Pete’s Sake Cancer Respite Foundation. Join us for an epic day of corn hole and pickleball. Click here to register!

All About Paddle Positioning

In our last newsletter we went over adjusting our paddle face position (when the ball is high: tilt the paddle face down, when the ball is low: tilt the paddle face up). This week, we are going to talk about the position of our paddle when moving throughout the court. Your paddle position is based upon where you are standing in the court. In order to achieve optimal resets, fast hands, drives and returns this is a must.

The further you are back into the court: the lower you want your paddle to be. The closer you are into the kitchen the higher you want your paddle to be. In other words, when you are up at the kitchen you want your paddle up and out in front, when you are back in the transition zone you want your paddle down. Click here for a quick visual of this tip!

When you are up at the kitchen: you have to make sure your paddle is up to block the fastest shots (speedups or volleys). With your hands up you will have the most time to block back fast shots while still having enough time to drop the paddle to hit dinks.

When you are back into the transition zone: you have to drop your paddle at a lower position. Too many players have the exact same paddle position as they do at the kitchen deep into the court. Your paddle should ALWAYS stay down, because if there is any ball that is higher than your chest in the transition zone it will be going out, so you do not need to cover high balls.

We have 2 bonus tips: Tip #1: sure your paddle is always in your peripheral vision where you can see it. Tip #2 sure it is out and front & away from your body.

The Lob: Elevate Your Pickleball Game

The lob shot in pickleball can be a game-changer, allowing you to reset the point, catch your opponent off guard, and gain a strategic advantage. Here’s how to master the lob and effectively incorporate it into your game:

Understanding the Lob:

A lob is a high, arching shot intended to go over your opponent’s head, forcing them to retreat towards the baseline. It can be used both offensively to surprise your opponent and defensively to buy time and reset the point.

Perfect Your Technique:

To execute an effective lob, focus on a smooth, upward swing with a gentle grip. The goal is to get the ball high enough to clear your opponent’s reach but with enough control to land within the baseline. Keep your eyes on the ball and use your legs to generate lift, ensuring a consistent and accurate lob.

Timing is Key:

Timing is crucial when it comes to lobbing. Use the lob when your opponents are close to the net and not expecting a high shot. This can force them to move back quickly, potentially causing them to miss or make a weak return.

Placement Matters:

The effectiveness of a lob is significantly influenced by its placement. Aim for deep corners to push your opponents as far back as possible. This gives you time to reposition and prepare for the next shot. Practicing your placement will make your lobs more unpredictable and harder to return.

Disguise Your Lob:

A well-disguised lob can be extremely effective. Use a similar setup as you would for a drive or dink, and at the last moment, change your swing to lift the ball over your opponent. This element of surprise can catch even experienced players off guard.

Defensive Lobs:

In defensive situations, the lob can buy you precious time to recover and get back into position. If you’re caught out of position or under pressure, a high, deep lob can reset the point and allow you to regain control. Focus on height and depth to ensure your lob is difficult to attack.

Offensive Lobs:

Offensive lobs can turn the tide of a rally in your favor. When your opponents are pressing hard at the net, a well-timed lob can force them to retreat and give you control of the net. Mix up your play by alternating between lobs, drives, and dinks to keep your opponents guessing.

Drill to Improve:

Practice your lobs by setting up targets deep in the court and aiming to land your shots within those targets. Work on your footwork and positioning to ensure you can execute a lob under different game scenarios. Incorporate lobs into practice matches to build confidence and refine your technique.

Mastering the lob shot can add a powerful tool to your pickleball arsenal, helping you control the pace and flow of the game. By practicing these tips and integrating the lob into your strategy, you’ll become a more versatile and unpredictable player on the court.

Click here for a Full Video On How To Hit And Return Lobs

Club Tennis “Endangered” As Other Racket Sports Grow Says Djokovic

Novak Djokovic, a leading figure in tennis, recently expressed concerns about the future of club tennis amid the increasing popularity of other racket sports like pickleball and padel. During Wimbledon 2024, Djokovic highlighted the need to make tennis more accessible and affordable to sustain its base level.

“Tennis is a truly global sport, loved by millions of children who pick up a racket and aspire to play. However, we fail to make it accessible and affordable,” Djokovic remarked following his Centre Court victory over Australia’s Alexei Popyrin. He warned that without action, tennis clubs might be converted into padel and pickleball facilities due to economic reasons.

Djokovic advocated for the establishment of a foundation to support tennis at the grassroots level, noting the rapid growth of padel, a hybrid of squash and tennis. Originating in Mexico in the 1960s, padel is played on a smaller court with back walls, attracting 30 million players and 63,000 courts worldwide, according to a 2024 report by the International Padel Federation.

Djokovic emphasized, “Padel is emerging and becoming popular. People might say, ‘Tennis is tennis,’ and it’s true that tennis is the king of racket sports. But at the club level, tennis is in danger. If we don’t act collectively, tennis clubs will be converted into padel and pickleball courts because it’s more economical. One tennis court can be turned into three padel courts (or four pickleball courts). It’s simply more financially viable for club owners.”

While the rise of pickleball and padel presents a challenge to traditional tennis, it also offers an opportunity for both sports to coexist and thrive. By making tennis more inclusive and economically viable, we can ensure its continued growth and popularity.

2nd Annual Stone Harbor Pickleball Classic Is August 10th!

Join us for the biggest tournament on the Jersey Shore! Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Doubles brackets included, 2 matches guaranteed Register for this tournament at www.7milepickleball.com

Lesson of the Week: How To INSTANTLY Hit 2x Bigger Of A Ball with HALF The Amount Of Work (All Shots)

Click here to view this week’s lesson

Thank you for reading and we can’t wait to see you on court!

-Universal Rackets

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