Non-Volley Zone

The Second Hardest Shot in Pickleball

By CJ Johnson / September 18, 2021 /

How do you hit the reset shot from “no man’s land” without popping it up in the air? Recently, I shot a video with Laura Fenton Kovanda where we focused on the reset shot. That’s the shot that you use when you’re transitioning from the baseline to the non-volley zone. Afterward, the emails came in…

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Pickleball NVZ//Improving Your Backhand Dink

By CJ Johnson / October 24, 2020 /

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been focusing on some advanced non-volley zone strategies, punishing your opponents without having to hit it hard and getting out of trouble when you’re at the kitchen. Today, we’re going to take a step backward and focus on the dink shot technique. When I was editing one of…

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The Pickleball Dinking Game//Get Out Of Trouble With The Dump Dink

By CJ Johnson / October 17, 2020 /
The Pickleball Dinking Game//Get Out Of Trouble With The Dump Dink

You’ve been pulled wide off the non-volley zone, but not far enough to hit an ATP(around the post). How do you get out of this jam? We’ve all experienced it. You’re at the non-volley zone engaged in a pickleball dinking game with your opponents. Suddenly you get a sharp angle dink shot, and your momentum…

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Advanced Non-Volley Zone Strategy//Soft Shot Attacks

By CJ Johnson / October 10, 2020 /

Is your only attack from the kitchen a hard-hit shot? If it is, you’re missing out on this advanced attack strategy. Some of you might be thinking, “a soft shot as an advanced non-volley zone strategy?” YUP! It’s an underutilized NVZ attack tactic. There is no doubt about it that the non-volley zone, or the…

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Developing a Consistent Backhand Dink

By CJ Johnson / March 6, 2020 /
Developing a Consistent Backhand Dink

For most of us, the weakest shot in our arsenal is our backhand, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a groundstroke or a dink. But isn’t it frustrating when your backhand dink hits the net or it pops up? There are a variety of reasons that your backhand dink lacks consistency, but generally, it’s either…

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Cha Cha with Your Partner to Move Around the Pickleball Court

By CJ Johnson / February 29, 2020 /
Cha Cha with Your Partner to Move Around the Pickleball Court

When you watch a professional pickleball match, what differences do you notice in a team’s ability to move around the pickleball court? Do you see that they’re able to cut off even the sharpest of angles and make it look easy? It’s because they’ve learned how to Cha-Cha with their partner. I’m often asked, “CJ,…

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Pickleball Dink Consistency-Start at the Bottom

By CJ Johnson / December 14, 2019 /
Pickleball Dink Consistency-Start at the Bottom

What’s your longest dink rally? In professional pickleball matches, it’s common to see dink rallies lasting 20 or more shots. What makes those players so consistent?   The goal of a pickleball dink rally is to hit non-attackable dinks until you can force your opponent to make an error. A non-attackable dink is when the…

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My Pickleball Partner Won’t Come to the Net!

By CJ Johnson / November 30, 2019 /

Have you ever played pickleball with a partner who just won’t come to the net? Pickleball rec play is one of the unique aspects of this sport, which makes it so enjoyable. You don’t have to have a partner to play. You can go to open play, and you get to play with a lot…

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Pickleball Blocking-How to Beat the Banger

By CJ Johnson / November 9, 2019 /
Pickleball Blocking-How to Beat the Banger

You can’t stop a banger from hitting the pickleball hard. So, the best way to beat them is with a good block!   Just because someone hits the ball hard doesn’t mean they’re a banger. To play good pickleball, you need to learn when to hit the ball hard and when to hit it softly.…

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Pickleball Kitchen Strategy-STOP Attacking!

By CJ Johnson / November 2, 2019 /
Pickleball Kitchen Strategy-STOP Attacking!

If you want to play better pickleball, you need to stop trying to hit a winner every time. If you learn to stop attacking marginal shots and be more patient, you’ll win more points. Easier said than done?   How many times have you been at the NVZ and attacked a ball where the apex…

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