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CJ Johnson
Tony Roig
Tony Roig

Everyone Wants To Spin The Pickleball. But Is It Right For Your Game?-Part 1

Adding extra spin to the pickleball is not right for every pickleball player.

Even if it is, there is a cost to adding spins to your pickleball game:
(1) there are likely other shots and strategies that will be more beneficial to your game and results that you will not be working on.
(2) your consistency will suffer (you will make more errors on the pickleball court).

Most pickleball players at some point want to add spins into their games. The belief is that adding spins is what is missing to help a player “break out.” This belief is often misplaced and, in fact, adding spins often retards a player’s improvement. Or worse yet, results in deterioration of the player’s game.

In this pickleball video series we look at spins.

The very first topic (covered in Video 1) is to examine whether pickleball spins are really “all that.” What is the actual impact of spin on your pickleball shots? And does this impact merit the time and attention that spins will require to learn in addition to the increase in errors from the added variability of spins in your shots. Once you watch the video you will be better informed as to whether spins are worth adding to your pickleball game.

The second video covers some common mistakes in how spins are hit by pickleball players. In a nutshell, you cannot use the same techniques used to spin a tennis ball to spin a pickleball. A pickleball paddle is vastly different from a tennis racket, particularly the lack of any strings. And a pickleball is different than a tennis ball, importantly the lack of any felt. In this video we demonstrate some of the common errors made by pickleball players trying to impart spin onto their shots.

The third pickleball video shows proper technique for applying spin to a pickleball. Rather than brushing the ball tennis style, we show you a technique that respect the nature of a pickleball paddle as well as a pickleball. The technique also provides greater consistency by focusing on getting the ball where you want it go (including over the net).

It is a fine thing to be able to spin the ball. It is important, however, to know the tradeoffs you are making whenever you try to impart extra spin onto the ball. Even the pros (who can spin the ball as well as anyone) know when to avoid adding spin to the ball – when to hit a more reliable shot: one without spin. Become an informed pickleball player and you will be able to make better decisions about your pickleball game.

5 Comments

  1. rob seven on September 12, 2022 at 2:59 am

    while technically correct, this article completely misses the WHOLE POINT of spin…..it is FUN!….

    • CJ Johnson on September 12, 2022 at 3:09 am

      Hey Rob, if learning to spin the ball is fun for a player, then by all means do it. We’re just trying to bust the misconception that you need to have spin to reach a certain level. Have fun out there.

  2. Merry Mary on September 12, 2022 at 10:23 pm

    I’ve seen this in action many times. With a few players here they think putting a spin on the serve will make it impossible to return. Then because they’re slicing down on the ball, the serve goes into the net. And they keep doing it. Another friend keeps slicing (to spin the ball) her returns only to send the ball flying to the side and out. Occasionally she’ll get it in, but at the expense of unforced errors. It’s a great way of losing games to unforced errors, unless you have “spins” mastered. People forget that the goal is to get and keep the ball “in.”

  3. vaughan privett on September 22, 2022 at 7:26 pm

    good idea, I stop trying to spin

    • CJ Johnson on September 22, 2022 at 8:47 pm

      Yes for many people it’s an idea that will lead them to consistency!

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