FAQ: How Do I Stop Popping Up the Pickleball?

Pickleball players inquiring minds want to know...

The Pickleball Broadcast - ouch graphic

Photo by Nick Fewings / Unsplash

Q: How do I stop popping up the pickleball?

A. A few things could cause the ball to pop up. Most likely, your grip is too tight or your paddle head is facing up instead of angled out.

This is a common problem for new players. Random partners will often exclaim, "keep 'em low!" without explaining how to keep the balls low.

You are probably quite aware that you have this problem as pickleball provides instant feedback. You pop it up inadvertently and they smack it down at you, right? Or, worse, the opponents smack it down at your partner who then gives you the dreaded "look."

disbelief graphic - the look when pickleball partner pops the ball up

Photo by Kyle Glenn / Unsplash

Let's explore the two common reasons the ball is popping up:

Grip. The harder you grip the paddle, the harder the ball will come off the paddle - and vice versa. So, consider relaxing your paddle grip to reduce the faster paced balls. And, remember with dinking and dropping, you must use your large muscles (legs and shoulders) rather than your wrist.

Paddle Face Angle. If your paddle is facing the sky, the ball is going to go up. If your paddle face is facing the net when you're low, the ball is going to hit the net. So, you might need to experience with opening and closing the angle of your paddle face to learn - and more importantly FEEL - which angle produces which effect. You will also need to experiment grip pressure at various angles as well.

If you tend to pop balls up in games, you may find it beneficial to find a drilling partner to practice paddle control. And, pay close attention to cause and affect during games. Over time, you will be able to reduce the number of balls popping up.