Hitting a Pickleball Groundstroke

by Pickleball Superstore March 25, 2023

Tips for hitting a pickleball groundstroke

When you are first starting out playing pickleball, it is best to first learn and master the fundamentals. The fundamentals that we will be going over today are the pickleball groundstrokes: the forehand and the backhand. Backhand strokes tend to be harder to master…give yourself time and have patience. Now let’s get to tips on hitting a pickleball groundstroke.

Forehand Groundstroke

The forehand is usually the dominant stroke in a player’s repertoire, their strength. It is the most powerful, most accurate, and is the most utilized from or near baseline.

How to:

  • From the ready position turn your shoulders and hips so the non-dominant shoulder is facing the incoming ball. Take your paddle back (sometimes a shorter backswing is better and even hitting the ball with 80% of your strength). Engage the non-dominant arm to help track the ball and to stay balanced.

  • Step forward with the front foot to create momentum moving towards the net.

  • Swing the paddle forward to contact the ball out in front of the body.

  • Keep wrist firm.

  • Follow through and return to ready position or even towards the opposite side of your body, towards your ear.

Backhand Groundstroke

The backhand is sometimes a player’s weakest shot due to a variety of reasons, but it can become a weapon if practiced. Many pickleball players love their backhand and consider it their strength. Remember you can use a one-handed backhand or a two-handed backhand – it’s all down to personal preference.

How to:

  • From the ready position to your shoulders and hips so that paddle shoulder is facing the incoming ball.

  • Take your paddle back, either with your dominant hand or with both hands – if you use the two-handed variety – and move towards the ball.

  • Step forward with the front foot to create momentum moving towards the net.

  • Swing the paddle forward to contact the ball out in front of the body.

  • Weight needs to transfer through to the front foot.

  • Keep wrist firm.

  • Follow through and return to ready position or even towards the opposite side of your body, towards your ear

Those are the basics of how to hit each groundstroke. Practice, and keep practicing. Spend some time practicing on a wall too!  If your forehand is better than your backhand, keep working on your backhand. Having a dependable and consistent backhand will put you leagues ahead of other pickleball players.

A Few Groundstroke Tips to Take on Court with You

  • Move to the ball – Don’t get stuck waiting for the ball to come to you – a ball rarely ever lands perfectly in your strike zone. Stay on the balls of your feet and be ready to move to the ball.  Proper footwork is essential.

  • Shorten your backswing – A pickleball court doesn’t have as much real estate as a tennis court, so a big tennis backswing isn’t required when hitting groundstrokes. The ideal pickleball backswing will only go as far as your back hip. Keep it compact!

  • Best Contact – Do your best to hit the ball right after it bounces. Taking the ball early will increase pace and will limit you from over swinging.

Pickleball Videos and Tips

Pickleball Superstore
Pickleball Superstore