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Around the Post Shot (ATP Shot)- Everything You Need to Know!

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By Jacob Jackson

In the exciting sport of pickleball, players possess a unique shot known as the around-the-post (ATP) shot. This shot requires a combination of skill, strategy, and creativity. Instead of hitting the ball over the net, the ATP shot curves around the net post and lands directly on the opponent’s court. It’s a legal and practical shot that can catch your opponents off guard, helping you score valuable points in the game.

How to Master the ATP Shot?

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, this article has got you covered! Here’s everything you need to know to become a pro at the ATP shot and add flair to your pickleball game:

  1. Stay Low to the Ground: Keep your eye on the ball and react quickly by maintaining a low stance.
  2. Keep Your Paddle Low: Control becomes much easier when you keep your paddle low, so avoid raising it too high.
  3. Aim Inside the Sideline: Your chances of successfully executing the ATP shot increase when you aim for the inside of the sideline.
  4. Use an Open Stance: To ensure balance and readiness for the next shot, stay available toward the pickleball net without taking a crossover step. However, if the ball has a lot of pace and spin, crossover steps are acceptable to track down the ball.
  5. Be Patient: Wait for the ball to travel off the court, providing you with a clear pathway to hit the ball around the post and into the opponent’s court.
  6. Swing Smoothly and Confidently: Choose between a forehand or backhand stroke depending on your position on the court. Follow through with your swing and aim for the opposite corner of the court.
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When to Use the ATP Shot?

To maximize the effectiveness of the ATP shot, keep an eye out for these opportunities:

  • Sharp Crosscourt Angle: When your opponents hit a crosscourt shot that sends the ball wide off the court, it’s the perfect chance to execute the ATP shot and surprise them.
  • Opponents Out of Position or Not Expecting: Catch your opponents off guard when they are not anticipating an ATP shot. This can give you a significant advantage in the rally.
  • Confidence and Control: Only use the ATP shot when you have thoroughly practiced and mastered it. Having confidence and control over the shot ensures that you can hit it accurately and consistently.

How to Defend Against the ATP Shot?

Defense is just as crucial as offense in pickleball. Here’s how you can effectively defend against an ATP shot:

  1. Recognize the ATP: Pay attention to your opponent’s positioning and shot selection. If they receive a high, wide-angled shot that sends the ball off the side of the court, be prepared for an ATP shot.
  2. Stand in the Correct Location: Position yourself roughly two feet behind the non-volley line and inside the sideline. Keep your body and paddle inside the court to avoid defending out balls.
  3. Bend Your Knees: Maintain a low and forward body position by bending your knees, ensuring better stability and agility.
  4. Block the Ball: Keep your paddle low to the ground and block the ball either before or after it bounces, minimizing the chance of your opponent’s ATP shot passing you.
  5. Watch the Ball: Since the ATP shot can be challenging to execute, be prepared for your opponent to miss it wide. If the ball is traveling out, refrain from hitting it and let it go.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is ATP in pickleball?

In pickleball, ATP stands for Around The Post. It refers to returning a shot to your opponent’s court without crossing the net. Unlike other sports like tennis, hitting around the post is considered a legal play and can help you win points!

Can you hit the post in pickleball?

No, hitting the post during a pickleball rally is considered a fault. The post is part of the net system and is considered out-of-bounds. Hitting the post before the ball lands in your opponent’s court will result in the opposing team being awarded the point. It is essential to aim within the court boundaries and avoid hitting the post during gameplay.

How can I hit harder in pickleball?

If you’re looking to add more power to your pickleball shots, here are a few tips:
Focus on Footwork and Technique: Transfer your body weight through the shot and use an explosive follow-through.
Adjust Your Grip: Experiment with different grip styles to increase your racquet head speed.
Utilize Wrist Action: Snap your wrist through the shot to generate additional power.
Choose the Right Paddle: Opt for a paddle with reasonable ball control and ample tension to maximize your shot impact.

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What is Bert in pickleball?

Bert is a pickleball stroke that involves using a heavy-duty forehand grip and striking the ball with an exaggerated low-to-high upswing. This technique is named after Bert Trautman, who popularized it in tournaments during the 1960s and 1970s.


Are you ready to take your pickleball skills to the next level? The ATP shot is a thrilling and rewarding technique that can give you a competitive edge. However, it does require practice, strategy, and a solid understanding of the game rules and etiquette. By implementing the tips provided in this article, you can become a confident and versatile pickleball player.

So, next time you step onto the pickleball court, surprise yourself and your opponents with the spectacular ATP shot. Get ready for an unforgettable pickleball experience!

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