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How to Hold a Pickleball Paddle?

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By Jacob Jackson

Tennis, badminton, and table tennis elements combine in pickleball to create a fun, exciting game. The court is roughly the same size as a badminton court, with a low net separating the two sides. The game is typically played with two or four players, and the goal is to hit a small plastic ball (known as a pickleball) back and forth over the net until one team makes a mistake. In this article, we will discuss how to hold a pickleball paddle for better results in the game.

Why is the Pickleball Paddle Grip Important?

The grip you use on your pickleball paddle can significantly impact your performance. A good grip will help you generate more power and spin on your shots, while a poor grip can lead to mishits and weak shots. How you hold your paddle can also affect your ability to hit certain types of shots, such as volleys and overheads.

Hold Pickleball Paddle
Hold Pickleball Paddle

Pickleball Paddle: Basic Grip

The most basic grip for holding a pickleball paddle is called the “shake hands” grip. To use this grip, hold the paddle with your non-dominant hand and shake hands as you would with another person. Then, use your dominant hand to grasp the paddle handle below your non-dominant hand. Ensure your grip is firm but not too tight, as this can lead to tension and stiffness in your wrist and forearm.

Pickleball Paddle: Continental Grip

The Continental grip is another popular grip for holding a pickleball paddle. This grip is similar to the grip used in tennis and is ideal for hitting groundstrokes and serving. To use this grip, hold the paddle with your non-dominant hand and turn it so that the face of the paddle is perpendicular to the ground. Then, place your dominant hand on the paddle handle so that the V between your thumb and index finger is positioned on the top of the handle.

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Hold a Pickleball Paddle: Eastern Grip

The Eastern grip is another grip that’s commonly used in pickleball. This grip is similar to the Continental grip but rotates slightly towards the handle’s forehand side. It’s ideal for hitting forehand shots and volleys. To use this grip, hold the paddle with your non-dominant hand and turn it so that the face of the paddle is perpendicular to the ground. Then, place your dominant hand on the handle so that the V between your thumb and index finger is positioned slightly to the right of the top of the handle.

How to Hold a Pickleball Paddle: Western Grip

The Western grip is less common in pickleball but is still used by some players. This grip is similar to the grip used in tennis for hitting high topspin shots. To use this grip, hold the paddle with your non-dominant hand and turn it so that the face of the paddle is perpendicular to the ground. Then, place your dominant hand on the handle so that the V between your thumb and index finger is positioned on the left side of the top of the handle.

Hold a Pickleball Paddle: Two-Handed Backhand Grip

The two-handed backhand grip is another grip option in pickleball, particularly for players who are more comfortable using a two-handed grip. To use this grip, hold the paddle with your non-dominant hand and place your dominant hand on the handle just below your non-dominant hand. This grip provides more stability and control when hitting backhand shots.

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Pickleball Paddle: Switching Grips

As you play pickleball, you may find it helpful to switch between different grip styles depending on the type of shot you want to make. To switch grips, simply release your current grip and adjust your hand placement to the new grip style. It may take some practice to become comfortable switching between grips, but it can greatly improve your ability to make different types of shots.

Hold a Pickleball Paddle
Hold a Pickleball Paddle

Common Grip Mistakes to Avoid

When learning how to hold a pickleball paddle, there are some common mistakes to avoid. One mistake is holding the paddle too tightly, leading to tension and fatigue in your arm and wrist. Another mistake is holding the paddle too loosely, which can lead to mishits and a lack of control. Also, avoid changing your grip mid-swing, as this can result in mishits and inconsistent shots.

How to Hold a Pickleball Paddle: Practicing Your Grip

To master your pickleball paddle grip, it’s important to practice regularly. Spend some time on the court practicing your different grip styles and switching between them as needed. You can also practice your grip off the court by holding your paddle and practicing your hand placement and pressure.

FAQs

Can I use the same grip for all types of shots in pickleball?

While you can use the same grip for all types of shots, it’s generally recommended to switch your grip based on the shot you want to make. Different grip styles can help you generate more power, spin, or control depending on the shot.

Should I grip the paddle tightly or loosely?

It’s important to grip the paddle firmly but not too tightly. Holding the paddle too tightly can lead to tension and fatigue in your arm and wrist while holding it too loosely can result in mishits and lack of control.

How can I switch between different grip styles during a game?

To switch between grip styles, release your current grip and adjust your hand placement to the new grip style. With practice, you can become more comfortable switching between grips.

Can my grip affect my performance in pickleball?

Yes, your grip can significantly impact your performance in pickleball. A good grip can help you generate more power and spin on your shots, while a poor grip can lead to mishits and weak shots.

Is there a “best” grip for pickleball?

There isn’t necessarily a “best” grip for pickleball, as it depends on your preference and the type of shot you want to make. Experiment with different grip styles to find the best one for you.

Conclusion:

Holding a pickleball paddle may seem simple, but it’s an important skill to master to improve your game. By experimenting with different grip styles and practicing regularly, you can find the grip that works best for you and increases your control and power on the court. Remember to avoid common grip mistakes and maintain a consistent grip throughout the game for the best results. Happy playing!

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