spin problem magic fix
By: Tony Roig | February 14, 2024 |

Decoding Pickleball Spins – How to READ and RETURN a Spin Shot

Pickleball spins can be difficult to return. The first step to success against the spin is to learn to read the shot.

You can learn to anticipate the path a ball will take by following the holes on the pickleball. This allows you to position your body to hit the shot correctly.

Types of balls

Did you know the outdoor X40 ball has 40 holes? If you already know this, great. If you din’t know this, you’ve learnt something. Oftentimes, the holes have different locations on the ball and they’re not symmetrical on the ball.

That’s for aerodynamics. Sometimes you have little holes and bigger holes.

Indoor balls on the other hand have 26 holes, and they’re bigger.

The different types of spins

Let’s start with a top spin ball. It’s a top spin because the holes are spinning toward you. When you see the holes are coming end over end toward you, that indicates you have a ball that has top spin heading toward you.

When that ball bounces on the court, that spin is going to cause that ball to kick toward you. So generally speaking, if you see a ball coming with a lot of top spin on it, expect that ball to kick up and into you. You’ll see more third shots being hit with that spin.

The main spins are a toss spin and an under spin. Watch the full video for details on two other spins you might face out there while playing pickleball.

Bonus tip: Whichever way the holes on the ball are spinning, that’s where you expect the ball to go. And the shorter you can have your backswing, the less chance of making an error when you’re trying to hit those types of shots.

Links Mentioned in the Podcast

Find Tim’s book here

Recommended Resources

→ 2024 Better Pickleball Camps

→  The Pickleball Academy

→ The Pickleball System Class

→ Total Pickleball

→ Check out Tyrol shoes Use code BP10 at checkout (if you are a System member, use the code inside your course).

→  Take CJ’s 8-week challenge

→ The Three Pillars of Pickleball

→ Sign up here to get our weekly emails

→ Our mental book recommendations

→ Getting Started Beginner Materials here

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Tony Roig

Hola. Hello. Konichiwa. After 40 years playing tennis, I am now a full-time pickleball player and professional. As a 5.0 rated Senior Pro Pickleball Player and an IPTPA-certified Master Teaching Professional, my focus is on helping players like you learn to play their best pickleball. In 2016, shortly after starting to play pickleball, my friend Tom and I jumped into the highest division at the first US Open in Naples, Florida. That morning it became clear just how much there is to learn in this seemingly simple sport – a lifetime of learning if you so choose. Since 2018, I have been on a mission to share my knowledge of pickleball so other players can enjoy the game at a higher level and attain their pickleball objectives. When not studying or playing pickleball, I like to travel with my other half, Jill.