CJ Johnson Headshot
CJ Johnson
Tony Roig
Tony Roig

Fast Feet for Better Pickleball Groundstrokes-Part 3

Therefast feet are two essential but very different footwork skills; proper movement to support the athletic motion and fast feet. Pickleball requires both.

Golf, my former occupation, is an example of a sport that only uses one. Proper placement of the feet is a requirement. It provides a stable platform for the arm swing. Fast feet? Not only are they not needed but a determent.

Pickleball requires both, and here’s where my weakness shows up! Bluntly put…..my feet are slower than a heard of snails traveling through peanut butter. Okay, maybe they are a little faster than that, but not by much.

It wasn’t always that way. Ski racing is another sport that puts a premium on quick feet. As kids, we spent hours doing plyometrics, one foot, two feet; it seemed like we were always jumping or hopping.

Then came my golf career, and for the next 15 plus years, I focused solely on developing a better swing. These days I spend winter skiing and summers on the pickleball court; both sports require fast feet.

What’s a girl (or guy) to do to get fast feet?

Head to Amazon.

Yes, Amazon! For less than $10, you can create super-duper fast foot improvement tool. That’s a fancy way of saying an agility ladder and a roll of masking tape.

You can kill two birds with one stone. Use this to warm up. Most people don’t spend little if anytime warming up, which can lead to injury. Your heart rate will elevate quickly, getting you ready to play, and in no time, you’ll find yourself floating around the court. Maybe not floating, but you’re sure to be quicker!

We use the ladder as a warm-up before our weekly skills and drills clinic.

Start slowly, learn the steps, and make them precise, then increase the speed. If you are like most people, it won’t take that long.

Here are a few drills to start.

 

Now you know what good footwork looks like, why it’s essential, and how to improve your foot speed. What are your favorite exercises to get fast feet? Post in the comments below.

 

 

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CJ Johnson

Hey there — I’m a professional three-sport athlete and coach who has spent my entire adult life earning a living from playing and coaching sports. Since I started coaching more than three decades ago, one thing has remained the same: My commitment to see students not as they are but as what they can become and to move heaven and earth to help them realize their untapped potential. You should know that when it comes to helping pickleball players over 50 live their best lives on and off the courts, I'm an expert. Good pickleball is not just technique; it's the mind and body working holistically. That's why I'm also a personal trainer and weight management specialist. When I’m chillin', you'll find me watching Star Trek with my husband John and our two fur babies, Shirley and Ralph. (Yes, Happy Days)

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