By: CJ Johnson | September 14, 2019 |

The Pickleball Reset Shot-How to Control the Ball

How do you hit the reset shot from “no man’s land” without popping it up in the air?

Recently, I shot a video with Laura Fenton Kovanda where we focused on the reset shot. That’s the shot that you use when you’re transitioning from the baseline to the non-volley zone. Afterward, the emails came in asking how do you open the paddle face to hit the pickleball reset shot without popping it up and giving a nice juicy kill shot to your opponents who are there waiting at the net?

A good reset shot is going to make for a smoother transition for you and your partner to get to the net.

Before I share my favorite reset shot drill, we need to talk a little bit about grip pressure.

It’s almost impossible to hit a soft shot with hammer hands. The unfortunate part is most of us don’t even realize how much tension we have in our grip. Once we put tension on our grip, that transfers into our forearm and our shoulder, and before you know it, our entire motion is restricted.

Here’s how to be aware of your grip pressure.

Take your grip on the pickleball paddle, but hold it lightly enough so that if I walked by, I could pull it out of your hands. That’s number one. Now let’s do the opposite end of that scale.

Hold the pickleball paddle again, but hold it so tight that I can’t pull it out of your hands. You should feel that tension go right into your forearm. That’s number 10.

Now you have the two extremes, one, the softest, ten the hardest.

Take the pickleball paddle in your hand one more time and find the pressure right in the middle between one and ten. Let’s call that five.

Most pickleball shots should be hit with a grip pressure of somewhere around three to five.

How to open the face of the paddle to hit the pickleball reset shot; The Double Dink Drill

One of my favorite ways to teach people to open the paddle face is by using the double dink drill. The objective of this is to take a dink after the first bounce, pop the ball up in the air in front of you and then hit the next ball over the net. That teaches us to open up the face and to control the speed and trajectory of the ball.

Want a more difficult drill?

Once you’ve mastered the double dink shot it’s time to try double volley. It’s the same as the double dink only you volley the ball.

Again, open the paddle face up enough so that the ball stays in front of us in the air, and then send the next shot over the net with an arc back to our practice partner.

If you focus on controlling the ball by opening your paddle face and the softness of your touch, your reset shot will improve in no time.

Have you tried the double dink drill to help you with your pickleball reset shot?

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)