Pickleball Magazine 3-1 - Page 40

PICKLEBALL INSTRUCTION ADVANCED THE BACKHAND ROLL By Ben Johns Here’s an example of what I mean by reaching in and volleying the dink: You can see I’ve just hit a dink while reaching into the kitchen and staying low. Eventually, this will set up the ball that I’m looking for and I’ll already be in the correct position for it. T he backhand roll (some call it the flick) is my favorite shot in pickleball. Much of my game plan at the kitchen line is focused on hitting the roll at just the right time so I can either win the point right then or set up the put-away shot. So, what is this shot exactly? The backhand roll is a quick, surprising power shot with topspin. The roll makes it difficult for your opponent to hit an offensive shot and, 38 if he/she lets it go, the topspin brings it down into the court. The topspin also allows you to attack the ball from below the net. I know many instructors tell you to never attack the ball unless it’s above the level of the net. Generally I agree with that, but with a sufficient level of skill, you can use the roll to catch your opponents off-guard because you can attack from below the level of the net effectively. TO SUBSCRIBE CALL 888.308.3720 OR GO TO THEPICKLEBALLMAG.COM 1. THE SETUP When I use the backhand roll, all four players are at the kitchen line in a dinking rally. Although the backhand roll is useful on both sides, I primarily use it on the ad side, with my backhand toward the edge of the court and my forehand in the middle. The setup is crucial to an effective roll—if you don’t have the setup, nothing else