Forehand Contact Point: Tennis vs Pickelball

Better_Call_Raul

Hall of Fame
Am hearing that forehand contact point is significantly further out in front in pickeball. Why would this be the case?
:unsure:

Let's hear from the sensible primarily tennis players on this forum. The TW pickle forum is populated by rather annoying fanatical cultists.
 
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Morch Us

Hall of Fame
Am hearing that forehand contact point is significantly further out in front in pickeball. Why would this be the case?

When you say "contact in front" in tennis, it really means more front than body, but still on the side of the body (not right infront of the body)..
When you say "contact in front" in PB, it literally means "right infront" of your body (meaning your body, your contact point and your target all in one line).

The main reason is that you don't really need to use bigger muscles to move the wiffle ball across shorter distance. But keeping the hands not to side allows for even quicker reaction (which is technically not possible in tennis in most scenarios, but you rarely get to that close proximity to opponent in tennis,).

This is another reason, sometimes PB shots looks non-elegant when a tennis player watches it.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
Am hearing that forehand contact point is significantly further out in front in pickeball. Why would this be the case?
:unsure:

Let's hear from the sensible primarily tennis players on this forum. The TW pickle forum is populated by rather annoying fanatical cultists.
In which situations? Western grip?

Singles players often take the ball on the rise. Perhaps also in doubs when moving in? When at the kitchen line, volleys are usually taken well out in front.

 

Better_Call_Raul

Hall of Fame
In which situations? Western grip?

Singles players often take the ball on the rise. Perhaps also in doubs when moving in? When at the kitchen line, volleys are usually taken well out in front.
Baseline forehand groundstroke. In PB, I am trying to use my usual tennis Eastern FH grip and tennis semi-open stance.
I never use fully open stance by choice in tennis; does not feel comfortable... And I am always trying to get into PB semi-open stance butfind that I'm often hitting in fully open stance due to fast pace and less time to change stance...

Don't really see that contact point is any more out in front... But I've only played a few times.

Have searched videos but have not really found coaching discussion in stances (fully open, semi-open, sideways neutral stance) and which is preferred.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
Baseline forehand groundstroke. In PB, I am trying to use my usual tennis Eastern FH grip and tennis semi-open stance.
I never use fully open stance by choice in tennis; does not feel comfortable... And I am always trying to get into PB semi-open stance butfind that I'm often hitting in fully open stance due to fast pace and less time to change stance...

Don't really see that contact point is any more out in front... But I've only played a few times.

Have searched videos but have not really found coaching discussion in stances (fully open, semi-open, sideways neutral stance) and which is preferred.
I’ve played nearly 20x, always doubs, but not played recently. I don’t recall my CP being any different than tennis on strokes at the BL. E grip for Fh (or Conti grip for drop serves).

I don’t hit hit a lot of open stance in tennis either but do use it for Pball when up at the kitchen line. I don’t spend much time at the BL for Pb (or tennis). Mostly neutral or semi-open in the back. Fully open and some semi-open at the kitchen.

CP is in front quite a bit when I’m at the kitchen. But not so before I get up there. Have really never heard or seen anyone mention CP for Pball ground strokes
 

Morch Us

Hall of Fame
Baseline forehand groundstroke.
Baseline to baseline in PB you can probably get away with Tennis Strokes, and the same contact point as tennis (side and front). But you will soon learn that, there is some disadvantages in this, especially when playing with better PB players who take advantage of the smaller court area. That is when keeping more out directly in front matters more (because of reduced time, and less need of "generated" power on strokes).
 

Better_Call_Raul

Hall of Fame
I’ve played nearly 20x, always doubs, but not played recently. I don’t recall my CP being any different than tennis on strokes at the BL. E grip for Fh (or Conti grip for drop serves).

I don’t hit hit a lot of open stance in tennis either but do use it for Pball when up at the kitchen line. I don’t spend much time at the BL for Pb (or tennis). Mostly neutral or semi-open in the back. Fully open and some semi-open at the kitchen.

CP is in front quite a bit when I’m at the kitchen. But not so before I get up there. Have really never heard or seen anyone mention CP for Pball ground strokes

On routine forehand rally balls from the baseline, I sometimes totally whiff on the ball. It is frustrating. This never happens in tennis.

Will focus on really getting low and hitting the bottom part of the ball. And trying to watch the ball more closely.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
On routine forehand rally balls from the baseline, I sometimes totally whiff on the ball. It is frustrating. This never happens in tennis.

Will focus on really getting low and hitting the bottom part of the ball. And trying to watch the ball more closely.
On average, a Pb ball bounces about 30% lower than a tennis ball. Undoubtedly experiences more air drag / deceleration and a different ground reaction as well. So the timing is a bit different then you are accustomed to
 

Better_Call_Raul

Hall of Fame
On average, a Pb ball bounces about 30% lower than a tennis ball. Undoubtedly experiences more air drag / deceleration and a different ground reaction as well. So the timing is a bit different then you are accustomed to

The ideal contact point on a tennis forehand is around waist level with a roughly vertical racquet face; slightly closed for topspin. On shin height tennis balls you must open up the raq face, commonly switching from switching from SW to either Eastern or Continental grip.

Have only rallied a few times and not sure about the height of ideal pickelball contact point. The ball might bounce to waist height at baseline. But it also often bounces shin to knee height at baseline.


For waist height balls I try to keep the paddle face much more open than the tennis waist height shot.

wrt topspin, don't think you would ever close the paddle face as you would in tennis to impart topspin.

My pickle ball shots are mainly flat... Have not observed how much topspin my opponents hit. My impression is that 3.5 pickle players hit very little topspin.
 

TennisDawg

Hall of Fame
Baseline forehand groundstroke. In PB, I am trying to use my usual tennis Eastern FH grip and tennis semi-open stance.
I never use fully open stance by choice in tennis; does not feel comfortable... And I am always trying to get into PB semi-open stance butfind that I'm often hitting in fully open stance due to fast pace and less time to change stance...

Don't really see that contact point is any more out in front... But I've only played a few times.

Have searched videos but have not really found coaching discussion in stances (fully open, semi-open, sideways neutral stance) and which is preferred.
I think a continental grip works for any stroke in pickle.
 

Better_Call_Raul

Hall of Fame
I think a continental grip works for any stroke in pickle.
On average, a Pb ball bounces about 30% lower than a tennis

Is it okay to place the index finger on the paddle? For some reason, I get much more feel with this grip. Most of the other players I've observed don't seem to have this grip.
Although having this index finger position is apparently a common ping pong grip. But I never played ping pong
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
Is it okay to place the index finger on the paddle? For some reason, I get much more feel with this grip. Most of the other players I've observed don't seem to have this grip.
Although having this index finger position is apparently a common ping pong grip. But I never played ping pong
That is the grip I used for table tennis. But never used it, or seen it used, for pickleball
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
If it feels comfortable, Would there be any reason not to use it in pickelball?

Apparently some players have made it work. Not tried it myself so I don't know all the drawbacks but one did come to mind. The PP ball sometimes hits the finger when hitting a Bh. No big deal with ping pong (except for lack of control). But if a Pickleball ball hits your finger on a hard hit or in a fast exchange, that could sting quite a bit.

Another guy's take:

 

Better_Call_Raul

Hall of Fame
Apparently some players have made it work. Not tried it myself so I don't know all the drawbacks but one did come to mind. The PP ball sometimes hits the finger when hitting a Bh. No big deal with ping pong (except for lack of control). But if a Pickleball ball hits your finger on a hard hit or in a fast exchange, that could sting quite a bit.

Another guy's take:

So standard pickelball Cont grip would be just like in tennis. A (2,2) grip (base knuckle, heel pad).

from there, i will have to check if index can be spread to paddle without losing that bevel 2 placement.

Also, it seems like the common tennis technique of Eastern (3,3) on FH and switching to Cont (2,2) does not work in pickelball; not enough time to switch, especially at higher pickel levels.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
So standard pickelball Cont grip would be just like in tennis. A (2,2) grip (base knuckle, heel pad).

from there, i will have to check if index can be spread to paddle without losing that bevel 2 placement.

Also, it seems like the common tennis technique of Eastern (3,3) on FH and switching to Cont (2,2) does not work in pickelball; not enough time to switch, especially at higher pickel levels.
It's been a while since I've played and, in all, I've probably played less than 2 dozen times. I don't recall exactly what grips I was using but I believe I was using both an Eastern-ish grip and a Conti grip. The former favored Fh shots & the latter, Bh shots. Many players might have a dominant grip but slight changes are not uncommon, I believe.

 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
Many Pb players might change grips in the backcourt but use only 1 grip up at the kitchen line. For grip preferences, try the Pb forum, post a poll and then report back here.
 

Clay lover

Legend
Shouldn't contact point be closer to the body as the ball bounces significantly lower and therefore a more conservative grip is always warranted? I thought the more extreme the grip the further out in front the contact point is.

I'm confused now.
 

Better_Call_Raul

Hall of Fame
For grip preferences, try the Pb forum, post a poll and then report back here.

What should be the poll options?

When at the kitchen line for rapid fire volleys, which grip do you use?

(1) Cont grip on both sides. single hand both sides. No grip change.
(2) Eastern grip FH side. Cont grip BH side.
(3) SW grip FH side. Cont grip BH side.
(4) Eastern grip on both sides. single hand both sides. No grip change.

not really sure how 2handers work...

(5) Cont grip FH side. Two hander BH side.
 
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