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Executing Block and Punch Volleys in Pickleball

Jerry Jayapal

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Two of the most common types of volleys in pickleball are the block volley and the punch volley.

The block volley is a defensive play used to defend against an aggressive hit from your opponent. To execute this shot, position your paddle in front of your body. As you contact the ball, use your paddle to absorb its pace and attempt to reset the ball into your opponent’s kitchen.

The punch volley is an offensive shot used to hit the ball at your opponent’s feet or into a gap. Use your elbow as a hinge to produce a short “pop” motion that generates pace. Be sure to keep your wrist firm to maintain control of the shot.

When hitting volleys, it’s important to keep the paddle up in front of your body. Position the paddle head perpendicular to the ground and above net height. If your paddle gets too high, especially at head level or above, you’re more likely to return attack shots from your opponent that otherwise would land out of bounds beyond the baseline. Keeping it centered in front of your sternum will help you maintain the control you need to successfully execute the shot.

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