Technique Overview of the Block Volley in Pickleball
The goal of defensive blocking is to absorb the pace of the pickleball so you can reset it into your opponent’s kitchen. When you see your opponent about to drive the ball at you, get into blocking position by assuming a split-step stance with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders. Raise the paddle up in front of your body, keeping it tucked in close. You may even want to position your non-dominant hand on the backside of the paddle to help cushion some of the impending impact.
Upon contact with the ball, avoid swinging. This can cause you to whiff or mishit the ball. Instead, angle the paddle up slightly to increase the ball’s arc and ensure it clears the net. Blocking in this manner also adds backspin to the ball, which helps it land softer and prevents your opponent from hitting an aggressive shot back to you. Once you’ve mastered the upward angle, you may want to try angling your paddle to the left or right to make it more difficult for your opponent to return your shot.