Selkirk Sport - We Are Pickleball


Mastering Angled Overheads to Win the Point: A SelkirkTV Instructional Video Breakdown

By Kyle Whatnall

on May 19, 2023

One shot often gets overlooked in this game is the overhead shot. A simple yet powerful skill, the overhead shot is often one of the first learned but seldom fully mastered. Thanks to SelkirkTV and professional pickleball player Porter Barr, we now have an insightful YouTube instructional video that sheds light on how to truly optimize this game-changing shot.

In the video, Porter emphasizes that a successful overhead shot is not simply about hitting the ball as hard as possible. This is a common misconception among many players. While a powerful slam can occasionally win points, the speed of reaction among today's players means that power alone isn't a winning strategy. So, what's the trick? Porter explains that the key lies in hitting sharp angled overheads.

How to Practice Sharp Angled Overheads

To master this technique, Porter presents a simple yet effective drill. Two cones are placed at sharp angles on the court, and Porter’s partner, Clint, feeds him overheads. The objective is to aim the overhead shots as close to the cone as possible, aiming for a sharp angle. The focus isn't on power, but on precision and angle.

Porter emphasizes that the most important factor for this shot is consistency. He warns against the temptation to hit with all your might because doing so limits the sharpness of the angle you can achieve. This lesson is particularly relevant at higher levels of play where quick reflexes of opponents can return even the most powerful shots.

The Key to Angled Shots: The Wrist

One vital piece of advice from Porter is to use the wrist more than the arm when hitting the overhead shot. This may seem unusual at first, as it might feel like it's reducing your power, but remember, the goal here isn't raw power. It's all about achieving that sharp angle that makes your shot difficult to return.

The same principles apply whether you're hitting overheads from the right or the left side of the court. Consistency is crucial, and angles trump pace every time. As Porter highlights, making an unforced error on an overhead shot is especially disappointing. This shot is an offensive weapon that, when executed correctly, can significantly increase your chances of winning the point.

Porter continues to emphasize the importance of using the wrist over the shoulder or elbow. The practice session continues, gradually speeding up as comfort with the angles grows. For players looking to improve their overhead shots, Porter advises starting slow to learn the fundamentals and develop consistency before adding more speed.

This video is a testament to the beauty of pickleball; it's not just about power, but precision, angle, and strategy as well. Porter Barr's tutorial helps players understand and improve their overhead shot technique to truly elevate their game.

To watch the complete episode and many other Selkirk TV original shows, podcasts, lesson series from the pros, and much more, download the Selkirk TV app HERE

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