A common question is “where do I hold my paddle to be ready?” In our prior video, link below, we looked at the difference between the twelve o’clock and 10 (or 2 for lefties) o’clock schools of thought.
In this video, we consider the overload of information given the most recent conversation about paddle height. Common wisdom was to hold the paddle chest or so high.
“Keep the paddle up” is an oft heard refrain on the rec courts. The current conversation challenges this wisdom suggesting that more of a hip level paddle position may be better. In a Pickleball Forum Facebook post (January 2019), DJ Howard explains that this is “the best ‘axis point’ from which to dink, block, punch, or swing quickly off either forehand or backhand sides.” Even though the hip may provide the optimal “axis point” in terms of reacting to different shots, a chest high approach may work for some. An older player or a player with slower reaction time may benefit from having the paddle higher than hip level. A reason for this would be that most hard balls are hit towards a player above the hip level. As a result, the player with a higher paddle position will have the paddle closer to where he/she expects to have to deal with the driven ball. In the end, hold the paddle at a level that is comfortable for you but have the paddle ready.
Do not let the paddle dangle by your side. You will not be ready for the next shot.
Pickleball paddle and body preparation: https://youtu.be/uSWhR25fFA4