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Mastering the Pickleball Volley: Tips by Catherine Parenteau

Mastering the Pickleball Volley: Pickleball, a sport rapidly gaining popularity, combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. One crucial aspect of mastering this game is the volley, where players hit the ball back and forth without letting it bounce. In this guide, we’ll explore the techniques and paddle positioning necessary to perfect your pickleball volley, drawing insights from Catherine Parenteau, an experienced pickleball player.

Understanding Paddle Positioning

A key foundation of a successful pickleball volley lies in maintaining the right paddle position. Parenteau advises imagining yourself standing at the center of a clock, with your paddle aiming towards 11 o’clock. This slightly open stance towards the backhand side not only allows for better face protection but also facilitates quick defensive movements. By positioning the paddle at 11 o’clock, players are primed to defend themselves effectively, whether with a forehand or backhand grip, depending on the ball’s trajectory.

Importance of Grip and Swing

Parenteau stresses the significance of grip strength during volleys. A firm grip ensures better control and power generation, which is essential for executing precise shots. Loose grips often result in ineffective volleys lacking sufficient power.

Moreover, maintaining a compact swing is important. Contrary to common misconceptions, longer swings do not necessarily translate to more power. Instead, shorter swings lead to greater accuracy and better utilization of the paddle’s sweet spot. Players should focus on minimizing both the backswing and follow-through to optimize their volley technique.

Transitioning Between Shots

Another aspect Parenteau emphasizes is the smooth transition between shots. Often, players mistakenly believe that a larger swing is necessary for hitting forehand shots. However, this can lead to inefficiency and loss of control. Instead, she suggests a seamless transition from the ready position to the shot execution, maintaining wrist flexibility to adjust the paddle angle as needed.

Practical Drills for Improvement

To enhance pickleball volley skills, Parenteau suggests particular exercises. One such drill involves practicing volleys within the kitchen area, focusing on keeping swings short and compact while swiftly returning to the ready position. As players become more comfortable, they can gradually increase the intensity and speed of their shots.

Moving outside the kitchen area presents a different challenge, as players may feel they have more time to react. However, it’s crucial to maintain the same compact swing, regardless of the perceived time available. Continuously returning to the 11 o’clock position after each shot ensures readiness for the next volley.


Perfecting the pickleball volley requires mastering paddle positioning, maintaining a firm grip, and refining swing techniques. By following Parenteau’s expert advice and engaging in targeted drills, players can enhance their volley skills and elevate their overall performance on the pickleball court. With dedication and practice, players can unlock the full potential of their pickleball game.

News in Brief: Mastering the Pickleball Volley

Mastering the pickleball volley is essential for success in this rapidly growing sport. Catherine Parenteau, an experienced player, offers valuable insights into paddle positioning, emphasizing an 11 o’clock stance for better defense. Grip strength and compact swings are crucial, as they ensure control and accuracy. Smooth transitions between shots and targeted drills within and outside the kitchen area further enhance volley skills. With dedication and practice, players can elevate their pickleball game and unlock their full potential.

Also read: Catherine Parenteau’s Pickleball Guide: Mastering Offensive Lobs



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