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The Ready Position
This tip gets a page all to itself. Why? Because it is a BIG deal.
The more you can prepare for an opponent's shot the better your chances for an effective response. Developing a go-to ready position means you have a consistent, comfortable, balanced foundation for your shots. Less time reacting and more time for executing your shot.
Below are a few tips on creating your own default "ready position." Tinker with them to find what works best for you.
  • Feet slightly wider than shoulders in closed stance.
  • Weight slightly forward on balls of feet.
  • Relax the knees.
  • Paddle centered at comfortable height and distance.
  • Limit paddle take-away and follow-through to hip/shoulder width. Too much take-away uses time you don't have and often leaves you with paddle out of position.
  • Rotate hips and shoulders against feet. (Feel the tension in your ankles/calves.)
  • Use non-paddle hand as counterbalance. (This is where your power comes from.)
  • Transfer weight forward toward target.
  • Contact with ball is forward of hips/knees.
  • Shuffle left/right along the Non-Volley Line like a hockey goalie.
  • Return to the Ready Position
Adding strip of colorful tape on end of paddle helps track incoming ball and protects paddle from scuffing.
It's also a good place to add your name with a marker.