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Pro Tip: How to Recover from a Bad Speed Up

Top 5 Pro Player James Ignatowich

Hey guys, today I’m going to cover what you should do when you hit a bad speed up and want to just get back to neutral.

In pickleball, a “speed up” is a tactic where a player deliberately hits the ball harder and faster to disrupt their opponent’s rhythm and gain an advantage.

I think the biggest mistake that players make when they’re in this situation is they hit a bad speed up, the ball gets fired back at them, probably down low, and they keep swinging. You find yourself starting to lose the seesaw battle. If I hit a speed up to them, they’re countering up top, and then I am down low losing the seesaw battle. This basically means that your paddle is below their paddle in a firefight, and you’re not in a good spot. The first person to get the ball down in a firefight usually wins. It’s not all about power and hand speed as much as it is just getting the ball down.

So, if you hit a bad speed up and find that the next ball is at your knee height or even below your waist, in general, just look to reset. For me, I’ve had a lot more success resetting with a backhand in that situation than a forehand because you can cover so much more territory with a backhand than a forehand without having to switch up my hand position. If the ball comes right at you or to your left, just use your backhand, and if it goes to the right of your right leg, that’s when you hit a forehand.

For me, I’m almost 80% backhand when I’m resetting and 20% forehand.

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James Ignatowich is a top 10 professional pickleball player originally from Connecticut, now residing in Delray Beach, Florida. A former Division 1 tennis player at Vanderbilt University, James made a transition to pickleball, quickly rising to prominence in the sport and often playing doubles with Tyson McGuffin and Anna Bright. In addition to his athletic achievements, he runs his own podcast, where he shares insights into the game and interviews other professionals. jamesignatowichnewsletter | PPA | MLP | My paddle

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