Pickleball Footwork-The Elusive Split Step (What, Why, When)


Do you find yourself off balance and unable
to change directions? Perhaps somebody has told you that you’re
running through the ball or maybe as you come to the non volley zone, people are hitting
the ball behind you. You might be having trouble with a split step. Split step?. Stay tuned. Hey everybody. It’s CJ Johnson. On this channel, we have weekly pickleball
tips for the player who’s over 50. We talk about the latest in gear, instructional
tips to help you become a better player and the fitness knowledge you need to stay healthy
and reduce your risk of injury. If you want to stay in the know hit the subscribe
button and then the bell. That way you’ll get a weekly notification
every Saturday when there’s a new video. I recently received an email from John W.
Asking me to clarify tip number 23 on my list of 31 quick tips to play better pickleball. He asked Cj, do you mean start or stop? By the way, if you don’t already have a copy
of 31 quick tips, stick around to the end of the video and I’ll show you how to get
one. Tip 23 says split step or stop moving when
you see your opponents paddle, ready to contact the ball. As I teach people who are new to the game,
I’m finding a lot of people who don’t come from a sports background so they really don’t
know what a split step is, why you need it, or when to use it. A split step is a light hop onto the balls
of your feet, creating a balanced position from which you can change directions easily
and quickly. Split steps are important for a variety of
reasons. Your in a balanced position and you’re able
to change directions either to your right or to your left since you’ve stopped moving. You’ve lessened the chance of having a ball
hit behind you. Equally as important, you’ll be less likely
to run through the pickleball shot and create an error. One of the better pickleball community members,
Scott F, made this comment on a previous footwork video since I couldn’t have said it better
myself, Here it is; “Excellent point on being sure to stop before
you hit the ball. Otherwise you have two forces moving the ball,
your normal stroke and your forward momentum. Imagine the number of variables if you try
to adjust the stroke as you’re moving forward. Doable but not likely as consistent if you
can stop before hitting the ball. Now that you know what it is and why it’s
important, when do you do it? The best time to do a split step is when you
see your opponents paddle about to contact the ball. The good news is a split step can be practiced
with or without a partner and it’s a fantastic way to get your body warmed up and ready to
play pickleball. Start here behind the baseline. As I move forward, I split step and stop,
a couple steps, split step and stop. You’ll notice it’s a very light balance. It’s not heavy dropped way down here. It’s a light bounce, so I can move from side
to side. Start by working your way to the non volley
zone from the baseline and initiate at least two split steps before you get there. Once you’ve done that a couple of times, split
step and practice moving in either direction. With a partner, have them stand at the non
volley zone, and you work your way from the baseline to the non volley zone. Watch the paddle and the ball closely. Start your split step when you see your partner,
make contact with the ball. If you’d like a copy of 31 quick tips to play
better pickleball. I’ve included a link in the show notes below. Tell me about your favorite footwork drill
you never know it might end up in my next video. One of the fastest ways to play better pickleball
is to improve your footwork. Click on this playlist for some suggestions
on how to do just that. If you got value from this video, make sure
that you give it a thumbs up and share it with your pickleball playing friends because
together we can train smart, live, bold, and age. Well.

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