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The Heel Kickup

The Heel Kick-Up

For a Much Easier, But Still Impressive Pick-Up, Click Here

This is a way to retrieve balls from the ground that is uncommon and impressive, yet fairly easy to learn.

Lightly trap the ball between your heels. Jump and kick up both feet simultaneously, as if you were trying to kick yourself in the butt. The ball will continue up, over your head, to be easily caught in your hand. This takes a bit of practice. The average pickleball player will probably perfect it in about two weeks of goofing around between plays or off to the side between games.

With a lot of energy, you can learn to kick the ball straight up over your back, over your head, and catch it in front of your body.

Going a step further, if the final destination of the ball is to another player, kick it up, but instead of catching it, hit the ball with your paddle to the other player.

Going yet another step further, with practice, you don’t need to carefully position your heels around the ball. As it is rolling to you, you can form a slightly open V between your feet. The ball will come to a stop caught in the V between your heels. All in one smooth move, you kick it up and pass it on, or do whatever you want with it.

Then, if you can do the heel kick-up, you can learn to run toward the ball as it is coming to you, jump to a position where the ball is trapped between your heels, and kick it up, also all in one smooth move. This is dangerous because you can squish the ball if you don’t get it right. Furthermore, I believe there is a risk that you could twist an ankle, so be careful if you practice this technique.

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