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How To Crush Overhead Shots In Pickleball

pickleball player hitting an overhead shot

It’s inevitable. Your opponent is eventually going to float a pickleball up over your head. But have no fear! When that happens, it’s your time to shine. It’s what you’ve been waiting for. The most fun and commanding shot any pickleball player can hit - the overhead smash! This is a shot that should end the rally 10 out of 10 times, but since we’re not Ben Johns or Anna Leigh Waters, that’s not a guarantee for us mere mortals. Watch and learn how to crush your overhead shots from Paddle Expert Ben Croft. 

How To Hit An Overhead Shot In Pickleball 

To recap, in our reality, we’re not going to earn a point or a side out every time, but there are certainly some tips that can help you win more rallies when you get the opportunity to crush your overhead. Here are four tips and tricks to help you hit the perfect overhead shot every time: 

    1. Short and compact, not long and slow. Your swing should be quick, compact, and short. This will help your timing and ensure you strike the ball at the ideal point on the paddle and in the air. 
    2. Snap your wrist! Snapping your wrist, like you would when throwing a baseball, is one of the most important aspects of hitting an overhead with maximum pace. If you hear the quick “woosh” of the paddle as you strike the ball, you know you are maximizing your paddle speed and power into your overhead smash.  
    3. Follow all the way through. Remember to stroke through the ball, not to the ball. Finishing your swing in full will bring the most power to your shots. Your paddle should finish near your opposite hip when you’re done hitting your overhead.  
    4. Don’t drive the ball right into the ground! Hitting the ball at the right angle is an overlooked aspect of winning with an overhead. The steeper the angle you hit the ball, it will slow down, bounce into the air and give your opponent a better opportunity to return the ball. Instead of that, try hitting the ball more “on a line,” deeper in the court so the ball skids off the ground and makes it exponentially more difficult to return. 

There are not many shots more satisfying than an overhead, so be sure to use these tips to end more of your overhead setups with a smile. And with any sport, practice makes perfect. Make sure to spend time on the court practicing your overhead shots and fine-tuning your technique. The more you practice, the more consistent you’ll become. Still have questions about your pickleball game? Don't forget, we're JustPaddles and we're here for you from Click To Court. You can contact our Paddle Experts via phone/text at 866-382-3465, email at, or you can click here to live chat!

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