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What Is An Around The Post (ATP) In Pickleball?

What is an ATP

An ATP is one of those pickleball shots that you talk about for weeks, months, maybe even years after you hit one. It’s a combination of flash, athleticism, and necessity. In this article, the Paddle Paddle Experts at JustPaddles explain what an ATP is, how to hit it, the strategy behind it, and the best ways to practice perfecting this tricky shot! 

What Is An ATP? 

An Around the Post, also known as an ATP, is a shot that does exactly what its name describes. Instead of the ball going over the net like a traditional shot, this shot is hit from outside the sidelines, travels around the post that holds the net, and lands inbounds. And yes, it’s perfectly legal and highly effective. 

The Strategy of an ATP

The strategy that goes with an ATP is typically more out of necessity than to set up or hit a winner but when you hit an ATP, the goal should be to end the rally with a winning shot. The main reason you’ll want to end the rally after hitting an ATP is your position, especially if you’re playing singles. 

Positioning of an ATP

Whether you are responsible for hitting the ATP or not it’s important to know your job and positioning when an ATP is being hit. 

  1. If you are hitting an ATP, you’ll want to make sure you have enough room to angle the ball around the net and have it land in the court. The most common mistake when hitting an ATP is not having a good angle and hitting the post. If you feel you don’t have the right angle to hit an ATP, try to dink the ball back into the court and quickly move back into position. But beware of your opponent poaching for an Erne!

  2. When your partner is hitting an ATP, you’ll need to shift yourself into the middle of the court and take the singles position. If your opponent is fortunate enough to return your partner’s ATP, your job is to cover the entire court until your partner has recovered and returned to their side. 

Successfully Performing an ATP

Successfully performing an ATP is all about the angle of your opponent’s shot and being patient enough to let the ball get wide so that you have the best angle to hit your shot. 

  1. Patience is key! The most common reason for unforced errors while attempting an ATP is thinking you have the angle to hit when you don’t. As flashy and great as it is to hit an ATP winner, hitting the right shot at the right time should always be the number one goal. Wait for the right opportunity to hit your ATP, and understand that it won’t happen often!
  2. Let the ball get out wide by letting it get lower to the ground! When you sense the ball is going to be wide enough to hit an ATP, you’ll give yourself a better chance by letting the ball drop lower, which forces it to continue to get wider off the court. Hitting the ball high could force you to take the ball too soon and cut off your angle to the ATP. The more you let the ball drop, the wider the ball will be, which will help create a shot that makes a beeline for your opponent’s feet (a very difficult shot for them to return). 

The Best Way to Practice an ATP

The best way to perfect your ATP is a practice session with a partner. Although it’s not something you’ll need to perform often in a game setting, hitting an ATP is both fun and necessary when your opponent pushes you out wide. Have your practice partner either hit or more accurately toss, a ball that bounces in the kitchen and kicks out wide. The returning player will have to make the decision to dink it back into the court or hit an ATP. While there are a lot of important aspects of the game to prioritize practicing, there are few shots you’ll remember more than your ATP winner!


Now that you’re a professional ATP winner hitter, you might want a new pickleball paddle to flash on the courts! If you need help finding the right gear, feel free to contact our Paddle Experts! Whether it be our Paddle Coach or just a nudge in the right direction, give us a call or text 1-866-382-3465, email us at, or utilize our live chat to speak with a Paddle Expert today. We’re JustPaddles, and we’re with you from Click to Court!


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