Many pickleball players grip their pickleball paddles way too tightly and in the palm of their hand – think a 10 out of 10 pickleball grip pressure, where the pickleball player is “white knuckling” the pickleball paddle. Too much pickleball grip pressure, and too much palm on the pickleball paddle, are negatives on the pickleball courts because too much pickleball grip pressure and/or too much palm on the pickleball paddle will likely result in loss of control of the pickleball and loss of feel of the pickleball off of the paddle. In other words, too much pickleball grip pressure on the paddle, and/or too much palm on the pickleball paddle, will likely cause the pickleball to ricochet and rebound off of the paddle too aggressively and too high (and, high balls generally mean easy put away shots for your opponents).
As a result, it is important to have a loose, relaxed pickleball grip on the pickleball court – think a 4 out of 10 pickleball grip pressure. It is also important to hold the pickleball paddle more in your fingers and less in the palm of your hand. If you loosen your pickleball grip pressure and use more of your fingers to hold the pickleball paddle, you will have a softer touch with your pickleball paddle, and vice versa. A loose, relaxed pickleball grip will help you reset fastballs on the pickleball court, as well as give you more control of your shots (such as your dinks and drop shots).
For more information on pickleball grips, including a breakdown of the 3 types of grips, and how to change your grip on your paddle, check out Pickler’s “3 Pickleball Grips Explained” blog.