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Unleash Unbelievable Power and Spin with This Wrist Lag Technique

Are you looking to elevate your pickleball game? Mastering the wrist lag technique could be your ultimate game-changer. This method is exceptional for generating tremendous power and spin.

In this guide, we will delve into the intricacies of wrist lag and share invaluable tips and techniques to enhance your spin shots.

Grasping the Concept of Wrist Lag

Wrist lag is a technique designed to maximize the power and spin of your shots. The principle is that your wrist should “lag” behind your arm during the swing, allowing it to snap through at the final moment.

This motion creates a whip-like effect, significantly boosting the speed and spin of the ball.

How to Perfect Wrist Lag

Draw a Letter C in Your Backswing

When initiating your backswing, visualize drawing a letter C. This helps create the necessary curve and looseness in your wrist.

Maintain a Loose Wrist

A tense wrist won’t generate much power or spin. Focus on keeping your wrist loose and relaxed throughout the swing.

Let Your Wrist Lag Behind Your Arm

As you swing forward, your wrist should trail behind your arm. Hold this position as long as possible before snapping your wrist through the shot.

To see wrist lag in action, check out pro player Nicholas Wade demonstrating this technique in the video below.

Additional Techniques for Generating Spin

Beyond wrist lag, several other techniques can help you generate more spin on your shots.

Top Spin

Topspin is a type of spin where the ball rotates forward as it travels through the air. This rotation causes the ball to dip quickly, making it harder for your opponent to return. Here’s how to master topspin:

  • Brush Upward on the Ball: When hitting a topspin shot, your paddle should brush upward against the back of the ball. This upward motion creates the forward rotation needed for topspin.
  • Follow Through High: Ensure that your follow-through is high. This means your paddle should finish above your shoulder after the shot. A high follow-through helps maintain the upward brushing motion.
  • Use Your Whole Body: Generating topspin isn’t just about the wrist. Use your legs, hips, and core to add power and spin to your shot. Start in a low position and push upwards through your legs as you hit the ball.

Player Tip: “Master topspin so the ball can be hit hard but tends to drop rather than float.”

Backspin (Slice)

Backspin, or slice, is the opposite of topspin. Here, the ball rotates backward, causing it to float and bounce lower. This can be useful for drop shots and keeping the ball low. Here’s how to execute a slice shot:

  • Brush Downward on the Ball: To create backspin, brush downward on the back of the ball with your paddle. This downward motion creates the backward rotation.
  • Keep Your Paddle Face Open: An open paddle face helps generate more backspin. Angle your paddle so that it points slightly upward as you make contact with the ball.
  • Follow Through Low: Your follow-through should be low and towards your target. This helps maintain the downward brushing motion.

Side Spin

Side spin can add a new dimension to your shots, making them curve left or right. This type of spin is less common but can be very effective in the right situations.

  • Brush the Side of the Ball: To generate side spin, brush the side of the ball with your paddle. Depending on the direction you want the ball to curve, brush from left to right or right to left.
  • Adjust Your Stance: Your stance will affect how easily you can generate side spin. Position yourself so that you can comfortably brush the side of the ball.
  • Use Your Wrist: A flexible wrist is crucial for generating side spin. Practice snapping your wrist through the shot to create the desired spin.

Insights from Pickleball Veterans

Hit in Front

“Ensure you’re hitting the ball in front of you. This enhances both power and control. Also, incorporating topspin is essential.”

“Whenever possible, use a closed stance. It’s one of the most effective ways to generate power.”

Use Your Legs

“Power begins with your legs. Position yourself early to hit the ball, stay athletic, and avoid being flat-footed. Engage your legs, hips, and core to generate power. This helps keep the ball low and in play, letting your paddle angle add spin.”

“Many players lack good footwork. Using your legs to get low improves your ability to see the ball and control your shots.”

Relaxed Grip

“A relaxed grip enhances both power and control. For ground strokes, it’s essential to use your legs and body. For putaways, a quick wrist snap is crucial.”

Advanced Spin Techniques in Pickleball

Once you have mastered the basic spin shots, you can start working on more advanced techniques to further enhance your game. These advanced techniques include the flick, the roll shot, and the cut shot.

  • The Flick: This advanced shot uses a quick wrist snap to generate speed and spin, ideal for surprising opponents near the net. We recently published an article and video demonstration on how to execute the flick volley.
  • The Roll Shot: Combines topspin with a high arc, making the ball drop quickly and bounce high.
  • The Cut Shot: Uses backspin to keep the ball low and is perfect for drop shots.


Mastering wrist lag and other spin techniques can significantly enhance your pickleball game. By understanding and practicing these methods, you’ll be able to generate more power and spin, making your shots more effective and challenging for your opponents.

What do you think?

Written by Billy Pickles

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