Up Your Game with the Chip and Charge Return

Struggling with short returns in pickleball? Want a technique that not only sends the ball deep but also positions you at the kitchen line swiftly? The answer lies in mastering the “chip and charge” return, a dynamic move that can revolutionize your game.

What is the Chip and Charge?

The chip and charge is a strategic approach in pickleball, differing significantly from the traditional method of planting your feet and hitting through the shot. This technique involves adding backspin to the ball while simultaneously moving forward, allowing you to take control of the kitchen area rapidly.

The Mechanics of the Chip and Charge

Cutting the Ball for Backspin: The first step is to effectively cut the ball to impart backspin. This backspin is crucial as it keeps the ball low after the bounce, making it challenging for your opponent to return aggressively.

Running Through the Return: Instead of a stationary position, the chip and charge involves moving forward as you hit the return. By the time the ball bounces, you’re already at or near the kitchen line, exerting pressure on your opponent.

Maintaining a Low Ball Trajectory: A key aspect of this technique is ensuring the ball stays low after bouncing. This not only makes your approach aggressive but also increases the safety margin of your return, making it a more reliable strategy.

4 Practical Tips for Effective Chip and Charge Returns

Practice the Backspin: Work on cutting the ball to achieve the desired backspin.

Coordinate Movement with Stroke: Timing your forward movement with your stroke is essential for this technique to work effectively.

Focus on Ball Trajectory: Ensure the ball stays low to challenge your opponent and maintain control.

Anticipate Fast Serves: Use this technique particularly against fast servers to neutralize their pace and gain an advantage.

Enhancing Your Pickleball Returns

The chip and charge is more than just a technique; it’s a strategic approach that can significantly elevate your game. It combines skill, timing, and aggression, making your returns not just safe but also strategically advantageous. As always, practice is key. So, try incorporating the chip and charge into your game and watch your returns transform!

What do you think?

Written by Pickle Pete

Pete is a semi-professional pickleball player known for his powerful serves and strategic play. Growing up in Austin, Texas, Pete was introduced to the sport at a young age and quickly developed a passion for the game. His athleticism and dedication to training have made him a formidable opponent on the court.

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