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Mastering the Rolling Backhand Volley: Pro Tips and Drills

Looking to add a powerful rolling backhand volley to your pickleball repertoire? You’re in the right place! Today, we delve into a specialized training session with pro player and coach, Will East, who has crafted a three-part drill series to help you refine and perfect this shot. Let’s break down each progression to elevate your game.

Progression One: Establishing the Basics

The journey to mastering a rolling backhand volley begins with the fundamentals. In this initial stage, you’ll need a partner to toss the ball to you. The key here is to use the eastern backhand grip, which will be your steadfast companion throughout this process. However, the primary focus is on your legwork.

Instead of relying on your wrist for power, engage your legs. Bend your knees and push through your legs to meet the ball. This foundational technique emphasizes stability and control, ensuring you maintain command over your shot rather than swinging erratically.

Progression Two: Enhancing Speed and Leg Power

Next, it’s time to elevate the intensity. Gather a collection of pickleballs—aim for about six—and prepare for a rapid-fire drill. The objective here is to work on your speed, but not in the conventional sense. Speed in this context is about how quickly and powerfully you can engage your legs.

As you hit each ball, concentrate on pushing upwards with your legs while maintaining the crucial eastern backhand grip. Your wrist should play a minimal role at this stage. The goal is to generate pace and spin primarily through leg strength, with minimal wrist involvement.

Progression Three: Power Drives from the Kitchen Line

In the final progression, you’ll combine everything you’ve learned in a more dynamic and challenging scenario. Position yourself at the kitchen line and prepare to drive six balls with precision and intent. This drill simulates game-like conditions where powerful, controlled volleys are essential.

Focus on your approach to each shot. Your legs remain the primary source of power and elevation, ensuring a successful volley. Continue using the eastern backhand grip, and keep wrist action to a minimum to deliver precise, controlled shots every time.

Incorporating these drills into your practice routine will not only enhance your backhand volley but also improve your overall gameplay. Remember, mastering any shot in pickleball requires patience, practice, and a willingness to learn and adapt.


Q. What is the key to a powerful rolling backhand volley in pickleball?

The key lies in using your legs for power and stability while maintaining an eastern backhand grip. This technique ensures control and precision in your shots.

Q. How can I improve my speed in executing a rolling backhand volley?

Focus on engaging your legs quickly and powerfully rather than relying on arm speed. This approach helps generate pace and spin with minimal wrist action.

Q. Why is the eastern backhand grip important for this shot?

The eastern backhand grip provides the necessary control and stability for executing a powerful and precise rolling backhand volley.

Q. How can I simulate game-like conditions while practicing this shot?

Position yourself at the kitchen line and practice driving multiple balls with intent. This drill helps replicate the dynamic and challenging scenarios you’ll face in actual games.

Q. What should I focus on during these drills?

Concentrate on using your legs for power, maintaining the eastern backhand grip, and minimizing wrist action. These elements are crucial for mastering the rolling backhand volley.

By following these expert tips and incorporating the drills into your practice routine, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the rolling backhand volley and enhancing your overall pickleball performance. Enjoy the process and keep pushing your limits on the court!

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Written by Billy Pickles

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