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The "Reset"

What is a Reset Hit?

A reset hit in pickleball is a soft, controlled stroke that neutralizes an opponent's offensive advantage. The primary purpose of this hit is to slow down the pace of the rally, giving the player a chance to regain their strategic position. The ideal reset hit arcs gently over the net, landing softly in the opponent's non-volley zone (the kitchen), making it difficult for them to return with power.

When to Use a Reset Hit

1. During a Fast-Paced Rally: When the ball is flying back and forth rapidly, and you're struggling to keep up, a reset hit can change the tempo of the game. It forces the opponent to pause and approach the game more thoughtfully, often leading to a slower return.

2. When Out of Position: If you find yourself out of position, perhaps due to a powerful shot from your opponent, a reset hit allows you to buy time to return to an optimal position.

3. To Break Opponent’s Momentum: Skilled opponents may gain momentum during a match with aggressive play. A well-timed reset can break this momentum by forcing them into a more defensive posture, disrupting their game plan.

4. In Response to a Smash: Facing a smash can be daunting; a reset hit here can turn the tables by keeping the ball low and close to the net, reducing the opponent’s chances for another powerful shot.

Tips for Executing an Effective Reset Hit

1. Soft Hands: The key to a successful reset is having soft, relaxed hands. This technique allows for better absorption of the ball’s energy, resulting in a softer return.

2. Paddle Angle: The angle of your paddle is crucial. Aim for a slightly open paddle face, which helps in lifting the ball gently over the net without adding excessive speed.

3. Body Positioning: Stay balanced and ready to move. Good footwork is essential as it allows you to adjust quickly to the incoming ball and place your reset with precision.

4. Practice Patience: Timing is critical. Rushing your shot can lead to errors or inadvertently setting up your opponent for an aggressive return. Wait for the right moment to execute your reset.

5. Consistent Practice: Like any skill in sports, consistency is key. Regular practice of your reset hits during drills or casual play will build muscle memory and confidence, allowing this move to become a natural part of your game strategy.


In pickleball, the reset hit is not just a defensive maneuver; it's a strategic tool that can dictate the pace and flow of the game. By incorporating resets into your playstyle, you not only enhance your defensive capabilities but also create opportunities to seize control of the point. Whether you're a beginner looking to expand your skills or an advanced player refining your game, practicing reset hits will undoubtedly add depth to your pickleball prowess. Remember, the best players are those who can turn defense into offense, and mastering the reset hit is a significant step in that direction. Happy playing!

Read about the best power pickleball paddles here!

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