Every sport has it’s terminology, and pickleball is right there with a bunch of terms, punch volley, dink, third shot drop, etc. You may think that our PB predecessors have it all covered term-wise, but the fact is that there is still a little wiggle room to name things here and there.

Pickleball is perhaps especially vulnerable to new coinages since the origin of the name of the game itself was a bit frivolous, and in many sports such as figure skating (the Axel, the Lutz) names of the originators are used to name the move. One example in Pickleball is the Erne (see the Mark Renneson Erne shot video). Since PB is a bit of a newer sport there may still be space for some new terms.

From my side, of course, I’m not waiting for permission, but simply making up names as situations and new shots that need naming come up.

To start, with, I’ve taken the liberty to name a shot that I made up to handle a particular situation that I call “the flick.” The flick is designed to rescue and return the ball that has hit the net and falls on your side, straight down. Normally you are surprised by that ball, lunge forward, and if you make contact, usually hit it it into the net in a vain attempt to get it back.

With the flick you have a much better chance, and a method that you can practice in order to prepare for those situations.

To hit the flick you bend your knees, quickly step forward with one foot into the kitchen (leaving one foot back enables you to reset back quickly) reach forward with your paddle under the ball and flick it up with a wrist motion. Sometimes that is enough to pop it straight up and over the net, while you get ready for a more typical kitchen dink.

Here are a couple of photos of the flick paddle position, before and after, taken in the pickleball section of my living room, by the door:

You’ll note that there is no arm movement, per se, just a sort of pancake flipping motion to lightly flick the ball up and possibly over the net to become the other person’s problem.

You can (and should) practice this shot by having a partner lightly toss a ball just over the net while they are standing in the kitchen right by the net and you are standing across the net from them, outside of the kitchen. Then when this situation happens, you won’t be surprised, and maybe will even get the ball back, step back out of the kitchen and get back in the point.

Flick Shot Video