Racquetball Ceiling Shot – Neutralize Opponent Power

Every racquet sport has a variety of offensive and defensive shots; the racquetball ceiling shot can help you survive tough situations, and neutralize the power of better players.

When you are on the run against an opponent who has the advantage, sometimes the best thing you can do is simply survive until you get an opportunity to score, or they make their own mistake. Perhaps most importantly, the ceiling shot allows you to regain the critical “sweet spot” position on the court where so many kills are generated. Except at the pro levels, the person who owns the sweet spot will usually win the rally. Hitting a ceiling shot forces your opponent out of this spot, and allows you to capture it.

The racquetball ceiling shot can also be a great tactical weapon. Power players like to play low, hard, and fast. They may often be impatient, and dislike having their power game tempo disrupted. Simply adding a hefty dose of ceiling shots to your repertoire against a stronger player may be enough to tilt a match in your favor. It is harder to return kill a ceiling shot, and your opponent is more likely to make errors when they try to do so. If you are patient, the ceiling shot may become your very best friend.

This video with Kris Odegard does a nice job of showing both the technique of the ceiling shot, as well as some practice drills to help you improve rapidly.

Racquetball Ceiling Shot Technique

 

Key points when hitting a forehand ceiling shot:

  • Ceiling target
  • Landing zone
  • Shoulder contact zone

If you are naturally a power player, the ceiling shot will give you a great weapon to use so that you can reposition and wait for a kill opportunity. Patience is required!

If you are a less skilled or less powerful player, hitting a lot of ceiling shots can give you a chance to win matches that might be unwinable if you try to emulate  a better power player.

Either way, the racquetball ceiling shot should be in your racquetball tool belt, and used often.

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3 comments on “Racquetball Ceiling Shot – Neutralize Opponent Power

  1. Daniel says:

    The part that told me where the ball should hit the ceiling was particularly useful.

    • Racquetball Teacher says:

      Yes Daniel, hitting ceiling shots is really a “by the formula” situation. Once you learn WHERE on the ceiling the ball should hit, it is just a matter of learning the proper POWER you need to get that ceiling shot dropping vertically into the back wall. For powerful athletes, this is often LESS power than you think.

      • That last point is key. I realized the importance of ceiling balls pretty early on. However, I was hitting them way too hard and they were always coming off the back wall. Which wasn’t much of a problem with opponents who were beginners like me. But once I started playing more experienced players, they would take full advantage of my sloppy ceiling shots that so often resulted in a nice set up. Now many years later and I still drill my ceiling shots religiously.

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