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The Scorpion Shot in Pickleball

Published: 2024-04-10
The Scorpion Shot in Pickleball
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This is Matt from the pickleball clinic. We've had the privilege of learning from Collin Johns, half of the world's top doubles team. He shared insights on mastering one of pickleball's most distinctive and powerful counter-attacks. The Scorpion technique is the key to success for those aspiring to elevate their game and surprise their opponents with a formidable shot.




Understanding the Scorpion Shot In Pickleball

The Scorpion is not your ordinary shot; it requires a unique approach and understanding. Unlike the conventional backhand counter-attack, the Scorpion demands you to get low and opt for a forehand strike. Recognizing the perfect moment for this shot is crucial, as its effectiveness diminishes if not timed correctly. Ideally, this shot is most potent when the ball is on an upward trajectory from the kitchen line, attacked by the opponent from below the net level.





Execution Tips

Executing the Scorpion effectively involves several critical steps:

  1. Timing and Recognition: The initial step is to discern the opportune moment for the Scorpion. Aim for when the ball is ascending, allowing you to drive the ball downward, which is the essence of the Scorpion's effectiveness.
  2. The Downward Angle: More than the power, it's the downward angle that defines the Scorpion's success. While power can be incorporated, the primary focus should be on achieving a sharp downward trajectory, making it challenging for the opponent to counter.
  3. Control Over Power: Attempting to hit the ball with excessive force can lead to timing issues and an undesirable ball height. A controlled, less forceful approach ensures a better downward angle and a more successful execution of the Scorpion.
  4. Ideal Contact Point: Look for a lower contact point, allowing the ball to rise towards your chest. This position enables a more efficient squat and strike motion, crucial for the Scorpion's execution.
  5. Compact Swing: Instead of a wide swing, concentrate on a compact motion aimed at getting over the ball. This ensures the desired downward angle, with power being a secondary consideration.

By incorporating these tips into your practice, the Scorpion can become a formidable weapon in your pickleball arsenal. It offers a surprising and effective counter-attack that can unsettle even the most seasoned opponents.




The Scorpion, with its unique approach and execution, represents a valuable addition to any pickleball player's skill set. By focusing on timing, angle, and control, players can master this powerful shot, adding depth and versatility to their game. Remember, the essence of the Scorpion lies not just in its power but in the strategic advantage it offers on the court.