Cooney’s Corner- Paddle Kill

Posted on Dec 16 2015 - 11:59am by DV, reports-  Hello and welcome to Cooney’s Instructional Corner. In the first lesson, we will be looking into a niche shot that some of our top players use on the tour and hopefully you can use as well after this insight.

A Shot DescriptionTo move upon your opponent’s attempted kill, using the ball’s momentum that was intended for your detriment to your advantage. Then with a stiff arm guiding the ball with open hand or fist back to the position on the front wall where your opponent was supposed to hit it in the first place.

Minimalism. This is the word that springs to mind when mentioning the paddle re-kill. Minimalism is an art movement that came into being in the early 1960’s. It is defined by simplicity in design, vacant of any style or grandeur.  This shot is just that. It may be unpleasing to the eye of handball enthusiasts because it is fundamentally lacking, but there is no doubting its effectiveness. There are no illusions about what this type of shot can do for your game. It conserves energy, frustrates your opponent and is other shots that require you to put your body in positions that only the most serious athletes can execute over the course of a weekend tournament. The paddle re-kill offers an option to your game that can be performed under any physical condition and age.

How to hit it?

The technique in hitting the paddle re-kill can be broken down into these simple steps.

  • Stiffen your arm and tense your bicep to turn your arm into a paddle. Arm can be bent or straight as long as the you just move from the shoulder with elbow locked in position
  • Holding backswing; Over emphasizing your back swing can lead your opponent to thinking twice as to where you are hitting the ball, thus, disguising the paddle kill and leaving your opponent flat footed when you place the ball back where it came from.
  • Push through the ball. Unlike most other shots, you are always told to swing through the ball. This shot is the exception. You push into the ball and guide it to its intended direction. You don’t offer the ball anything but a stiff arm and direction. The momentum that is already on the ball will be all that’s needed to execute this shot.

Body position does not matter in this shot as you are using the balls momentum to direct it, not using your body to create more torque or power. So body position is not too important, Facing the ball sideways or head on are all that’s needed.

Knowing when & where.

For all handball shots, it is when & where you hit them that can be the difference between a good shot and a bad one. Hitting the paddle re-kill is no different.  The following points are indicators of when it is the best time to hit this shot in order to minimize your errors and making this shot effective.

  • The shot should be hit almost always when your opponent is behind you. This decreases your margin for error in making the shot which also leads us on to our next point.
  • Hit it straight. The paddle re-kill is best when directed straight as this is the closest distance between you and the front wall. Also, if the ball pops up and your opponent is moving into position, the ball will be unavoidably moving back in your direction, making it more than likely a replay.

So next time you are at the club, leave the gallery handball and glory seeking of hitting an aesthetically pleasing shot behind you and see if you can add this simple shot to your arsenal. After executing this shot you will begin to see that sometimes less is more in the game of handball and ability can be counteracted with a simple straight to the point stiff arm kill.

Stephen Cooney hails from Ballaghaderreen, Ireland and currently visiting New York City, playing, training and on hand to give coaching advice at the famed New York Athletic Club. After a successful junior career that saw the “Coondogg” rise to the top of the Irish junior ranks, Mr. Cooney quickly established himself as one of the top stars on the Race 4 Eight tour. In just 13 months as a full-time R48 pro, Mr. Cooney rose to the coveted position inside the R48 Elite 8.

Mr. Cooney and the World Players of Handball are thrilled to bring Cooney’s Instructional Corner to Mr. Cooney will discuss various skills, techniques and strategies to help you improve your game, beat your rivals and have more fun on the court.

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