Monday, August 12, 2013

Pickleball Tip of Week #12

 Today we are going to discuss something i learned from another player i have competed with as a partner. He taught me this concept 5 years ago or so.

First off let me say as a precursor to this tip. If you are the receiving team, the partner NOT doing the receiving needs to be ALL THE WAY UP AT THE NVZ.  I see at least a dozen or so players that when their partner is receiving the ball ,they are standing back near the rear of the court. WHY?????

Ok, now that we have gotten that basic concept out of the way. On with the tip.

My partner is about to return the serve. I am standing at the NVZ. When i am standing at the NVZ waiting for my partner to return the serve, i like to be have my outside foot about an inch from the NVZ and my inside foot back about a foot and a half behind the NVZ. What this does is a couple of things. One, i am able to watch the serve and let my partner know if the serve is good or not. My returning partner is concentrating on returning the serve. So it is harder for them to call a ball out if it is out by only an inch or so. I am just standing there watching where the serve hits the court, so it is much easier for me to call an out ball.

Second, my outside foot ( my right foot if i am on the right side of the court, my left foot if i am on the left side of the court ) acts kind of like a pivot foot in basketball. It lets me get close to the NVZ line as possible and still know what my position is so i dont violate it.

Now for the actual tip. After  my partner returns the serve, the middle is now MY RESPONSIBILITY on the next shot. It doesnt matter  whether it is my forehand or back hand. I have the best position if the ball comes down the middle. I am just standing there, but my partner has just returned the serve and is busting butt to get up with me to the NVZ. Hence, when that ball comes back to us a second time, he may still me running forward. When he is running forward , he cant control the shot as well as i can when i am just standing there. So most third shots that come back to my partner and i down the middle, it should be the RECEIVERS PARTNER, NOT THE RECEIVER  that should cover the middle.

jeff shank

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