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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Dividing The Pickleball Court

Our Paso Robles Pickleball Club Website:  Visit us when you are in the area.

We had 12 players this morning.  During the course of play, I was asked a good question.  When I am hitting the ball back to my opponents, what are the guidelines for placing the ball on the other side of the net (I paraphrased).  This was asked by a rookie player (been playing just a few times).  My answer was to "hit to the middle, at their feet."  Wherever they are, split them and hit to their feet.  However, there is a good way to start practicing placement.....remember, Pickleball is a game of patience and placement.  Try dividing the court into thirds.  Jennifer Lucore, the top women's player in the U.S., calls these thirds---Lanes.  Good visual reference....the middle lane and the two outside lanes.  When you are hitting the ball, make a decision early as to what lane you are going to hit to, and go for it.  Hard or soft?.....your choice, but remember, placement (the dink or bump) is better than power.  A good guideline:  If you are hitting from the middle, you have the best look at all three lanes.  Decide early and place the ball.  If you are moved to one of the outside lanes, the two lanes nearest your point of contact with the ball would be your highest percentage shots.  The longer cross court shot would be your lowest percentage.

Lots to consider, but in the end, pick a lane, use placement (and maybe sometimes power), and have some fun.  Your success rate will improve.  A final bit of advice....make your decision early so that you can get your feet and body oriented in the right direction.

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