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Monday, November 18, 2013

Pickleball Positioning and Strategy Review

Our Paso Robles Pickleball Club Website:  Come play with us anytime you are visiting the Central Coast of California (Paso Robles was recently voted the "Wine Region Of The Year" by Wine Enthusiast Magazine).  We have loaner paddles.

Haven't talked positioning and strategy for quite some time on this blog.  Thought I would devote this particular blog to items previously discussed, but needing to be reviewed.

1.  DEPTH is a very important word in Pickleball.

2.  The ideal serve is DEEP.  The more you can keep your opponent from approaching the net AS THEY HIT, the better.

3.  DEPTH on your return of service.  Make your opponent try to DINK from 20-22 feet (back on the baseline).  The 15 foot dink (because your return of serve lacked DEPTH) is a lot easier.

4.  SHORT DEPTH (or what we call a DINK into the No Volley Zone) is critical on the third shot.  Yes, a lob occasionally is O.K.  A hard ground stroke occasionally is O.K.  They are, however, low percentage shots and even lower percentage winners.

5.  If you are the serving team, ADVANCE TO THE NVZ LINE TOGETHER.  This is critical.  If you rush the net because the return of serve is to your partner, you will be very vulnerable if your partner's dink is poor (too high).  If you are 7' from the net (at the NVZ line) you have very little reaction time on a volley from your opponent at you.  SEE your partner's THIRD SHOT and advance ONLY if it is going to bounce at your opponent's feet.  They will have to hit up.

6.  In the event your RETURN OF THE RETURN OF SERVE (remember, we are talking about you being the serving team here) is not a good shot into the NVZ, gain a little ground, but allow yourself DEPTH (and therefore more reaction time).  If this third shot does not allow you to get to the NVZ line, one of you must again try, off your opponent's return of the third shot (this is now the FIFTH shot/your THIRD shot) to get a good dink into the NVZ.  If you do make a good shot, you will surely get to the NVZ line.

7.  Simple?  On paper, yes.  Just remember what is SIMPLE.  If you are the SERVING TEAM, you must work harder to get to the NVZ (if you have forgotten, this is the NO VOLLEY ZONE LINE).  Hit shots that allow you to get to the line, or retain DEPTH until you hit a shot that allows you to get to the line.

8.  If you are the RETURN OF SERVE TEAM, you have no excuse for not getting to the NVZ line after your return (as long as you have good DEPTH).

9.  To repeat, DEPTH is crucial.  DEEP SERVE, DEEP RETURN OF SERVE, SHORT DEPTH (DINK) on the third shot.

10. The serving team is at a definite disadvantage.  Figure out why, and turn the disadvantage into your favor.  The good players have a knack for doing this.

How did the ball come off your paddle today?

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