When I first began to play Pickleball a year ago or so, one of the points that was emphasized to me over and over again was to get up to the net. Some proclaimed this edict with a near religious fervor. I watched those around me and they were running helter-skelter to the net as soon as they could.
After a while, I realized this isn’t always the best strategy. As Deb Harrison remarks in the video below and as others who coach have noted, you have to “earn the net.” By this they mean that you need to make a good shot in order to approach or work your way into the net.
You can’t return a serve midway into the opponent’s court directly to their powerful forehand and expect to have an advantage while running to the net. In many cases, the ball will get to you before you are ready, or it will go flying by you at a fast clip.
To win consistently, you must make an “approach” shot. That is, a drop volley or angled shot that causes the player go make a weak return, etc. which facilitates an approach to the net without the odds of an even better shot coming back at you.
Now that I have realized this, I am a bit more selective when working my way to the net with my partners and it has paid off.
Watch Deb Harrison as she demonstrates the best ways to “earn the net.”
Pickleball: Earning the Net, Deb Harrison
Do you think “earning the net” will help your game? Are you purposeful in using this strategy? Leave a comment below!