Pickkleball: Why do you do what you do?

 


When you are playing pickleball and you are ready to return serve, do you try to place the ball in a specific spot on your opponent’s side of the court? If you do, does your partner understand where they need to be to help you defend against the third shot? Do you know where you should be in relationship to your partner to best counter the returning ball?

In a recent post by Sarah Ansboury, Pickleball Tip: Follow the Ball, she explains the importance of knowing “why” you want to accomplish something on the court. She suggests that technique and knowing how to hit the various types of shots are not really enough. Sarah continues to explain why successful players need to follow specific strategies depending upon the variables.

If you want to “up your game” and begin to bring it to another level, check out her recent post by clicking this link:

Pickleball Tip: Follow the Ball

 

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Pickleball Video: Returning a Very Short Ball

There are times when a ball from your opponent barely makes it over the net. Perhaps it ticks the top of the net and dribbles over. When the ball lands only a foot or so away from the net, this can be a problem for the returning player.

Such a short ball is very hard to return as there is no room for the player to swing and get the ball up and over the net if they hit the ball straight on. There is, however, one very good alternative. Watch the video below to learn a one way to handle this situation.

NOTE – If you can, time your hit so the paddle reaches the ball as it is bouncing up (ascending) so it is not at its lowest point to the ground. The higher the ball, the easier it will be to get it over the net!

 

More Pickleball Videos and Information

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Pickleball: Video – Getting Out of Trouble

If you play doubles pickleball on a regular basis, sooner or later you will find that you and your partner are in a defensive posture stuck near the baseline. If this happens, one of the best strategies is to “reset the point.” After all, it is hard to hit a winner when you are pinned near your baseline.

So what is “reseting the point?” Mark Renneson, pickleball coach and owner of Third Shot Sports, explains via the video below:

Remember, the drop shot isn’t an offensive shot. It doesn’t have to be a “winner,” it just needs to give your team time to move forward.

Do you want to Win a Trip for 2 to the 2018 USAPA National Championships in Indian Wells California? If so, CLICK HERE!

 

More Pickleball Videos and Information

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Pickleball Advice: 30 Seconds to a Better Doubles Game

Have you ever attended a pickleball tournament? I always find the tournament atmosphere invogorating. There is a positive hustle and bustle surrounding pickleball tournaments and it inspires me to play more and and to strive to improve. I believe we can all use a bit more inspiration every now and then.

One thing that was impressed upon me when I attended my first tournament as a spectator was that the top doubles teams call each and every ball. They say “mine.” “yours,” “bounce it,” etc. They constantly communicate in advance of the ball reaching either of them.

One other thing…if my partner calls a ball, I back off even if I think that I have the better shot at it. We can discuss this after the point, but two players going after the same ball is a fast track for an errant shot!

There is one corollary to this rule – If the ball is toward the center of an area we can both cover and my partner calls it, I will try to backup my partner. What that means is, I stay back a bit and let my partner have the ball they “called,” but I keep my eye on the ball and if they miss, I will try to return it instead. This doesn’t always work, but it has saved some points every now-and-then and a point is a point! How many games would you have won if you had one extra point? I know it would have helped me a good number of times.

When I play, I also like to discuss with my partners who is going to cover lobs. I generally like my partner to cover lobs over my head on my side of the court when I am at the net. I find that the diagonal line is easier and provides more opportunity for a successful return. I then cover lobs over their head when they are at the net. I do communicate with my partner(s), but I need to do more of it so that every shot is assigned to my partner or me well before it reaches us.

Don’t forget, if your partner moves to your side of the court, you need to move over to their side to avoid leaving half the court wide open!

I recently played in a round robin tournament at our community center and there were some players I had never seen before. Sarah Ansboury has in interesting article about playing with a new partner and when we play in pickup games, it is as if we are playing with a new partner many times. As anticipated, she also highlights partner-communication and somewhat humorously, compares this to “pickleball speed dating.” Seriously though, she offers some great advice beyond partner-communication which I think can benefit all serious pickleballers. Be sure to check out the other links in her article for even more details!

You can read the article by clicking on the picture or title below!

https://www.sarahansboury.com/pickleball-speed-dating-fun/

More Pickleball Videos and Information

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



pickleball, communication, lobs,

Pickleball: Acquiring and Maintaining the Offense

During a game of pickleball, as you are engaged in the quest for points or a side out, how often are you aware of what I will call your “position of engagement”? Do you know if you are in an offensive, defensive or neutral position?

It may be important for you to understand the difference between these different situations because they should affect your strategy at any given moment in a game.

You might correctly assume that the best position to be in is an offensive one, but what does that mean and how do you get there?

To quote from an article by Sarah Ansboury:

“A big part of thinking offensively is being aware of what position you are in. Defense….neutral…offense. It is difficult to make an effective offensive shot if, at the time, you are in a defensive position. I often see players trying to come up with a marvelous winner when, in fact, they are in a defensive position with only a 50/50 chance of hitting a winner or an error.”

Sarah then goes on to explain her thoughts about the best way to get to an offensive position if you are not currently there.

Learn more about this important and perhaps less considered topic by reading the full article at this link:

Pickleball Defense, Neutral, Offense: Positions You Need to Know

 
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More Pickleball Videos and Information

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Pickleball: Thoughts about the Soft Game and Drop Shot

I have written about the third shot drop shot and the soft game on JBRish a number of times. This is a wonderful skill to develop to help win pickleball games…but to be consistently good takes lots of practice. I can hit one every once in a while, but that percentage isn’t going to win many games.

Pickleballers who don’t have a great third shot drop shot, or perhaps a poor soft game overall, need not despair. Jennifer Lucore has an interesting take on drop shots and dinking in pickleball.

I would encourage you to read the entire article:

There’s No Dinking in Pickleball

In summary, however, this is what she concludes:

“So, to summarize there is NO RIGHT OR WRONG way to play pickleball when you are talking about dropping the third shot or a powerful, driving ground stroke. (emphasis mine)”

PS – Some of the comments under the article are interesting as well!

More Pickleball Videos

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017


More Pickleball Strategy & Tips from Jeff Shank – Video

Things to watch for in this video

  • Why would Jeff want to “fake” poach a ball?
  • What is a good ready position? Where should the paddle be?
  • What paddle adjustment needs to be made when a ball is hit at your feet?
  • What adjustment to your stroke do you need to make if you are back-peddling?
  • Listen to Jeff’s explanation regarding how to defend a shot going around the post. (see the note below)
  • NOTE – Some players may not realize that a ball does not have to go over the net to be a valid shot in pickleball. If your team hits a ball wide so that it pulls the player to the side of the court and your opponent is able to hit the ball around the post (i.e. without it going over the net) and it lands on your team’s side of the court in bounds, it is a legitimate shot.

  • What does Jeff suggest is a key to getting a shot to go deeper, especially the serve?
  • Watch and listen to how Jeff suggests a player can avoid hitting the ball into the net on an easy, high ball when you are moving forward to the net.
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    NOTE – To find out about this series of posts, i.e. 100 Pickleball Strategies by Jeff Shank, read the first post HERE

     

    To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

    Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)

    Jeff Shank’s Pickleball Strategy – Opponent Weaknesses, Soft Game Necessities & More

    One of the topics in this segment of Jeff Shank’s tips is how to find the weaknesses in your opponent’s pickleball game and what to do once you have that information.

    NOTE – When playing in a non-competitive environment, if I find that our team is much better than the other team or only one person on the other team, I work with my partner to alter our strategy:

    1 – Don’t try to overwhelm a weaker player with the serve. Give them a chance to return the ball otherwise nobody is going to have any fun.

    2 – Don’t hit every shot to the weaker player. Include the stronger opponent as well. I often go out of my way to hit to a stronger player especially when I know they are better than me. I feel really good if I can score a point off of a very strong player. Keep pickleball a fun game by hitting to both opposing players. One way to do that is to always hit to the person on the other team serving the ball.

    3 – When I hit a ball to a weaker player, I will often hit a shot I think they can handle, i.e. less pace, etc. This gives me practice in learning to control my shot and it provides practice for the receiving player in returning the ball.

    CAUTION: I have found myself in the following situation, but I don’t worry about it:

    I have been on a team and we discovered that we are potentially much stronger than the opposing team. We may find ourselves ahead by five or six points so we begin to lighten up. At times, the opposing team is then able to muster enough good shots to make it a close game or even win. To me that’s OK. If it is a clubhouse game for fun, it doesn’t really matter.

    NOTE: This is my personal philosophy and I am not suggesting it has to be yours.

    4 – I sometimes use a game with less skilled players to practice shots I need to work on such as the third shot drop shot.

    What does Jeff Shank say about the soft game? I know many players who will try very hard to avoid dinking and playing the soft game. Why does Jeff suggest the soft game is so important to learn?

    What does he suggest when you mishit a ball?

    What does Jeff say is “more important than just about anything else?”

    Other topics include the importance of drills, how to anticipate your opponent’s shot so you can be ready and what to do when a high ball is headed to the non-volley zone on your side of the net.

    NOTE – To find out about this series of posts, i.e. 100 Pickleball Strategies by Jeff Shank, read the first post HERE

     

    To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

    Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)

    Jeff Shank’s Pickleball Strategy – Net Dribbles, Lobs and More

    In this video segment, watch for these points:

    Net Dribbles


  • How to handle balls that dribble over the net to give yourself time to get out of your non-volley zone (NVZ).
  • NOTE: Other top players advise that if you can angle the ball cross court while you retreat from the NVZ, it will give you more time to recover since to hit the ball back to you will take the opposing team member a fraction longer. Presumably your partner is already at the NVZ in anticipation of a possible return to them and they are not on the move.

  • What shot should you hit if the opposing player goes after a ball that dribbles over the net on their side and the ball is returned to you a bit high?
  • CLARIFICATION: The only reason the above technique works is because the ball is returned too high. If the return was a good dink into the half of the NVZ closest to the net, only a dink return would be advised.

    NOTE: At the 27:05 mark the sound gets very low so you might want to raise it!

    The Lob


  • Under what circumstances should the lob be used?
  • What is the best shot to use to recover from a bad (too short) lob and you suspect that it is coming right back at you?
  • Why does Jeff Shank suggest you should say to your partner: “Come up! Come up!“?
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    Keeping the Ball Deep


  • Why should you serve the ball deep?
  • Why is it even more important to get the serve return deep?
  • Lefty-Righty Potential Advantage


  • What advantage would a team have (in many instances) if they are playing against a team with a right-handed player and a left-handed player?
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    NOTE: Jeff points out that his suggestions are not the ONLY way to play the game, but he feels these are appropriate strategies for most players. Many pickleballers will develop some of their own personal strategies and as long as they work for you, stick with them.


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    NOTE – To find out about this series of posts, i.e. 100 Pickleball Strategies by Jeff Shank, read the first post HERE

     

    To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

    Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)

    Pickleball Video – Importance of Communication at All Levels

    In the next installment of Jeff Shank’s 100 Pickleball Strategies, Jeff points out the importance of at least a minimal amount of communication between each team’s players even at the club or recreational level. If you have a tournament partner, I am sure you have crossed this bridge before reading this post. At least I hope you have!

    Well then, what should you discuss?

    • Are any players on the opposing team left handed? If so, someone should keep track of when both opponents’ backhands are in the middle of the court and announce it to each other during play. The backhand is usually the weakest shot for most players and if each player does have a weak backhand and they are in the middle, this might be an advantage when returning a ball.
    • Which way is the wind blowing (if play is outside)?
    • Have you seen these players play? Anything unusual about their style (do they spin every ball?)
    • Do you know which player is the weakest?
    • Does one player have an especially good lob?

    What words will be used to indicate that a ball is in, out, potentially going out, etc. Who will cover lobs and under what circumstances?

    Watch the video as Jeff explains how to play “smart” pickleball even during recreational play. What additional hints does he offer besides those highlighted above?

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    • Did you hear what Jeff said about calling lobs “in” or “out”?
    • Why is it important to communicate when a shot is returned down the middle of the court to your team?

    These are all fundamental key strategies and they can add a couple of points to your score in many games. If you didn’t pick up all of the hints and tips Jeff Shank offered in this segment of his 100 tips, it would be worth it to watch the video again!

    NOTE – To find out about this series of posts, i.e. 100 Pickleball Strategies by Jeff Shank, read the first post HERE

     

    To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

    Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)