Let’s Play Pretend!

Pretend that we’re playing pickleball?
Certainly not!
Pretend that I’m an awesome pickleball player? We’ve all had one, or many, of those days on the courts!
You know what I’m talking about – your drop isn’t dropping, your dinks aren’t anywhere as good as you would like them to be, and the net certainly isn’t your friend.
And yes, I have had those days, too!
As you’re probably playing doubles, you may feel bad that you let your partners down with your less than stellar play. Of course not! You’re already an awesome pickleball player!
I want you to pretend that you’re tied to your partner!

First, a Little Geometry & Math

Let’s look at the geometry of the court for a moment. The court is 20 feet wide, which you would think provides a nice, neat division of 10 feet for you and 10 feet for your partner.

But realistically, you can only cover about 7 feet (even the longest paddles aren’t that long!).
Let’s move from geometry to addition and subtraction: 20 – (7 + 7) = 6.
That’s 6 feet of the court that goes uncovered!
So how do you cover that empty 6 feet?

(Almost) Never Leave Your Partner

So what do I mean when I say pretend to be tied to your partner?
I want you to pretend that you have a rope tied around your waist, also tied to your partner’s waist, that’s about 7 feet when pulled taut.
Very literal pretending! Now here’s where the pretending stops!
When your partner moves up, you should move up, keeping that pretend rope taut.
When your partner shifts to the left, you should shift to the left, keeping that rope taut.
Even if your partner is pulled off the court, yes, you should enter your partner’s court keeping that pretend rope taut at 7 feet.
You and your partner are effectively creating a WALL on the court, preventing your opponent’s from exploiting the middle space between the two of you.
You should be standing at least 7 feet next to your partner at all times, including on the third shot! (Please don’t run up to the line when your partner is taking the third shot! Bad things will most likely happen!)
Wait! I did say almost never, didn’t I?

Two Exceptions

The first is the “Well, Duh!” exception, and that’s when you are receiving serve. After returning the serve, you should be joining your partner at the line, who should already be there.
The second exception is covering a lob, which one of you should be running back to retrieve.
Want more information about positioning? Check out this webinar!

Want to Get Coached Up on These Strategies?

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