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Strategy Course Day eleven

Court Coverage & Middle Thirds

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My Court, Your Court

One of the toughest pieces of strategy involves sharing the court. Good pickleballers know that there are few hard boundaries on the court. Each player does not take up half the court. Good teams will share the court effectively to cover weaknesses. You need to be fluid about how the court is shared, hiding your weaknesses and maximizing your strengths. 
Strategies for sharing the court:
Know yourself - You must know your area and role. Be honest about your weaknesses and strengths. Teams will try to isolate one member of the opposing team. Are you the one who will be isolated?
Don’t share 50/50 - There are many reasons not to share the court 50/50. One person might be a stronger player, have a longer reach, or might just be having a good day on the court. The more you can allow for that to happen without ego getting in the way, the more successful your team will be.

Each team is unique. When you share the court well, you maximize the best of each player and make your team better than just the sum of your parts.

    Middle Ball Serve Returns

    When the return is hit down the center, a decision has to be made. Who will take the shot? It would be a mistake to always default to the forehand player. It is often a good idea for the forehand player to take the shot, but not always. If you are looking for a third shot drop, the backhand may be ideal. Many players prefer hitting backhand drops. If the players are the same skill level, it is often a good idea to have the shorter player take the shot. Taller players are more lethal at the kitchen, so get the taller player to the kitchen as fast as possible to pressure the other team at the net.
    Your team will be at an advantage if you make a plan for balls down the middle before you start your match. 

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