Stay in Tandem – Tipbit #3
On the pickleball courts, it is imperative that you stay linked with your partner and work together as a team. If you and your partner do not stay linked and do not stay in tandem, you will find yourselves leaving large open spaces on the pickleball courts for your opponents to take advantage of.
Creating a gap between players and then exploiting that gap is one of the best ways to win a point. If your partner moves left to cover the line or to retrieve an angled dink, you too should also move left to then cover the middle. The same principle is true in the serve; if the opponents serve your partner wide you need to move with your partner to help cover the hole vacated by your partner. On your serve, you and your partner should move in tandem. If just one of you move forward to the NVZ your opponents will most likely target the partner still in the backcourt. Moving together on a potential overhead is also true; if you or your partner happen to throw up a bad lob, both of you should retreat together (stopping in the ready position just before your opponents make contact). In all of these above scenarios the same principle is true; move with your partner!
I’m sure you have heard this piece of advice “Pretend there is a rope connected to you and your partner.” But, how long should that piece of rope be?
You spry young members can probably leave a 9-10 foot gap between you and your partner.
For those of us over 75, that don’t move as well, I recommend a 6-8 foot gap to help reduce the space left open. Another tip for those of us who don’t move well, it’s advantageous to keep your ball in the middle of the court. This cuts down on the angles your opponents can use to attack.
A general rule of thumb for positioning in pickleball is to follow the flight of the pickleball in tandem, you will minimize angles of attack for your opponents.
After reading this tipbit I will hopefully hear less of this; “Where were you”! or “What are you doing back there?”