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.
That’s the way I felt during my last webinar.
So if you have had a bad day on the court, think about about why it wasn’t particularly a good day on the court (mechanics, grip, strategy), try to make those corrections, and get back out there!
Which is exactly what I’m doing here!
I’ve discussed numerous times that the court isn’t really divided into those nice 10 foot wide boxes. It’s really divided into three alleys, each about 7 feet wide.
Understanding this is critical! You and your partner cannot cover all 20 feet. You can each cover about 6 to 7 feet, which leaves about 6 to 7 feet open!
That’s why you need to move side to side to create a wall so your opponents don’t exploit the open areas!
I’ve talked about the alleys a good bit in the past, and if you want more information about alleys (including some alley instruction at a bootcamp), you can check it out here.
The Pickleball Court as a Chessboard
This is where it gets a bit…complicated.
Now, instead of viewing the court in three alleys, we can view the court more like a chessboard.
“That’s all well and good, Prem, but how is this going to help me on the court?”
I’m glad you asked!
It gives you a better idea as to where to place the ball from a strategic point of view.
Let’s look at the court if you were hitting the ball to the square of your opponent’s forehand:
Notice all the options that you’re giving your opponent. He or she can drive up the line to your backhand, can go to the juicy middle area between your and partner, or go crosscourt.
You’ve essentially opened up the court to your opponent!
Now let’s see what happens when we place the ball to the square over one, to your opponent’s backhand:
Chances are good that your opponent doesn’t have as powerful a backhand as the forehand, so the chance of a drive decreases dramatically.
Not only does the chance of a drive decrease, but so do his or her other options.
In other words, you are controlling the point! You are effectively dictating how your opponent will respond to your shot.
If you’re thinking what an advantage that is, you’re absolutely correct!
This is just one option, but you certainly have others on how you can control the point!
One-on-One at Bootcamp
During my one-on-one lesson at bootcamp, I break out some oncourt tools – six large rubber dots. I doubt that many would appreciate it if I tried to chalk the court like a chessboard!
I strategically place the dots like so (I’m using symbols here so you can get an idea of their correspondence, and if you decide to try this out, you can chalk the different symbols on the court):
Just like pieces moving on a chessboard, the symbols indicate where you should move when you make your shot.
Example: You (blue), standing on the plus, your shot is wide to the X; you move to the X in the middle of the court.
If you place it at the triangle, you move to the left.
Remember, this is a one-on-one session! In an actual game, there would be a partner that would be covering the middle in that last example!
So what’s the point of this? To illustrate two things.
First, the ball dictates your position on the court. If you are at the plus and your opponent hits it to the triangle, you move to the triangle.
Second, you dictate your position on the court based on where you made the shot.
The Leading Shoulder and Predicting the Future
No, I didn’t forget about the leading shoulder! You can read this article I wrote many moons ago!
Thank you for all your comments and suggestions in improving the content that I provide! Without GuruNation I never would have had the opportunities in the Pickleball World!
Want to Get Better at Pickleball and Elevate Your Game?
I have the kiddos for most of the year, so my travel is somewhat limited this year! But please don’t hesitate to come out to some of the camps I have on my schedule:
Bootcamp: https://pickleballhelp.com/bootcamp – Only one spot available in Richmond available in May; Denver in June is sold out; there’s Jasper, Indiana in July; and four spots available in Charlotte in August (indoor courts).
Use coupon code WEBINAR for $500 off State-side camps!
Foursome? Only $997 per participant!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details!
There’s also Bootcamp Express https://pickleballhelp.com/bootcampexpress in Richmond in May for only $497 with coupon code EXPRESS
Clinics https://pickleballhelp.com/clinic-tour-stops are only $97 for the 2-day / 5-hour experience! Locations: Richmond in May; Denver in June; Jasper, IN, in July; Charlotte in August.