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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Rescue Shots

Get me out of this mess...

We have all been there - out of position, on the defensive, fighting to keep the point alive. We talked about one situation in yesterday's post about resetting the point after a bad third shot puts you under attack. But there are other game scenarios where we need to find a "rescue" shot, i.e., a shot to get us out of trouble. Sarah Ansboury has article at the RV Picklers' site titled What Should I do When I’m Out of Position on the Pickleball Court in which she gives us some advice. An excerpt is shown below.

Don’t Panic

Often players find themselves in a defensive position and panic. Out of panic, players try to go straight from defense to offense.  This is the equivalent to a pickleball hail Mary…it only works one out of 100 times.  Instead, your goal should be to move from a defensive to a neutral position.  To do that, consider these three things.

Give Yourself Time to Recover

Your first goal should be to hit a ball that will give you time to recover.  Usually, this is a ball that will travel further…i.e. cross-court.  Too often players are only concerned with getting the ball over the net.  In a panic, they swat at the ball in the air.  When you are out of position, allow the ball to bounce in front of you and consciously slow the ball down and aim cross-court.

Split Step

Wherever you are on the court, or off when your opponent makes contact with the ball split step.  Again, our tendency is to panic and run from outside the court back to the middle.  However, this opens the opportunity for the opponent to hit behind you.  It is almost impossible to change directions again to recover the ball where you just were.

Whenever I find myself running off the court to retrieve a ball, I try to resist the urge to run back to the center.  Instead, my goal is to stand up and split step wherever I am.  The split step allows me to move in any direction…forward, back, left or right.  It is ten times easier to move to the position I need to be if I begin in a balanced, upright position.


Whenever you are out of position, take a breath to reset yourself. When we find ourselves scrambling on defense, panic sets.  When this happens, we speed ourselves up only compounding the problem.

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