Land of the Sky Tournament information can be found by clicking on the button above.

Newcomers to the site should note the pickleball book "chapters" in the left column and the repository of expert articles and videos in the right column.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Face the Ball

I previously posted an article called Follow the Ball in which the RV Picklers discussed how teams should move depending on where the is located in their opponents' court. The most important lesson from that article is:
""Follow the Ball" means exactly that. If the ball is hit down the left sideline one partner covers the left sideline and the other shifts toward the center line. When the ball is then hit cross court, closer to the right sideline, both players shift to the right, often times causing the “center” player’s foot to literally be on the T of the non-volley zone (NVZ) line."
But there is more to proper positioning than your teams' location on the court. The individual player's most effective position is to face the ball...or as Mark Rennesson calls it "Staying Square" in a new video.

Mark's video shows several examples (several of which are extreme, but silly). The best example, in my opinion, is shown below.

In this case, the player in green has just returned the ball crosscourt and the opponent return is coming toward the player in black. Note the positioning of each player's feet. Both players are facing the direction from where the ball is coming. The player in black has his feet parallel to the net since the ball is coming from directly in front of him. The player in green is also facing the ball but is angled since the ball is crosscourt from him.

Why is this important? As Mark states, "Being square to the ball better prepares you to play both forehand and backhand volleys. If you're not square, you're biased toward one side, leaving the other side vulnerable. Set yourself up facing the ball directly and you're prepared for anything."

Before ending this post, I want to refer back to the Follow the Ball article which was about team movement. Note that the teammates are together even in "no-man's land". Neither advanced more quickly than their partner and they maintained "the wall" as they erned their way to the kitchen line.

No comments:

Post a Comment