By: Tony Roig | April 2, 2021 |

Have You Become a Robotic Stacker?


Are you stacking the way you should be stacking? Some pickleball players regularly stack. To other players, the mere suggestion of “stacking” makes them break out into a sweat.

As a preliminary matter, stacking is a fantastic tool that all pickleball players should add to their toolkit. But … robotic stacking – more on this below – reduces the concept of stacking to just a different inflexible way to play the game.

Players who do not stack play the game subject to the whim of the score. Their positions are based entirely on the score and often prevent them from being in the most advantageous formation.

The same sort of thing happens with teams who robotically stack. “Robotic” stacking means that players arrange themselves according to the stack – every time – without considering whether this formation is the best one for them at the time. They are in a similar, albeit somewhat better, position as the team that does not stack at all.

Stacking is a tool to be used when it makes sense – when it makes your team stronger / increases your chances for success. And it is a tool to be set aside when it no longer makes sense – when it makes your team weaker / reduces your chances for success. A chainsaw is an excellent tool for removing a fallen tree but is probably not the right choice if you are installing cabinets.

Stacking is the same. Use it, but only when it makes sense. That may be the entire game. It may not.

To decide when and how to stack (or reverse stack), you need to understand what you are trying to accomplish. What is the situation you are facing? What are your strengths? Weaknesses? These and more.

Once you understand the full scope of what you can do when you add stacking into your skillset, the game will open up for you. You will know the when and how of stacking so you can maximize your advantage each rally.

Get your free guide to stacking and join us in our masterclass The Stacking Lab.  You will have the information you need to bring your stacking game to the next level – and dominate with it.

We’d love to know what you think about stacking. Please put it in the comments below.

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Tony Roig

Hola. Hello. Konichiwa. After 40 years playing tennis, I am now a full-time pickleball player and professional. As a 5.0 rated Senior Pro Pickleball Player and an IPTPA-certified Master Teaching Professional, my focus is on helping players like you learn to play their best pickleball. In 2016, shortly after starting to play pickleball, my friend Tom and I jumped into the highest division at the first US Open in Naples, Florida. That morning it became clear just how much there is to learn in this seemingly simple sport – a lifetime of learning if you so choose. Since 2018, I have been on a mission to share my knowledge of pickleball so other players can enjoy the game at a higher level and attain their pickleball objectives. When not studying or playing pickleball, I like to travel with my other half, Jill.