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By: CJ Johnson | December 29, 2016 |

Moving to the Net as a Team

Moving to the net as a team
My guess is at some point you have been told after you return the serve, no matter what type of shot you or your partner hit, run as fast as you can to the non volley zone. Sound familiar?  Are the results good or does the ball sometimes come back at you so quickly that you’re not in a position to defend?

Moving to the net as a team is generally a more effective strategy.

Unfortunately many of us, including me were taught to run blindly forward after the service return. When the third shot is a little high the ball gets slapped back and often we are not in a position to defend.

It’s often best to stay patient and move to the net as a team. Even if it takes 3, 4 or 5 shots to get to the kitchen line.

Just what does moving to the net as a team look like?

The analogy that gives me the best visual is that of a wall. If me and my partner are close to even with each other on the court we form a wall and that wall is hard for opponents to penetrate. If my partner is in front or behind me it’s easier for our opponents to find a hole in our defense.

The first segment of the video below, Laura Fenton-Kovanda is playing with Morgan Evans. Even though he is hitting a driving shot at his opponent the principle is still the same. They move forward as a team.

In the next section Laura is drilling my partner Janet and me on moving to the net as a team. We are trying to drop the ball in the kitchen, which gives us a little more time to move forward than the driving shot that Morgan used. No matter the shot the point is still the same, move forward and create a wall between you and your partner.

Moving to the net as a team

Every time I play with a new partner I work to move in unison with them and it’s helped me become a better player.

IF this was helpful, feel free to share!

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CJ Johnson

Hey there — I’m a professional three-sport athlete and coach who has spent my entire adult life earning a living from playing and coaching sports. Since I started coaching more than three decades ago, one thing has remained the same: My commitment to see students not as they are but as what they can become and to move heaven and earth to help them realize their untapped potential. You should know that when it comes to helping pickleball players over 50 live their best lives on and off the courts, I'm an expert. Good pickleball is not just technique; it's the mind and body working holistically. That's why I'm also a personal trainer and weight management specialist. When I’m chillin', you'll find me watching Star Trek with my husband John and our two fur babies, Shirley and Ralph. (Yes, Happy Days)