CJ Johnson Headshot
CJ Johnson
Tony Roig
Tony Roig

You’ve got this Strategy ALL WRONG!

Forehand in the middle basically says that any ball that traffics travels through the middle should be hit by the player whose forehand is in the middle.

In this pickleball video we test “Forehand in the Middle.” Is it right? There’s only one way to know.

We put this often cited pickleball “maxim” through three different situations to determine whether Forehand in the Middle holds up when put into practice.

The answer may surprise you.

Forehand in the middle governs a lot of play out there. If you’ve heard something more often than forehand in the middle, let us know in the comments below.

0:00 Introduction to the pickleball strategy “Forehand in the Middle”

1:11 Setting up the test with the three play time scenarios

1:44 Racquetball or backhand favoring player

2:55 One player up – one player back scenario

4:27 Left-handed / right-handed player combination

5:12 The flaw with Forehand in the Middle (backward looking)

6:34 A better alternative to Forehand in the Middle (we will test this one)

7:13 Alternate racquetball or backhand favoring player

8:48 Alternate one player up – one player back scenario

9:33 Alternate left-handed / right-handed player combination

10:30 Better Pickleball Strategy = Better Pickleball Play

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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.

1 Comment

  1. Avatar photo Mike Conner on July 27, 2023 at 4:10 am

    Hi Tony, I’ve listened to your podcast off and on for a while now and enjoy it! But I came across this newsletter and get so much more out of ‘seeing’ your explanation as you help me with the game strategies!

    The ‘forehand in the middle’ is a concept we usually play but the ‘best for the team’ makes so much more sense.
    My background is tennis all my life. But after retiring almost 3 years ago and 3 rotator surgeries, I’ve been playing pickleball as much as possible. I’m a 4.0+ player and always play with younger players, which has helped my game.
    I just turned 65 and looking forward to snowbirding in Auburndale, FL this winter….hopefully get in some games at ClearOne in Orlando, the senior games tournament and some high comp around the area.

    Anyway, enjoy your ‘take’ on the game to help us play more strategically, but being more mental to my advantage on the court. Hope to meet you on the court someday.

    God Bless,
    Mike Conner
    Kokomo, IN

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