In this lesson, coach Sarah Ansboury demonstrates one of the most important Doubles strategies in pickleball. Using the stagger strategy to transition to cover the middle and give your team the best chance to cover the ball and the entire court is the main pickleball strategy for a successful doubles team.
The purpose of this pickleball lesson is to show positioning and moving with your partner from the baseline to
the net or NVZ.
The key focus when playing pickleball doubles is to recognize where your partner is, always be ready for the ball to come to you, and focus on the shot you are hitting.
Coach Sarah demonstrates a drill that consists of how to move your position with a partner to the net (NVZ) from Zone 1 to zone 2 to zone 3. Both players start at baseline, then the ball is fed to player 1, and player 2 progresses to zone 2. The ball comes back. Can they poach? YES! When players move in a staggered position, roles are well defined, and it is easier to recognize who and when to poach.
Players should never move in a parallel line but always one zone away from each other.
We often never get a chance to get to the net to build a point. The more you set up these steps, the more you and your partner will get to the NVZ line and win more points on the way there.
Another lesson we recommend you watch to understand this concept entirely is Doubles Strategy - Blocking/Workhorse Dinking - Part 1. In this video, Coach Trey Sizemore introduces students to the importance of having roles on the court when playing doubles. Rather than playing as 2 singles players operating independently, this lesson will help the player understand his role and responsibilities. In addition, the lesson answers common questions like Who takes the lobs? Who hits the middle ball? What is the best shot for me to hit to put the team in the best position to stay in the point and ultimately win it?”
This video is Part 1 of 2 and demonstrates the concepts of ‘Big V’ and ‘Little V’ shot coverage responsibilities for the Blocker and Workhorse roles.
This is important to learn in doubles because it is fundamental to playing pickleball effectively and enables the team to defend 100% of the court at all times.
Naturally, this pickleball lesson should be followed by Doubles Strategy - Blocking/Workhorse Dinking - Part 2
In this video, Coach Trey Sizemore focuses on how the Blocker/Workhorse roles help determine which player should take a middle ball from the opponents and where to hit it. He demonstrates 2 middle ball options (one shallow and one deeper in the kitchen) and covers who should take each, why, and where they should hit the ball for best results. This is important to understand because balls hit to the middle of your court by the opponents often cause confusion between partners and cause mistakes that lose points by the ‘wrong’ player hitting the ball, no one hitting the ball, the ball being hit to the wrong place in your opponents’ court, and more.
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