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Defending the Lob in Doubles Pickleball: The Passive Approach

by The Dink Media Team on

One of the most panic-inducing moments in pickleball occurs when you see a lob floating overhead and out of reach.

Your head and your partner’s head snap back as you both pray to see the ball float out past the baseline.

Uh oh, it's in. Naturally, you let your partner run it down. But as a supportive partner, what's your next move?

Too often, players stay at the NVZ while their partner does the heavy lifting.

What you should do is retreat with your partner to match their depth in the court. If they're at the baseline, you should be at the baseline.

Watch the Johns Bros execute it twice in this point:

Chasing down and returning a lob is one of the hardest shots in pickleball. It's essentially a third-shot drop right after a full sprint. Chances are, it will not be a perfect drop.

Standing at the NVZ makes you a sitting duck in this scenario. It’s not good for your team or your health.

Retreating to the baseline puts you in a better defensive position for the next shot. So whether it’s you or your partner chasing down the lob, you both need to be on the move.

That's the idea if you're the partner who isn't retrieving the lob. If you're the partner who is, read more on how to hit and return the lob shot here.


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