Rec play is always a wildcard in pickleball. It is one of the reasons people cite ‘community’ as one of the best parts of the game.
That being said, you never know who you’ll get paired with on the court.
I’ve developed a pet peeve from the partner shuffle that I’d love to see disappear.
It’s when the opposing team returns the ball down the middle and my right-side partner runs around the ball to take it with their forehand.
Please don’t be that guy. I mean, there are many "guys" I don't want you to be when we're playing pickleball, but this is one of the most annoying.
It’s just recreational play, so we loosely adhere to the forehand takes the middle rule. It’s always good to get some backhand reps in.
But when the right-side player runs around a near-midline ball, it’s a recipe for disaster.
- The shot is usually hit while backpedaling. That means it’ll probably be popped up.
- It leaves too much court open. The other team can just tap their fourth into open court and the point is over.
On thirds, you want to keep the ball in front of you and move forward after the shot. If you're moving backward, you're starting the point on the wrong foot.
If this is you, stop it. If it’s your partner, it’s time to be more aggressive and start calling them off on balls down the middle.