Moving with your partner is a crucial part of pickleball. The old adage down the middle solves the riddle is popular because it is true.
Creating a gap between players and then exploiting the gap is one of the best ways to win a point. Selkirk coach Morgan Evans breaks down how to move with your partner in this video.
Of course, you have heard the advice “Pretend there is a string connected to you and your partner.” If they move left to cover the line you should also move left to cover the middle.
But how long should that piece of string be?
- Evans suggests that spry players can leave 9-10ft between partners
- For those that don’t move as well, Evans recommends a 6 - 8 ft gap to help reduce the middle gap
Evans also drops the tip that if you don’t move well it’s advantageous the keep the ball in the middle of the court. This cuts down on the angles your opponents can use to attack.
For players that lack mobility this is a big tip. Play smarter not harder. Focus dinks and drops to the middle of the court. Wait for a high ball that you can put away without having to hit an ATP or erne.
In addition to lateral separation, vertical separation between partners should be kept at a minimum. The court is longer than it is wide. A bigger gap is created when one partner is at the basline and the other at the NVZ.
It is easy for teams to exploit a gap that size. In most cases it is ideal to maintain the same depth as your partner on the court. That includes going back for a lob.
As partners you will want to retreat and advance as a team. This will reduce the open space your opponents can hit to.
For more tips to up your game and stay in the know, subscribe to The Dink Newsletter.