Pickleball Tip for January from a Robson PPR Certified Instructor

Ron Hunt clowning with Jerry Lewis after Robson’s Open Tournament.

Ron Hunt clowning with Jerry Lewis after Robson’s Open Tournament.

Ron Hunt

Steve Arthur’s lovable voice calls out again, “Get to the net!” Good advice takes a long time to embrace, but we do get there. Then we forget, and again we hear the familiar loud refrain, “Get to the net!”

Well, when do we get to the net? It is nuanced to say the least. It changes as you move up the ratings to stronger games, but it is always a necessary skill. Still, here’s more advice.

When you do “get to the line!” it is good to remain there or we will hear, “Don’t back up!” A No. 1 error of people even up to the higher levels is backing up when you ought to stay at or close to the kitchen line.

When I back up, I give the other team the advantage, since they are still at the kitchen line. I am more likely to lose the point by hitting the net or hitting out, because I am back.

Are there times to back up? The answer is yes, when you have to. “Well, Duh!” You say. When is that? It’s complicated, and that’s where advanced coaching comes in here. But here is a very important tip to not make the above mistakes. “Take the ball in the air.” This is especially true when dinking or when up at the net.

There are exceptions, and here’s where informal and professional coaching or lessons help.

Pickleball is the most strategically complicated sport there is. That’s why learning from higher-rated players is invaluable. I have studied with many and continue to learn!

So if you would like to learn the game from a softer voice, but yet as encouraging as Steve’s, get in touch. I would be glad to help. And, thanks so much, Steve!

Ron Hunt is a 5.0 Robson player and certified instructor with the Professional Pickleball Registry. You may text him or call him at 218-330-5306. His email, if you prefer, is [email protected].