How to Handle a Pickleball Shot Down the Middle | Pickleball Doubles Strategy

How to Handle a Pickleball Shot Down the Middle | Pickleball Doubles Strategy

How to Handle a Pickleball Shot Down the Middle | Pickleball Doubles Strategy

3rd shots down the middle can be effective, particularly against returning teams that do not know how to counter them. This video shows you how to counter the middle 3rd shot.

The strategy in this video is for the returning team.

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Thanks for watching,

Tony Roig
In2Pickle Player Development

In2Pickle Instructional Videos
Pickleball
Strategy Series
Video 1
Covering the middle 3rd shot

33 Comments

  1. France Long on October 26, 2021 at 6:48 pm

    I love when you show the board and show plays



  2. Brian Scidmore on October 26, 2021 at 6:48 pm

    Thanks for showing us how not to attack the nvz line. the whole time jake is returning the ball it takes him 3 seconds to start moving forward after hitting the return serve. I always see these videos where people say the person at the nvz takes the shot up the middle. This means the person not at the nvz will never take the middle shot and will always trust their partner to get that shot. Another thing this is practice “hey when I return serve go ahead and hit it down the middle so I can be ready to move over and get that ball.” Yeah doesn’t happen Speaking about my self I love misdirection and If you we’re directly across from me at the nvz I would beat you every time either in the middle or down the line. Because your partner would not be helping defending the middle and the moment you moved to the middle I’d hit it down the line you move outside I’d hit it in the middle. So the question how do you defend down the middle. First return serve cross court if the third shot is returned again cross court there’s plenty of time to get that shot. The court should be broke down to 5ths the person at the nvz line should cover 2/5 near the outside line and the person returning serve should cover the other2/5 near the middle and the 5th that’s left cross court will take a great shot to hit, is not a percentage shot and as I said you will have plenty of time to get to. First step you should be at the nvz line when the serving team hits the ball. It’s 15 feet it’s 4 steps unless you have mobility issues you should be able to get there and if your walking to the nvz well.

    Anyway why not go out and hit different shots. Say try to trick me on the shot selections because that’s how games are played not like this. Defend 4/5 of the court all the time and you will win. There has been times when I’ve been out played on a shot where it was like how did you got that shot in. But Ive won more points by defending what I can defend instead of trying to take the whole half of the court. I’ve also won more points on people who I see talk on their side ok if the ball is here I’ll take it over there you take it. Next point I hit it in that same spot and they miss because every point is different and the moment you said this is what will happen when then happen that will never happen and you lose.



  3. margaret dunbar on October 26, 2021 at 6:50 pm

    In your example, am I to assume that the return of serve should always go to the person in front of the person at the baseline? All your examples seem to be this way. It is hard to tell because you only show half the court..



  4. Dave Stamm on October 26, 2021 at 6:51 pm

    Great educational analysis



  5. Tim Engelhardt on October 26, 2021 at 6:52 pm

    Great explanation and illustrations



  6. craig barbaro on October 26, 2021 at 6:53 pm

    Very helpful … I now have a reason for who should cover that shot. Not just ‘forehand’



  7. In2Pickle on October 26, 2021 at 6:54 pm

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  8. Jenny Adams on October 26, 2021 at 6:56 pm

    like this idea to watch onmy computer to play more better



  9. deborahr7878 on October 26, 2021 at 6:56 pm

    We like this format best. The use of writing, including shapes, and slow motion work well together.



  10. Orlena Sauer on October 26, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    Omg, thank you thank you… Since I have had surgery on both knees I have been trying to get this into my partners( any partner ) head, that this gives me more time to move up.. Team playing



  11. Art Worley on October 26, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    Great slow motion action helps us understand who best returns shot



  12. John Crawford Michael The Crawford's on October 26, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    #In2pickleball am a left hand player so what can I do to protect the middle form bangers player and lobers



  13. Susan Harrell on October 26, 2021 at 7:01 pm

    In 2 pickle has been my go to guide for learning the strategies of playing Pickleball!



  14. #tomkatunleashed on October 26, 2021 at 7:01 pm

    Great. And absolutely beneficial to provide the slo mos! Much appreciated!



  15. David Radio on October 26, 2021 at 7:02 pm

    Great info. Ty



  16. Jeff Whitehouse on October 26, 2021 at 7:02 pm

    excellent video. great format. I agree the slo-mo is great for making the point



  17. Ay! Caramba Bamba on October 26, 2021 at 7:03 pm

    Yeah, it opens the eyes wide. I’m just starting and love this game. I love strategy.



  18. Wong Lanang on October 26, 2021 at 7:04 pm

    Good video. I hope for those who used to tell me that the forehander supposed to take the middle ball, should watch this video.



  19. Brendan McLaughlin on October 26, 2021 at 7:05 pm

    Terrific video. Well narrated, easy to follow and graphics are effective. This should setle a lot of arguments about ‘whose ball is it?"



  20. Matt Karst on October 26, 2021 at 7:10 pm

    Great video Tony! Thank you for opening my eyes.



  21. Sue Bricker on October 26, 2021 at 7:12 pm

    Great format. Having the examples in real-time and slo-mo is very beneficial.



  22. Lynn Courtenay on October 26, 2021 at 7:12 pm

    Just rewatched this~ One of my favorite PB videos. Such an easy concept but so many rec players don’t understand this and are "married" to the idea that forehand takes the middle.



  23. Richard's World on October 26, 2021 at 7:14 pm

    Wow. Why don’t the top pros do this when playing for the mixed doubles gold medal?



  24. Lee Wallace on October 26, 2021 at 7:15 pm

    Like the format to see concept in play and in slo mo plus why you do what you should do



  25. Jim Jr44 on October 26, 2021 at 7:16 pm

    Love the videos, the concepts, the super graphics! But the real benefit to me, a 74 yo is the slow motion. So I suggest keep this approach up for an ‘old-timer’, not the whittling knife brand, but a player.



  26. Kim Mihan on October 26, 2021 at 7:19 pm

    So respecting the X no longer applies?



  27. Jack Follick on October 26, 2021 at 7:27 pm

    Like this format!



  28. Jennie Wigton on October 26, 2021 at 7:30 pm

    I Love your visuals and the answers to " the Why" .. thank you Tony, I’ve learned a lot by your videos!!



  29. Isabella Tonkavitch on October 26, 2021 at 7:30 pm

    Like the slow mo aspect! Makes understanding importance of lesson much clearer.



  30. Robert Jones on October 26, 2021 at 7:34 pm

    Another great video. I like your idea of letting you partner get to the NVZ without hitting the shot while on the run. Keep up the good teaching.



  31. Lynn Courtenay on October 26, 2021 at 7:35 pm

    This is very helpful. This issue comes up often in rec play and this clarifies so simply who, what and where. I love In2Pickle tutorials because in just a few minutes a concept is explained without all the extraneous music and talking.
    Also I love Jill’s fashion on the court! I see a Picklball fashion blog in her future~



  32. Jmang314 on October 26, 2021 at 7:39 pm

    I’m famous!



  33. Karen Shaffer on October 26, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    great tip constantly hear "your forehand" when trying to get to the net your advise makes sense on 3rd shot drop