In today’s video/blog we’re going to talk about how to easily get up to the net.
So, if you’re on the serving team and you’re that player that constantly struggles working your way through that transition zone, this video is just for you.
I’m wondering if this has this ever happened to you?…You hit your third shot drop and you try to rush in as fast as you can so that you can get up to the non-volley zone.. The only problem is you are assessing the quality of your shot as you are running in and you are late to realize that your shot wasn’t as good as you thought it was.
So you are now a split second late on your split step and now you’re trying to play catch up and you’re on the defense.
There must be a better way.
Don’t worry there is.
If this hasn’t happened to you at least once in your pickleball career then you probably haven’t been playing long enough.
Working your way through the transition zone and getting up to the non-volley zone is one of the hardest things to do but once you master it this game of pickleball will seem a lot easier.
In this video/blog we’re going to show you how you can easily get up to the net without running in like a headless chicken.
Remember the goal is to get up to the non-volley zone line with your partner but you also must remember that it’s not a race. It’s okay if it takes one or two more shots to get there.
Let’s check out this point here (see video at top of post).. as this return heads towards me I notice that it’s going to be a really short return so I quickly get set up for a third shot drive.
This drive is in no way to win the point out right, as it shouldn’t be.
Maybe the net player will miss or pop it up for my partner to poach.
What I’m more interested in is an even shorter and weaker ball that I can easily handle and follow in to get up to the non-volley zone line.
After I hit my third shot drive I don’t just rush in. I wait and try my best to quickly assess the quality of my shot so that I can best prepare for the next one.
Next, I’ll split step and really take my time as I hit this next ball and fortunately I hit a good fifth shot drop into the kitchen.
Every point will be a little different. Sometimes you’ll get deep returns and sometimes you’ll get short returns.
Whether you choose to drive or drop your third shot, try not to just rush to the net every time.
There’s nothing wrong with taking your time and making sure that you are in control as you are making your way through that transition zone.
Now let’s show you a great way that you can work on this.
Alright, so now that you know that you shouldn’t just rush up to the net after you or your partner has hit the third shot, I’m going to show you a practical way that you can practice this as it will teach you patience and it will prevent you from just sprinting right up to the net after your third shot drop.
For this drill we will be using one half of the court.
I have my wife Katrina there at the non-volleys zone line and I’m at the baseline.
I have some cones set up. I have this first checkpoint here, we’ll call it checkpoint number one, it’s the orange checkpoint. Then I have checkpoint number two with the blue cones.
Katrina is going to feed me a ball which is going to be kind of like the return and then I’m going to hit my third shot drop (you can choose to hit a drop or a drive) and I’m going to cover this ground and make it at least up to this first checkpoint.
I’m going to come in split step, make sure I’m balanced and I have my weight on the balls on my toes. I’m going to try to control that ball, hit a neutral ball, making sure that I’m making her contact below the net.
That’s the whole purpose of a neutral ball.
Then, after I hit this this ball on this first checkpoint, I’m going to come up to checkpoint number two around the blue cones and then hit another ball.
After that I should be right up to the net.
This is a really great drill to keep you from just rushing and sprinting in after your third shot drop.
After you hit your 3rd shot drop or drive, you should quickly assess the quality of your shot AND THEN proceed with your transition.
Remember we want to get up to that non-volley zone line but we don’t want to rush up to fast and put us in a compromised position.
This is a really good drill to teach you patience, to really teach you to slow down the game and really get up to that non-volley zone line with ease and not trying to rush the situation.
Take your time. Take a few steps in, stop, split step, hit a nice balanced shot, neutral ball, forcing your opponent at the net to contact below the net then proceed and come in a little bit more, hit a split step, and hit another neutral ball. After that you can come right up to that non-volley zone.
We really hope you enjoyed this video/blog!