In this video I'm going to show you a common error that players make when they're playing doubles pickleball specifically it has to do with who takes this ball in the middle understanding the principles behind who takes this ball in the middle is key to effective pickleball play this is a common mistake made by players including here at the.

Pro level of pickleball after watching this video you'll have a better understanding of how to avoid this error resulting in much better doubles pickleball play let's get into it we're going to fast forward a bit in the match and show you a rally that clearly illustrates the error that can happen by not having a.

Clear understanding of this principle this is a recent PPA carvana tour finals women's finals match between on the left side Jesse Irvine and Jackie kawamoto and on the right side Anna bright and Anna Lee Waters throughout this analysis we intend no criticism of any player we appreciate their offers on the court efforts which allow us to learn from.

Their play Let's rewind the rally what you'll notice here is that Anna bright on the bottom right is dinking towards the middle of the non-volley Zone on the opposite side even though the balls are heading towards Jackie kawamoto Jesse Irvine keeps on Reaching Across to hit those balls to hit those dinks and that is what's what ultimately results in an.

Error by dressy hitting the ball into the net Jesse Reaching Across to hit dinks that were headed heading towards her partner Jack he was not an isolated incident this is earlier in the match and what you're going to see is you're going to see dinks that are going towards the middle repeatedly hit by Jesse intercepted by Jesse with her.

Backhand balls that are heading towards Jackie in which Jackie would be better able to handle and do more with Jesse continues to take and even though she's not missing these balls you'll see that she can't do much with them again no criticism of Jesse here this is a very common mistake that many players make at all levels including at the pro.

Level what I'm going to show you here is let's rewind this rally and I want you to look at Jackie her partner and look at Jackie's movement as Jesse takes these balls Jackie's getting herself set to hit these balls but because Jesse keeps taking them Jackie is essentially frozen out of this rally and is unable to help.

Her partner with balls particularly like this one that was going to set up and that Jackie could have done something with her forehand by Jesse taking these balls Jackie's essentially frozen out of this rally in addition to freezing your partner out and also creating shots that you can't really do much with this type of shot is mechanically very.

Difficult and prone to error here what you're going to see is as Jesse reaches to her left she's in a sort of awkward position here and she's trying to hit that ball from the the left side of her body across her body into the into Anna Bright's backhand diagonal from her that is a very difficult shot to hit and as you can see Jesse makes an error Jesse.

Puts her hand up here I don't know if it's because she reached for the ball I'm not sure I can't get into her mind but my guess is she realized that that's a ball she should have let go through so far we've identified three deficiencies that can arise from this common mistake of Reaching Across to hit those balls that are coming across the.

Middle number one the mechanical errors that occur because the shot is so much more difficult number two the freezing out of your partner and number three the inability to really do anything with those balls because of the fact that you're not in a position to do anything with them as the ball travels away from you.

In this rally what I want to show you is the amount of space that gets created when Jesse comes across to hit this ball and also look at Jackie her partner has to move out of the way so that Jesse can get in there again making it very awkward for her to play this rally effectively I'm gonna let this rally run to the end so that you can see what.

Happens when you let your partner get more involved and in fact take the final shot in the middle putting away the rally if you're enjoying the video make sure you subscribe to the channel and hit that like button it'll help you receive other content just like this we specialize in these rally breakdowns to show you what's going on on the.

Pickleball court before we get to what you should actually do when the ball is traveling across the middle either towards you or towards your partner let's look at one more fatal mistake that can happen when you reach across the middle and it has to do with defending attack shots hit by your opponents.

As you saw in this rally Annalee waters on the top right of the screen is going to attack this fall here the way that Annalee attacked this ball the ball is traveling towards Jackie you can see Jackie is going to move towards defending this ball and has her paddle ready to defend the ball which is traveling towards her but Jesse reaches.

Away from her body and clips the ball not allowing Jackie to defend this shot although it would have been hard to defend this shot no matter what you always want to give your team the best chance possible to defend it and that would have been allowing the ball to travel through to Jackie in this rally we have the Good Fortune of having a.

Replay from another angle where you can see Jackie clearly setting up to defend this shot and Jesse Reaching Across clipping it effectively reducing the chances of her team defending the attack shot in this rally we're going to see what you actually do want to do when the balls are traveling across the middle.

Again not a criticism of Jesse here but there is a difference in this rally which is that Jesse's on the left now and Jackie is on the right and what we're going to see is when Anna Lee and Anna make it up to the non-volley zone and start dinking when those middle dinks occur you'll see Jackie release the ball or let the ball go through and.

Allow Jesse to hit those dinks notice how when the ball comes across the middle Jackie prepares to hit it but then allows the ball to go through allowing Jesse to take that ball by Jesse being able to hit these dings Jesse can more easily control the shot and also has the potential of doing something with the ball if the.

Opportunity presents itself the principle in action here or the pickleball strategy that is in play here is one that we have coined as respecting the x or respect the X we have an entire playlist on respecting the X which I'll link to above and you can check it out so you can learn more about respecting the X and how it impacts play applying.

The respect the X principles to this rally what you would do is connect the players diagonally along the axes of an X that would connect Jesse and Anna and Anna Lee and Jackie once you have this x established then balls there to hit along an x-axis should generally be hit by the player on the other end of that same x-axis.

As you can see in these two dings hit by Anna across the middle Jackie allows the balls to go through to Jesse which is the proper application of the respect the X principle resulting in optimal pickleball play now that you have an understanding of the respect the X pickleball strategy you can see how in the initial rally.

That we started this video with when Jesse reaches over to take those dinks that are traveling across the middle of the court at the middle of the non-volley Zone she is breaking the X right not respecting the X resulting in less than optimal play and ultimately resulting in an error in the rally you're also more able to clearly see how.

Breaking the x or not respecting the X when there's an attack ball put your team in the least favorable position to defend that shot respect the X allows you and your partner to avoid these uncomfortable situations where nobody knows who's gonna hit the ball and instead allows you and your partner to clearly know.

Who's going to hit the balls that are traveling across the middle resulting in optimal pickleball play I'm going to include a link here to the respect DX playlist you can check that out and I'll also link to another video that you can watch to continue your pickleball learning when you're ready to really elevate your game join us inside a.

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Who takes the middle ball? That question confuses pickleball players at all levels. Whether you are at the baseline or up at the non-volley zone, players who understand “Respect the X” put their team in the best position to win the pickle ball game.

In this video, we’re going to walk you through this pickleball double strategy using a game breakdown to show you how “Respect the X” works in real-time. We’ll cover everything from basic positioning to more advanced techniques, so you can become a master at “Respecting the X”.

0:00 Introduction
0: 33 Slo mo examples
1:47 The Partner Problem
2:25 The Mechanical Problem
3:30 The Open Court Problem
4:10 How NOT to defend an attack shot
5:10 What You SHOULD do with a middle ball
6:00 Respect the X

By learning to Respect the X, you’ll know how to position yourself on the court, anticipate your opponent’s moves, and maximize your shot-making opportunities. You’ll also learn how to take advantage of your opponent’s weaknesses and force errors.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting to play pickleball, this strategy can help you take your pickleball game to the next level.

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Stay well out there.

Tony
WeArePickleball Player Development
Tony@wearepickleball.com
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