You may have heard that for pickleball doubles play, the best option in many cases is “down the middle.” What does that mean exactly, and why is that important?
‘Down the middle’ means to place a shot almost exactly between your opponents.
There are two reasons to choose to shoot down the middle whenever you have options:
The first is it is more likely to stay within the boundaries of the court than an attempt at a diagonal shot. This is especially true if you are in a defensive position, such as returning a shot that came diagonally to you.
The other reason is that the return of the opponents will be weaker if they have to hesitate even for a hundredth of a second to decide who will return it.
Advanced players take this one step further. Knowing that the natural tendency of the forehand player is to poach the other player’s area, the shot is directed a bit more to the person in the backhand position.