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Simone Series - Transition Zone

The Simone Series: Transition Zone

Pickleball pro, Simone Jardim, shares her input on the transition zone and how to make the decision to move forward or stay back.What is the transition zone? The “transition zone” is the area of the court in-between the baseline and the non-volley zone (NVZ). Even though the majority of your shots in pickleball will be from the baseline or the NVZ, being able to succeed in transition is still a big part of the game.Times when using the Transition Zone is important:
  • When you or your partner have not hit a good third shot
  • When your opponent has hit a good return
Judging how to move forward or stay back:
  • When your partner is hitting a third shot drop you should be watching them hit and quickly assessing their shot to decide whether to move up or stay back. Before they hit their third, take a couple steps in and then watch them hit their third. If they:
    • Hit a good shot – make your way to the NVZ
    • Hit an “okay” shot – stay put and defend from your current position
    • Hit a bad shot – move back to the baseline, or even further depending on the height of their ball.
  • It is also important to communicate/listen to your partner to decide whether to move in or stay back.
    • Common verbal cues:
      • “Watch” – Proceed with caution
      • “Back” – Stay back
      • “Go” – Move in
How to practice: Getting better in the transition zone usually means you're more comfortable being there. To be more comfortable make sure you're practicing hitting shots in the transition zone during practice. One you feel comfortable standing in one place, work on moving forward and backward in the transition zone.

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