An Elite Pickleball Maneuver: the V-Lock

Ben Johns and Anna Leigh Waters show off an elite pickleball maneuver, the V-Lock.

The 'V-Lock' is a critical part of ALW & Ben John's success.

It’s a forehand-in-the-middle thing. For you lefties, reverse everything, but the following still applies.

In the video above, Ben isn’t just isolating his opponent Anna Bright -- he and ALW are locking her in a corner with their “V” positioning, forcing her to decide which poison to drink:

  • Does she want to get into a dinking war against the best backhand dink in the game?
  • Dink straight ahead to ALW and deal with her speed-up?
  • Attack the middle through ALW’s and Ben’s best counter-attack?

All options suck!

Look at the screenshots below and check out how Ben forced her into her worst option (speeding up through the middle).

Look at his position - he’s squeezing middle, but not so much that he leaves AB’s cross court backhand dink (her best shot) wide open, but JUST ENOUGH to bait her into attacking through an area that he has locked down with his forehand.

Your positioning here may not be exactly the same, but it’s super important that you know where your “squeeze spot” is.

How close can you pinch the center line to counter a middle attack, but still cover the cross court dink? Know this spot on the court - it’s hugely important to create this V lockdown.

Once the hands battle begins, Ben (forehand middle) squeezes center even harder.

Why? Because he knows the ball has to travel through the middle of the net at some angle.

Very rarely during a hands exchange will the ball get hit through a tiny short angle. Middle forehands, squeeze the center hard (straddle the middle, if necessary) once the firefight begins.

This court positioning is absolute perfection from both ALW and Ben, and it's why they dominate together.

It’s a simple geometry game, kids.

Read Next: Avoid This Common Mistake While Covering the Middle in Pickleball

Know the angles and learn how to cover them, while simultaneously, leaving your ego on the bench.

Dayne Gingrich is a Mental Performance Coach. Follow him here.

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