This video talks about avoiding taking too many steps or doing a crossover when playing at the non-volley zone (NVZ). There are several reasons to use efficient footwork at the NVZ line but mainly
- Taking a lot of steps throughout the course of a game/match can wear you out
- Taking too many steps can take you out of position and create gaps that your opponents can exploit
- Doing a crossover step puts your back to your opponents and makes it difficult to defend an attack
You can avoid taking too many steps by doing a single lunge and then coming right back. Coming back into position with your paddle up ensures that you are always ready for any attacks.
You can avoid doing a crossover step by shuffling to the side and then shuffling back. Crossing one foot over the other may seem more efficient in this case but, because your back is turned to your opponents, you are vulnerable to attack when your dink isn’t quite perfect. If the dink floats or bounces high, and your opponents attack, then you might not be back in position in time to effectively defend. If you do a lunge and shuffle back to position then you’re always square to your opponents (and don’t end up with your back to them) and ready to defend an oncoming attack.
If you are not comfortable lunging, you can practice with lunging exercises off the court. You can lunge to one side and then come back for X number of reps and then repeat the same number of reps on the other side. You can also do alternating lunges where you go from one side to middle to the other side and back to middle. If you are comfortable lunging in this fashion off the court, the movement will feel more natural while playing.
I hope you find this information helpful. See you on the pickleball courts!