Pickleball is fun at any level. One of the best things about this game is how it can be enjoyed by people of all abilities – from total beginners to experienced pros, it’s always a good time. As you advance in your game, you might want to try some more interesting shots, and the “Bert” surely fits in that category.
Before You Can Bert, You Must Erne
The Bert is an advanced pickleball shot, and it is a variation on another popular shot, called the “Erne”. With an Erne, you jump over the corner of the non-volley zone to hit a volley while in the air, and then land out of bounds. Or, you might run around the non-volley zone and reach over the court to hit the shot. This is a way to play a volley from close to the net without breaking the rules and stepping into the non-volley zone.
Erne With a Twist
So, we’ve established what it means to play an Erne shot in pickleball. What is a Bert? It’s basically the same shot, only you are going to jump across the court in front of your partner to play the shot and then land out of bounds.
So, for example, if you are on the left side of the court, and your partner is to your right, you’ll jump in front of them to hit a flying volley while attempting to clear the non-volley zone. Obviously, this is not an easy shot, and it’s one that you and your partner will need to practice to make sure you are on the same page and know when you might put it into action.
Master the Basics First
Pulling off a Bert in the middle of a match is sure to get some attention, but it’s definitely an advanced move and one that you might mess up more than you get right. Think about focusing on the fundamentals first and only work on adding this to your game as your skills start to reach a high level.