Did you ever lose a pickleball game because your opponent hit a bert against you? Or you might have seen an advanced player use it in a recent tournament.
Bert in pickleball is a shot mostly used by professional players to volley the ball and is very similar to Erne.
In this guide, we will explore all about bert and how you can effectively execute it to baffle your opponent in the next game. We will also briefly discuss what Erne is in pickleball and how it is different from Bert.
That said, let’s roll in!
What is Bert In Pickleball?
Bert is basically an erne played in your partner’s half. The player who’s hitting a bert rushes across the court to their partner’s side and jumps over the non-volley zone to volley the ball towards the opponent. The main thing about Bert is that the player has to run across the court in front of the partner and attack the ball midair.
Just as in Erne, the player hits the ball either while jumping around the kitchen or just after landing next to the kitchen.
Here’s a video of Zayn Affleck hitting a perfect bert.
How Is Bert Different From Erne?
In simple words, Bert is a modified form of Erne. This means both techniques have a similar mechanism of execution. Both these strategies require the player to hit the shot from outside the kitchen close to the net while the ball is midstream.
However, in Erne the player doesn’t run across the court toward the partner’s side but hits from his own side of the court. This is the single basic difference between the two shots.
Performing an Erne takes the opponent by surprise, who is not anticipating such a shot. However, you must be patient enough to let the ball cross the net before attempting to strike it with your paddle.
Why Should You Bert In Pickleball?
Just like other pickleball techniques like shake and bake and stacking, executing Bert has its own set of advantages. When performed correctly, you can use Bert as a winning strategy to turn the game in your favor. Let’s explore some of the reasons why you should use Bert in a pickleball game:
1. Confuses the opponent
When Bert is tactfully executed, it catches the opponent off guard. This is because the opponent has not expected such a volley amid the monotonous series of shots from the opposite player. Hence, the opponent comes under pressure and is unable to return the shot.
2. Wins You a Point
Since Bert is aimed at volleying the ball towards the opponent’s feet or anywhere out of their reach, it is difficult to return. This helps you win a point.
3. Useful while Stacking
The execution of Bert is particularly useful while the players are also stacking. During stacking, one member of the team jumps over to the partner’s side of the court with their forehand in the middle.
How To Perfectly Execute a Bert
The perfect execution of Bert is more about preplanning rather than the actual performance. You must also give a hint to your partner before hitting a Bert so that they are not taken off guard when you leap into their part of the court. Other than these, hitting a Bert is pretty much similar to hitting an Erne.
The key to hitting a good Bert is to play a couple of low-power shots on the side where you want to Bert. The goal is to coax the opponent to hit a shot toward the desired sideline. This part of the strategy is to be executed by your partner.
Then, when your opponent is just about to hit, quickly advance towards the area outside the kitchen of your partner’s side.
Lastly, attack the ball while jumping outside the kitchen or when you establish yourself outside the kitchen. Make sure to hit a powerful shot toward the opponent’s feet.
What To Avoid While Hitting A Bert?
According to the rules of pickleball, volleys have to be executed from outside the kitchen zone. This means that while hitting a Bert or Erne you must take care not to be in contact with the non-volley zone line. In case you touch the non-volley zone, quickly jump out to the sideline before hitting the shot.
Also, it is a good idea to first master Erne before moving toward Bert.
Bert is a shot usually used by pro players. It is similar to Erne in performance, except that it involves the player crossing over to the partner’s side of the court. It is hit from the area next to the kitchen. When executed the right way, it can prove a game-winning strategy.
Since it is commonly employed in doubles games, you must ensure proper coordination with your partner! You can use hand signals to tell your opponent about your intention to hit a bert.