What Is A Bert In Pickleball | Explained

Pickleball has gained a lot of popularity in recent years and for good reason. This fast-paced sport combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, making it a fun and exciting way to stay active. One of the most intriguing shots in pickleball is the bert. But what is a bert in pickleball, and how can you use it to your advantage? In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about this shot.

What Is A Bert In Pickleball?

A bert is a type of shot in pickleball that is hit with a lot of spins. It’s similar to a slice in tennis but with even more spin. The idea is to hit the ball so that it spins out of the reach of your opponent, making it difficult for them to return. The term “Bert” comes from the name of the man who invented the shot, Robert “Bert” Myrick.

How To Hit A Bert In Pickleball?

To hit a bert, you’ll need to use a backhand grip. Start by positioning yourself slightly to the side of the ball, with your body facing the net. As you swing, bring your paddle across your body, brushing the ball with the side of the paddle. This will create a lot of spin, causing the ball to curve in the air.

When To Use A Bert In Pickleball?

The bert is a great shot to use when you want to throw off your opponent’s rhythm. It’s especially effective when you’re playing against someone who likes to stay close to the net, as the spin will cause the ball to bounce away from them. However, it’s important to use the bert sparingly, as it can be difficult to control and may lead to errors if you’re not careful.

Tips For Hitting A Bert In Pickleball

  • Practice, practice, practice. The bert can be a tricky shot to master, so make sure you’re putting in the time to perfect your technique.
  • Focus on your follow-through. The more you brush the ball with the side of your paddle, the more spin you’ll create.
  • Use your body to generate power. The bert requires a lot of wrist and forearm strength, so make sure you’re using your entire body to execute the shot.

Avoid these 7 Mistakes When Hitting a Bert in pickleball

When playing pickleball, it’s essential to avoid certain mistakes when hitting a ball using the backhand technique, commonly referred to as a “Bert.” Here are seven common errors to avoid:

Poor positioning: 

Make sure you position yourself correctly before attempting a backhand shot. Your body should be balanced and aligned with the ball’s trajectory to achieve optimal contact.

Incorrect grip: 

Ensure you have the right grip for the backhand shot. In pickleball, a semi-western grip or an eastern backhand grip is commonly used. Experiment with different grips to find what works best for you.

Lack of preparation: 

Be prepared for the shot by setting your paddle early. Keep your paddle up and ready, positioning it behind you in the appropriate spot to generate power and control during the shot.

Late contact: 

Timing is crucial in hitting a backhand shot. Striking the ball too late can result in a weak shot or completely missing the ball. Focus on tracking the ball and initiating your swing early to achieve proper contact.

Poor footwork: 

Footwork is often overlooked, but it plays a significant role in hitting a backhand shot effectively. Ensure you are in the right position with your feet properly aligned to generate power and maintain balance during the shot.

Incorrect swing path: 

Maintain a smooth swing path to ensure clean contact with the ball. Avoid swinging too steeply or too horizontally. Aim for a controlled and fluid motion that allows you to generate power and accuracy.

Lack of follow-through: 

Finish your backhand shot with complete follow-through. A proper follow-through helps maintain control and adds power to your shot. Extend your arm and paddle towards the target after contact, ensuring a smooth and balanced finish.

Remember, practice is key to improving your backhand shot in pickleball. By avoiding these common mistakes and dedicating time to refining your technique, you’ll be on your way to hitting successful Berts consistently.


The bert is a unique and effective shot in pickleball, but it’s not for everyone. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort to master the technique, it can be a valuable weapon in your arsenal. Just remember to use it wisely and sparingly, and you’ll be sure to keep your opponents on their toes.


Is the bert legal in pickleball?

Yes, the Bert is a completely legal shot in pickleball.

Can I hit a bar with a forehand grip?

It’s possible to hit a bert with a forehand grip, but it’s much easier and more effective to use a backhand grip.

What’s the difference between a slice and a bert in pickleball?

A slice is a shot that is hit with some spin, but not as much as a bert. The bert is a more extreme version of the slice, with much more spin.

What are some tips for hitting a successful Bert shot?

To hit a successful Bert shot, a player needs to have good footwork, timing, and technique. It is important to practice the shot and know when to use it to catch the opponent off guard.

What are some tips for hitting a successful Bert shot?

To hit a successful Bert shot, a player needs to have good footwork, timing, and technique. It is important to practice the shot and know when to use it to catch the opponent off guard.

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