The prime beauty of Pickleball is, this is just not a game of force. If you’re a strong person with the habit of hitting the ball quarter mile away every time, scoring in pickleball might be tough for you. Knowing your pickleball strategy will give you an edge over your opponents.
Pickleball is a game of power and intelligence combined. Rather than hitting the ball mercilessly, the success in pickleball depends on the placement of the ball at the right place with the right power. You need to know how you can use your opponent's aggressiveness in your favor, or how to exploit the situation when they’re returning with weak shots.
Whether you’re a newbie or a professional player, getting to learn one or two tricks can be beneficial always, right? This pickleball tips guide will give you some idea about how you can increase your chance of scoring in this game.
Start With A Simple Serve
Many people try to get creative with the serve, so creative that they end up doing a faulty serve. There are many serves out there, power serve, spin serve, deep of short serve, but the first priority should be getting that serve into your opponent’s court.
You don’t need to worry about a super tricky or spin shot, just focus on compelling your opponent to move his/her feet. Try to put that serve deep in the court, because that will put your opponent on the defensive. The serve will push him back and force him to hit a deeper return with less power, which will help you to take control of the play.
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Make Your Return Count
If you’re playing in doubles, it’s always helpful to confuse your opponents. When you are returning, it’s a good option to put the ball in the middle. This will compel your opponents to take a decision who will hit the ball. If there is a lack of synchronization between them, they will both go for it, or more ideally, they both won’t!
If you don’t have an ideal position to put the ball in the middle, then play near the court’s boundary line. The idea is to keep them to the back of the court.
A good pickleball strategy is before return serve, look if any of the opponents are out of position. That might not always be the case, but if it is, take full advantage.
Play With Your Brain At The Third Shot
The third shot is where the game gets exciting. There’s a great space for creativity here. If you keep your head in the game and choose your shot option wisely, the game is yours.
Let’s check some common options for your third shot.
- Straight to the middle- The option includes hitting the ball right at the middle of the players. This will confuse them about who will hit the ball. They might both try to hit the ball or leave it thinking the partner will take it.
- Targeting the net person- This a straight shot aimed at the net person. The person will have to react quickly to a weaker shot or move out of the path.
- Drop shot- After you opponent returns the ball to you, hit a drop shot, ideally to the backhand side of your opponent. This will force him to rush towards the ball and make a weak return. After making the shot, rush to the net to take full advantage of that.
- Drop shot in the middle- It’s kind of drop shot, only intended to be put in the middle of two players. If the shot is successful, rush to the net for an aggressive shot.
Use A Continental Grip
Pickleball tips are good for enhancing your effectiveness, but getting your fundamentals right is always the first priority. One of them is knowing how to hold the pickleball paddle. A good player should use the continental grip with the middle skin part between your thumb and the index finger on top of the handle.
How does this grip help you? It will make making return angle shots easier and volley much more effective. Every pickleball shot you want to play, you can play it with this grip.
If you want more accuracy, you can play with two hands. Just hold the paddle with two hands to stabilize and get expected accuracy.
Spice Your Shots A Little
Sometimes, new players make this mistake. They hit the ball towards their opponents as hard as they can and help their opponents to choose the shot. Instead always look for moving them to get the ball. Hitting the ball between players, at the rear side or simply at their feet will do the trick.
Generally, the backhand is the weaker area of a player. Exploit the weakness with hitting the ball towards their backhand as much as possible.
Don’t Get Lazy! Keep Your Feet Moving
The pickleball strategies can also be used by your opponents, right? So do not show weakness you would like to see in your opponents. Always keep your feet moving and be ready for quick response. Watch closely and search for hints about where your opponent can place the ball next, this will give you one or two extra seconds and help you win the round.
Master Your Volleying Skill
A good volley will win you the point most of the time. It’s an important skill and if you do it right, it can be very effective.
- Do not tilt your paddle while hitting the ball, hit it with the flat surface.
- Primarily target should be getting the ball just over the net. A tricky shot means nothing if it does not get past the net.
- Bend your knees a little and for keeping the eye line lower, this will increase your vision of the game and help you follow the ball more closely.
- Stay ready for hitting the ball, knees slightly bent, paddle prepared and elbows ahead of your body. Try to place the volley to your opponents’ feet.
- Put enough power in the shot using your shoulder and elbow, but not indiscriminately. Control your shot to avoid going over the line.
Mastering the game will need some time and of course, practice. We hope these pickleball tips will give you some advantage during your gameplay. The key is keeping your heads calm, buy yourself time with every shot and place your shots at the right place. No need to put power on the shot all the time, rather slightly destabilize your opponents a little before you go hard on them.
What Pickleball strategy you follow most? Let us know your own tips and tricks.