You would be wondering how to play pickleball? Have you been slacking in the game of pickleball lately? Have you identified reasons for this fallback? If you love pickleball but have not mastered the sport yet, here are the best tips you can get to escalate to intermediate and advanced levels. These essential tips will help you play pickleball like a pro in your next tournament. So, sit back and skim through these 13 helpful tips that can earn you not just a louder applause but a prize or two perhaps.
13 Useful Tips to Ace the Pickleball Sport like a pro
Follow these simple yet beneficial tips to become a professional at this amusing sport. Make sure to preach the same to your partner because in a game of doubles, teamwork pays off if done right.
1. Practice as Much as Possible
Nothing can be mastered without practice. Sports such as pickleball are like math; you might not get the hang of it unless you have solved the question more than a couple of times. Plus, strenuous practice makes champions. You must be dedicated to achieving your full potential in the game of pickleball, which requires constant practice.
2. Warm Up Before Stepping Foot in the Court
You cannot skip the initial warmup routine. This applies to all games, not only championships or tournaments. Allow your body to stretch for a few minutes and practice breathing. Find your focus, let your body relax and be game-ready! All it takes are 10 minutes. You can spare that much.
Warm Up Pickleball Tutorial-How to play pickleball
3. Always Remain Alert and Ready
In order to play pickleball like a pro, you need to be ready at all times during the game. Lose focus once and you might lose the entire game! Hence, make sure you are positioned correctly, are focused on the ball and remain alert. You may be caught off guard by your opponents, so don’t allow them this opportunity at any cost.
4. Learn to Dink Well
The dink is an essential part of the pickleball game. The recommended drill for professional players is to dink early and dink well! You can eventually take your game to another new level by practicing dinking more often. It requires patience, but you can set yourself the winning shot if you take the time out for it. You can also check the best Onix pickleball paddles for spin.
Basic Dink Video Tutorial
5. Identify Your Target Player
In this particular strategy, you must try and keep the ball away from the strong opponent. For that, you need to identify the player you intend to target. Now, keep the weak opponent busy on the ball and try to win the game without allowing the stronger opponent to counteract. This must only be practiced in competitive games.
6. Exercise Smart Serves
Serves can really make or break your game in pickleball. A challenging serve can stress out opponents, and that’s exactly what you want to achieve. Try to aim for their weakness or hit their backhand. If the backhand returns are strong, try to aim for the forehand. Make sure your serve gives you and your partner ample time to get up to the non-volley zone.
7. Serve in the Middle
Another tip related to strategic serving is to serve in the middle. Since the net is 2 inches lower in the center, you may use it to your advantage. If you serve close to the dividing white line, it tends to cause confusion in the opponents about which partner will reach out and hit the ball. Keep them busy figuring it out!
8. Keep Your Eyes on the Ball
Anticipation is great, but make sure you have your eyes on the ball at all times. You could sense where the ball may be headed, but don’t rely on this anticipation entirely. You could be wrong, and the opponent may simply be making you believe it. Watch the ball and be prepared to strike.
9. Hit Away from the Sidelines
Usually, players hit the sidelines to create a false illusion in the opponents’ head about where the ball is headed. Don’t fall for this overly-used strategy. Also, avoid hitting the ball close to the sidelines because your opponent may not fall for it. Try and hit away from the sidelines as much as possible.
10. Sync Your Movements with Your Partner
This is an essential tip that can really help you win it! Syncing your movements with your partner allows you to tackle the ball better. Follow and replicate the partner’s movement throughout the game. The moment you spread out and fall out of sync, that’s when the opponent strikes hardest. They see an opportunity and try to take advantage.
11. Support Your Partner
Be supportive of your partner throughout the duration of the game. If they are the stronger player, let them take the lead or else poach more often and cover their deficiencies. Don’t let pressure take over. Be there for them and maintain eye contact. A bad team attitude will surely result in lost synchronization and miscommunication.
12. Communicate Well
This point refers to keeping the communication lines open with your partner. This is one of the most important yet less practiced skill when it comes to doubles in pickleball. Try to call your shots to let them know you will be taking it and work with signals or gestures during the game. You may choose to create hand signals or learn one another’s body language. Whichever mode of communication you choose, make sure to practice it!
13. Keep Simple Shots
Even for professional players, simplified shots work wonders! Try not to incorporate difficult shots. They can be used when you are most comfortable during a game. Don’t take impulsive risks and stick to the D’s. Deep, hard-driving shots work best when the opponents are in the backcourt. Try to keep the surprise factor going, though. Reserve shots to defeat the opponent when they least expect it.
If you religiously follow these tips, you will surely defeat the opponent and become a professional at this game. Just make sure to keep it simple and unpredictable because that’s how you play pickleball like a pro! Take a look at the review I made about pickleball paddles here.