Pickleball Strategy Guide

Pickleball Strategy Guide

Pickleball is an interesting and fun-filled game and it has gotten quite popular in recent years. The sport is actually a combo of table tennis, tennis, and badminton and it has attracted a lot of people because of its charm. If you are a beginner, you must be looking for some pickleball strategies that can make you more competitive. Though this game seems very simple, its players are always thinking about different ways to improve their game and play in a better way with their partners. To help you improve your game, we have made this short article with some of the best pickleball strategies available.

How to perform a great serve?

If you want to perform a great serve, don’t concentrate on trick shots or spins for your serve. You just have to focus on throwing the ball over the net and making your competitor move his/her feet. If you are intelligent enough to notice any weak forehand or backhand of your competitor, you can make a serve on that side so that he/she gets confused and it gets difficult to serve back. Try and place the serve deep in the court but don’t take a risk by hitting it out. Also, you should focus on serving the ball on a consistent basis. It is very important to reduce errors because you only get one serve attempt in the whole pickleball game.

Another pickleball strategy is to aim for the middle of the service box. This is the most low risk serve and it allows you to get the serve in bounds. This serve is better than a faulty one even if it’s not the fastest or best one.

Check This Awesome Video To Improve Your Serving Techniques

How to perform a great return?

The secret to performing a great return lies in confusing your rival. So, if you want to perform a great run you must focus on tricking your partner and confusing him. Now, to confuse your rival you must perform a return right down the middle and closer to the backhand of your rivals (any one of them). This strategy will confuse your rivals and they both won’t be able to decide as to who will hit the ball first. If you are lucky in confusing them the right way, both of them will try and hit it or both will leave it. Another benefit of delivering the return in the middle is that the chance of error is reduced as it crosses the lowest part of the net.

If you can’t easily make a shot right down the middle, deliver a return close to the side boundary line or the court’s rear. A good return will always keep your rivals to the back of the court. Another good strategy for performing a perfect return is to look for your opponents’ mistakes so that if your opponent is out of position you can benefit from it. Also, always make sure that when you are returning the serve, your partner is in the ready position and should be at the non-volley.

A tip to remember is that you should never attempt a short drop shot if you are a beginner. If you haven’t mastered a short drop yet, you must deliver a soft drop shot because this way you’ll team will have an edge over your opponents. A drop shot is a very important one and to master the game you must practice this shot for hours because only then you can improve and master it. Once you’ve mastered the shot and are an expert, you will have a big advantage over your opponents.

Third short strategies:

When the third short arrives, the games get very interesting. You can use one of these options for your third shot:

Down the line:

The ‘down the line’ option involves hitting the ball between the players in the middle. This shot is also called as ‘down the hallway’ because the line is close to the area of the court next to the net, which is called as ‘kitchen’.

The lob:

The lob shot can make your opponents confused and leave them surprised. The lob shot is effective particularly when the sun is in the correct position but if you are an expert at delivering lobs into back at your opponents, then you won’t need any reason.

Side drop shot:

The side drop shot is hit after the serve return at the backhand of the opponent. To hit it back your opponent will have to rush forward and will have to use the weaker side. After you have hit the shot you have to rush to the net to get ready for the return.

Middle drop shot:

The middle drop shot is also known as a version of the ‘down the line’ shot. If you deliver an effective shot the next step is to run to the net and be ready for the opponent because he/she will smash it over the top.

Drilling the net person:

Drilling the net person is a shot that is delivered straight to the net person to confuse him/her and test their ability. This shot will test the opponent’s ability to quickly react and move out of way or lob the ball.

Consider your grip:

While you are focusing on various pickleball strategies, it is equally important to get your basics right. One of the main pickleball skills involves holding the paddle right. To hold the paddle, you must keep your index finger on top of the paddle handle and make a continental grip by using the skin between the thumb and the finger. This way of holding will give you good grip and flexibility and allow you to take good angles for your return shots.

You can use the continental grip for playing all types of shots in pickleball and for that you don’t need to take your hand off the paddle either. If you want to increase your accuracy in shots, you can try the two-handed shots and use your other hand for stabilizing the paddle. To check which pickleball paddle has the best grip click here.

Work on your volleying skills:

Volleying is very important in this game and to improve volleying you must practice. If you want to master volleying, consider these tips;

  • Focus on throwing the ball ‘just’ over the net.
  • Always bend your knees so that your eye line is lower, and you make accurate shots.
  • Punch the ball with a flat paddle and never swing the paddle.
  • Aim your opponent’s feet for the volley.
  • Always be ready for the volley with your paddle ready, elbows in the front of the body, and knees bent slightly.
  • While you punch through the shot, keep your paddle steady and straight.

Communication is important:

Communication also plays an important role in this game because it’s a teamwork. You have to communicate with your partner in the right way so that there is no confusion. Good and successful teams communicate with each other throughout the game and that improves the gameplay. Clear communication is one of the best winning strategies in the pickleball game just like tennis. For example, if a ball is passing both the partners right down the middle, if there is no communication they both will leave the ball waiting for the other to hit. This mistake can be avoided if you are talking with your partner and you can set codes for that too. Short and clear words can help in this regard instead of sentences so that there is no confusion.

Play smart instead of hard:

Another pickleball strategy is to play smarter and not harder. When you are playing pickleball, you must know that a gap is always an easy target for your opponents, so never leave a gap between you and your partner. You both should be moving from left to right during the game. You can do this by imagining that you and your partner are connected to each other with a rope. You have to move in such a way so as to cover all the court but still maintain a small distance between you and your partner. You should focus on saving your energy which gets spent quickly running around the court. You can do this by covering the court very strategically along your partner.

Running and sweating gives an impression that you are playing harder but while you do this you must focus on your opponents and find more opportunities. A fact is that a slower and smarter player can easily defeat a faster and stronger player.


These were the pickleball strategies that can help you improve your game and make you dominant on the court. Whether you are playing a pickleball game of singles or doubles, your aim should be to use a unique strategy that can give you an advantage over the other team. Always start with assessing your skills in the game such as serving, returning, hitting, the volley, and the third shot. If you have a competitive nature, you’ll do well in the game. The main trick is to analyze the opponent’s weaknesses and use your strengths and you are successful in the game.

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