Do you want to know how to get better at Pickleball?
We all want to get better at Pickleball, our favorite game, so let’s go through some pickleball tips and strategies that can help you improve.
An often quoted line from Bruce Lee is “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.
This quote emphasizes the importance of focusing on improving one aspect of your game rather than trying to improve everything at once.
There are many areas of a Pickleball game that require strategy. Players who want to develop their Pickleball strategy know that this game, like most sports, is full of unforced errors. The player or team that makes the least errors will win points.
Trying to make every shot a winner creates pressure and causes risky play. On the other side of the discussion, constantly playing in the mid court and not taking some risks can also give you a soft game.
The best position is to try to move to the non volley line and drive your opposing team back. This will give you an open court and more time to make your next shot selection.
What Pickleball strategy will you focus on?
- How to improve your Pickleball footwork
- How to stop hitting high balls in Pickleball
- How to keep the ball low in Pickleball
- How to increase your power in Pickleball
Here is more detail on these Pickleball strategy tips…
How to improve your Pickleball footwork
First, focus on your footwork. Having quick and nimble feet will help you get to the ball faster, increase your reaction time and put you in a better ready position to hit it.
Below, we’ve listed a couple of our favorites. Give them a try and see how they can help you take your pickleball game to the next level.
1. Side-to-Side Drill: This drill is designed to help improve your lateral movement. Start by standing on one side of the pickleball court. From there, quickly shuffle from side to side, making sure to keep your feet shoulder-width apart. As you move, focus on keeping your weight balanced and maintaining a low center of gravity. After 30 seconds or so, take a break and then repeat the drill.
2. Front-to-Back Drill: This drill is designed to help improve your forward and backward movement. Start by standing at the back of the pickleball court. From there, shuffle quickly towards the kitchen line and then back again. As you move, focus on keeping your feet shoulder-width apart and maintaining a low center of gravity. After 30 seconds or so, take a break and then repeat the drill.
Improving your footwork will also improve your skill levels. Being stronger and more agile allows you to run for a drop shot or forehand shot that may usually shoot past you.
Pickleball hitting techniques
How to stop hitting high balls in Pickleball
If you’re finding that you’re accidental high shots are costing you points in pickleball, there are a few things you can do to change that to help you win more points against your opponent.
To avoid hitting these high shots, focus on your grip.
A tighter grip will help you control the ball more and stop unforced errors.
Another thing to focus on is your arm movement when taking the shot. Make sure you’re not throwing your arm up too high when you hit the ball.
A little less power and a more controlled arm movement will help you hit low shots and keep the ball from going too high.
Go deep, not hard
Don’t try to serve hard or near the sidelines. Try and get service returns so they go deep, giving you time to get to the non-volley zone line.
Remember that both the serve and the serve return must bounce before you can take your shot at the ball, so remain at or behind the baseline after serving to receive the third shot.
Always get to the non-volley zone line as soon as you can. It’s the strongest position.
Face the player who will hit the ball, not the net. You will be better placed to hit the ball.
Keep your paddle high and near your chest. This will make your reaction time to hitting the ball quicker.
Finally, again, focus on your footwork. Getting into the right ready position before you hit the ball will help you control where it goes.
If you can master this Pickleball strategy, you’ll be able to hit those controlled pickleball lobs that will either keep the point alive or give you the winning shot.
How to keep the ball low in Pickleball
If you want to keep the ball low in pickleball, there are a few things you can do.
First, look for patterns in your opponent’s game. It is better to use strategy when playing Pickleball than always be chasing the ball.
When the serving team looks like they are going to shoot over a deep serve, aim your return shot at the weaker player.
When your opponent is about to hit the ball, stop moving and assume the ready position. It is much easier to hit shots when you are stationary and balanced.
Keep your return of serve low. A forehand shot is usually the best shot in this situation. This Pickleball technique will make it harder for your opponent to keep the ball in play.
Second, use a drop shot as your third shot. This will keep your opponent off balance and make it easier for you to keep the ball in play.
Don’t try to make a winning shot unless it’s really there to make.
Watch your opponent’s style
Watch your opponent’s paddle hit the ball as that tells you how fast the return will be and where it’s directed.
Aim the shot to your opponents feet or opponent’s backhand, especially if it’s weak.
Develop a drop shot (just over the net) from the baseline. This is an important shot when your opponent is at the kitchen line.
Don’t use it when your opponents are near the baseline – keep them deep.
Practice with friends and get them to hit some shots around the Pickleball court that you don’t like and work at returning them.
Finally, keep your eye on the ball and make sure you hit it in the sweet spot of your paddle. This will give you the most control and help you keep the shot low.
How to increase your power in Pickleball
Power in Pickleball can mean many things to many people.
Does it mean a power game? Can it mean your best Pickleball hard shot? Does it mean control over your shots? Maybe it means being an advanced player?
Whatever your definition of power, it all comes from improving your pickleball skills.
Like anything, the more you practice, the better your skill level will be. This will give you confidence and confidence gives you power.
Knowing you can play pickleball against intermediate or advanced players, return a difficult shot or expose your opponents’ weaknesses all increases your power.
Using this Pickleball strategy will in turn give you more points and stop you from running aimlessly around pickleball courts chasing certain shots from the other team.
There are a few key strategies that can help you get better at pickleball.
First, practice your serves and shots regularly.
A good serve can give you an advantage in the game and help you win points.
Get with another Pickleball player and practice. If you are a beginner try to play with an intermediate player. If you are an intermediate player, try and play pickleball with an advanced player.
Playing with someone a level up will increase your game skill level and help you win more games.
Second, try to keep the ball in play as much as possible. This will force your opponent to make mistakes and give you an opportunity to score. While this is easy to say, practice will help keep your shots going where you want them.
Practice, practice, practice
Many players find an empty wall and spending 20 to 30 minutes a couple of times a week just hitting shots, will definitely improve your returns for a difficult shot.
You could also buy a Pickleball machine. If your budget will allow, the Simon X is absolutely the best machine on the market.
You can not see the angle of the next shot so it is like playing pickleball with an opposing team. Sometimes it throws the ball hard and sometimes soft.
These machines will definitely get you playing better pickleball.
Third, stay patient and don’t try to force the game.
Pickleball is a game of patience and if you can keep your cool, you’ll be more likely to come out on top. The more you practice and the more games you play the better you will be able to control your shots.
This is when your game will go to the next level.
Following these pickleball strategies will help you improve your game and give you a better chance of winning…and pickleball player loves being a winner!