Pickleball partner strategy

Pickleball Doubles Strategy Tips for a Better Game

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Pickleball is a fun game to enjoy with friends and family. A lot of people love this simple game because the rules are easy to understand and follow. But when you are playing doubles, this game can get a bit complex. There you need a doubles pickleball strategy to ace the game.

This is because the game involves so many strategies that you can enjoy when you’re playing as a doubles team. In this guide, we’re going to take a look at a couple of pickleball doubles strategy tips that can help you improve your gameplay.

The Top Pickleball Doubles Strategy Types to Try

Using pickleball strategies when playing doubles can make a huge difference in your gameplay. There are many different strategies that pickleball players incorporate so they can get some leverage over their opponents. Here’s a quick look at some of the best simple and ten doubles strategies that doubles often try when playing this popular game.

Pickleball partner strategy
Pickleball partner strategy

The Get to the Non-Volley Line Strategy

This is one of the first strategies you’ll learn when playing pickleball. It’s also the number-one tip for this competitive match.

The idea of this pickleball strategy is to return to the non-volley zone as quickly as you can after every return-of-serve (the moment right after the serve has been made). While your opponent is still trying to respond to your serve, you’ll make your way to this area close to the net.

In this position, the odds are usually in your favor, since it increases your chances of making an accurate return.

The Drop Shot Strategy

A drop shot (also referred to as third shot drop) is a pretty tough shot to perfect and is considered a fundamental shot in pickleball. This type of shot is an excellent counter shot if your team is positioned far from the non-volley line but your opponents are close to this zone.

The drop shot is designed to get you and your partner close to the kitchen (no-volley line) so you can eliminate the advantage your opponents have at this point.

This shot is usually executed by the serving team after the return-of-serve is conducted by the opponent.

Try to Keep Opponents at the Baseline

The closer you are to the non-volley zone line on the pickleball court, the higher your advantage is. And the closer you are to the baseline, the lower your advantage becomes. A great strategy is to keep your opponents as close to the baseline as you can.

To do this, you need to create longer shots that will keep your opponents deep down the court. If you keep hitting shorter shots, the opponents will be drawn in towards the kitchen. But with longer shots, opponents will keep moving back, and you will gain more advantage over them.

Aim for the Feet

It’s very difficult to deflect a pickleball that’s positioned low to the ground. Aiming your shots at your opponent’s feet is an excellent strategy to use when they’re positioned between the no-volley line and baseline or when they’re positioned near the baseline.

By hitting the ball aimed at their feet, you’ll keep them pinned back and it’ll be much harder for them to move closer to the kitchen. You will definitely improve as a doubles pickleball player if you adhere to this simple strategy.

Create Deeper Serves

When you’re serving, the main goal is to serve big and hitting the ball deep and there are several advantages to do so. In most cases, the goal of your opponent or opposing team is to move closer to the non-volley line after making a return serve. Yet, keeping the serve deep will probably prevent them from reaching the line.

Most professionals strive to create a hit that sends the ball on a huge curve. This is a much better strategy than it is to create a speed straight shot that lands only a couple of feet beyond the no-volley line.

Steer Clear of the Baseline

When you’re playing pickleball, your opponent will try all sorts of strategies to keep pushing you back. It’s best for players to move forward when returning serves. The bigger the distance between you and the baseline, the further your ball will travel into your opponents’ side, and it will be much more difficult for opponents to gain points for deep serves.

It’s also a good idea to position the weaker player closer to the baseline while the dominant player stays close to the non-volley area.

Create Deeper Returns

It’s always best to give it your all when making return serves. A deeper return serve offers numerous benefits. This type of strategy will give you more time to advance to the non-volley line. It also gives you more time to plan your third shot so you can make a more accurate hit.

Plan Around Middle Shots

When the pickleball game becomes heated, a lot of confusion can erupt between you and your partner regarding who should make the difficult shot in pickleball. This confusion especially tends to occur around mid-court shots.

A great way to eliminate confusion is by arranging with your partner regarding who should get the middle shots. Create a general rule-of-thumb regarding different parts of the court and who should make these hits.

If you can’t come together on who should get the middle ball, then you should at least communicate with your partner. A good way to do this is by yelling out “mine” when you’re going for a deep return shot or “yours” when you’re passing it off to your partner.

Move as One

Pickleball teammates should always move together. There should be an 8 – 10 foot distance between the two of you at all times. If your partner moves forward or backward up the court, you should do so also. The same goes for side-by-side movements.

If you fail to keep the gap between the two of you tight, it’ll create more opportunities for the opposing team to gain points.

Stay Calm and Patient

Pickleball is a quick-paced game that can raise your heart rate and your anger levels within minutes. It is, however, very important to remain as calm as possible and to stay patient. It’s much better to wait for an opportune moment to incorporate a strategy than to force a strategy when it isn’t functional.

Final Thoughts

We hope these pickleball doubles strategy tricks will help you gain more success when playing as a serving team. There are, of course, many more advanced strategies for a doubles pickleball player you can also learn and incorporate into your competitive game as your skill level improves on your pickleball journey.

If you’re looking for more strategy tips or other great pickleball tips or want to improve your skills in other areas, have a look at some of the other guides we have on The Volley. With these guides, you can find helpful information on all the best pickleball strategies and accessories.

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