Pickleball Strategy Tips – 10 Pro Tips to Play Better

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Whether you’re just starting pickleball or have been playing for a while, it’s always helpful to have a few pickleball strategy tips up your sleeve. You might not be trying to win the  Pickleball Olympics or even a pickleball tournament, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play your best game.

Here are ten pro pickleball strategy tips to help you step up your pickleball strategies and start winning more matches when playing doubles.

1. Use the kitchen to your advantage.

The kitchen when you play pickleball is the seven-foot non-volley zone near the net. If you can keep the ball in play in this area, your opponent will have a hard time attacking. Use drop shots and lobs to keep them guessing and off-balance to become a better pickleball player.

2. Attack your opponent’s backhand.

Most players have a weaker backhand, so targeting this side of the pickleball court is often helpful. Further, even for the intermediate player, every backhand shot is a more difficult shot. Try to hit the ball deep with a deep serve into their backhand corner to force them to run around and tire themselves out.

3. Don’t let your opponent dictate the pace.

If you can control the speed of the game, you’ll be in a much better position to win. Try to keep the rallies going long, so your opponent gets tired and makes mistakes.

4. Vary your shots.

If you hit the same shot repeatedly, your opponent will figure it out and start to anticipate where the ball is going. Keep them guessing by mixing up your shot selection. Hit the ball to different parts of the pickleball court and use a variety of strokes with your pickleball paddle.

A few shots to try in your pickleball strategy tips include:

  • The Lob: The lob is a great way to keep your opponent from getting to the ball. It is also an excellent way to set up a point-winning shot. To execute a lob, hit the ball high into the air with your pickleball paddle so it will land behind your opponent.
  • The Dink: The dink is a short, low shot used to keep the ball playing and away from your opponent. To execute a dink, hit the ball softly and low over the net. When dinking with opponents, aim for their feet. If your opponents are positioned in the transition area, between the non-volley line and the baseline, you should hit the ball at their feet. If they are close to the baseline, pin them back and hit shots at their feet. Following this simple method will undoubtedly improve your doubles pickleball skills.
  • The Drive: The drive is a powerful shot used to win points in a pickleball game. To execute a drive, hit the ball hard and flat across the net.
  • The Smash: The smash is a very powerful shot to finish a point. To execute a smash, hit the ball hard and down into the ground on your opponent’s side of the court.
  • The Volley: The volley is a shot used to keep the ball in play and away from your opponent. To execute a volley, hit the ball softly and low over the net.

5. Stay calm and focused.


It’s easy point for the other team to get caught up in the heat of the moment, but it’s important to stay calm and focus on your game plan to become a better pickleball player. If you let your emotions get the best of you, it will only lead to mistakes.

6. Be patient.

Playing pickleball needs patience. If you force the issue, you’re more likely to make errors, and that’s not among the smart pickleball strategy tips.
The same goes for improving your game. Be patient with yourself as you gradually get better at playing.

7. Use your footwork.

Good footwork is essential in pickleball. You need to be able to move quickly and efficiently around the court. Practice your footwork to get to the ball faster and stay in position to make the shot.

8. Be aware of your surroundings.

It’s easy to get caught up in the game and lose track of where you are on the court. Be aware of your surroundings at all times so that you don’t get surprised by a ball coming from an unexpected direction.

9. Have a plan.

Before each match, take some time to develop a pickleball match plan. Decide what shots you want to hit and where to place them. A plan will help you stay focused and execute your shots more effectively.

10. Practice, practice, practice.

There’s no substitute for good old-fashioned hard work. The more you play and practice, the better you’ll become at the game. Make sure to set aside time each week to work on your game. Also, when practicing, try to improve your grip. There are three types of pickleball grip:

  • Eastern Grip.
  • Western Grip.
  • Continental Grip.

Research more about the grip types and then focus on practicing.

Not all practice is created equally. Remember, “practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.”

The best way to practice pickleball is to get out there and play as often as possible. Playing against others is the best way to improve your skills and learn new techniques. However, you can also improve your game by practicing alone. Here are some pickleball strategy tips on how to practice pickleball effectively:

  • Play against better players:

Playing against players who are better than you or with advanced players will challenge you and force you to up your game. If you can’t find any higher-level players to play against, try playing with a friend who is slightly better than you.

  • Body language:

Give importance to your opponent’s body movements and paddle face, in addition to his or her play patterns. For example, a large backswing and a flatter or closed paddle face imply an upcoming drive. Take these hints to anticipate shots on the opposing team.

  • Work on your weaknesses:

We all have weaknesses. Point yours and work on them during your practice sessions. This could be anything from improving your footwork to fine-tuning your backhand strokes.

  • Use a practice partner:

A practice partner can be incredibly helpful in improving your skill level. They can help you with your technique, footwork, and shot selection. It’s essential to find a practice partner who is at a similar level to you so that you can both benefit from the session.

  • Use a ball machine:

A ball machine is a great way to get extra practice. You can set it up to fire balls at you at different speeds and angles, simulating an actual pickleball game situation. This is a great way to work on your reactions and improve your stamina.

  • Try different drills:

There are thousands of pickleball drill options out there. Find some that focus on the areas you want to improve and give them a try. There’s no shortage of drills to choose from, so you’re sure to find ones that suit your needs.

  • Don’t attempt a drop shot:

Beginners should avoid a drop shot. Don’t try a short drop shot until you have mastered it. Attempting a soft drop shot will often give the other side the edge. A badly executed drop shot will cost you dearly. The drop shot is a basic stroke in pickleball that requires many hours of practice outside of competitive matches.

  • Make use of the third shot drop:

For the hard-hitters, this is very vital! Dropping the third shot is vital in pickleball. It gives you the opportunity to advance to the kitchen line (where you should earn the most points!). Also, a third shot drop puts your opponent under pressure to arrive at a decision.

  • Serve Deep:

A deep return-of-serve offers various benefits. For one, it offers the returner more time to execute the return-of-serve and progress to the non-volley line. It also puts the third shot for the serving team a lengthier shot and significantly more difficult to execute effectively.

By following these pickleball strategy tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a better player, whether you play singles or doubles pickleball. Just remember to have fun, enjoy the sport and keep improving your pickleball technique!

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