Strategy is an immensely crucial part of the pickleball game. Pickleball in its essence is not solely a physical game but also one that requires mental prowess.
Even though this may seem too obvious and plain, it is actually astonishing the percentage of players that do not stop to think and consider how they are going to run with the game. Players often ignore thinking about how to augment their game and play better together with their partner when they are on the court.
Most people just intend to go on the court and give their best effort without any prior planning. The issue with this is that they often play out of sync. While one player is hitting deep and pushing the opponent back, the other might be trying soft lob shots on almost every step.
Best Pickleball Strategy
The art of playing stronger together as a pair is at least to be on the same page and have a similar plan in mind. The style of play for both players should be the same. Let’s discuss some of the particular steps that you and your partner can work on together and play a better game of pickleball.
Regardless of whether you are playing single or double pickleball, the game plan is all up to you to decide. With a little time and practice, pickleball players can play to the best of their strengths.
1- Consistently Serve Deep, to Backhands and in the Court
The initial strategy for pickleball begins with the first shot of each pickleball rally which is the serve. Pickleball is quite a unique game due to its underhand serve.
This is why it is crucial to focus on having intensely high accuracy on the serve. This is the only chance you have to get your serve in the right service area.
3- Return Deep, to Backhands, and the Opponent with a Weaker Third Shot
The next pickleball strategy tip is connected to the second shot of each pickleball rally which is the return of serve. Just like the swerve, the return of serve must be deep in your opponent’s side of the pickleball court.
This is particularly important if you are playing a team that aims to drive the third shot. Commonly known as “bangers”, this allows the player to keep the pickleball deep in the pickleball court and make it challenging for the opposing team and give your partner more time to react to the driving shot.
3- Move Your Feet and Bend Your Knees
Another key strategy for pickleball might sound simple, although it is more challenging than one might think. A large majority of pickleball players overlook doing it consistently which is moving their feet and bending their knees.
The feet are extremely crucial in their short execution. Hence it is important to move their feet and position themselves so that they are able to strike the pickleball out in front of them.
4- Keep an eye on the Pickleball and strike it out front the front
Always watch your pickleball and your paddle make contact, this is pickleball 101. This is another tip that is often neglected that is quite simple. With the immense amount of distractions that present themselves on the court, this step is overlooked.
It is important to pay attention to the shot and make one shot in a single moment. Therefore, you should keep an eye out for when the strike occurs between the paddle and the ball. It is better to neglect what the opposing player is doing, their paddle, the audience, the person you are playing with, the upcoming shot, etc.
5- Adopt the Pickleball Ready stance
Keep your Pickleball paddle facing upwards and be in the ready position where you must begin transitioning the pickleball court. The pickleball-ready stance consists of these steps:
- Standing with Feet and shoulders at a width distance
- Your Knees must be arched and also compressed towards your torso.
- The pressure should be on the balls of the feet
- Your Pickleball Paddle must be facing forward or at the 10 or 11 o’clock angle
- Also, forward-facing with the head up is the required position for the Paddle
Use Doubles Strategy in Pickleball
For people embarking on their journey with pickleball, it can be daunting to perform on the court. Here are a few double strategies to help individuals start their journey with pickleball and play more competently on the field.
1- Go after the return of serve to the line of non-volley
The number 1 plan is to get access to the non-volley line. Due to the significance of this move ensure that you follow each return serve to the non-volley line. This positioning will augment the probability of being champions of the rally.
2- Make Drop Shots your allies
A quite challenging shot to conduct flawlessly, drop shots are an amazing way of enhancing your chances of being the champions at pickleball doubles. This short will cover your distance to the non-volley line essentially, any time you are away from the non-volley line while your competitor is close to it. This will turn the winning number towards your side. Generally, drop shots are conducted by the serving team and it is followed by the return of serve.
3- Aim for opponents to stay at the baseline
The aim is to keep your opponents pinned back at the instance when you and your teammate are not on the non-valley line. Here the advantage will be yours. After striking a shorter shot, your competitors will have the opportunity to come in contact with the non-volley line. This can diminish your advantageous position. What you should do instead is hit shots that maintain the pinned placement of your competitors in their court.
4- Keep their feet as the goal
Hitting the ball toward the feet of your opponents is generally a champion move most of the time. Regardless of their position on the court, this move is bound to get you the winning trophy. It can be extremely chalelnging to return the ball at the feet as it has a tendency to pop up. When playing with your competitors, you should focus on dunking the ball toward the ground at their feet. This simple strategy will definitely up your game at doubles pickleball.
5- Create some form of depth to your service
In terms of serving, one of the most critical things to keep in mind is the depth of the hit. This aspect comes into effect obviously after getting it in. Remember this whenever the time comes to serve. After the return of service, the return server will wish to come into contact with the non-volley line. The objective of the serve of the ball deep is to decrease its capability of reaching the line.
6- Maintain a distance from the baseline when you are returning
When returning serves, commonly players make the baseline their stopping point and sometimes within a foot’s distance when hitting serves back. When returning a serve, the better choice is to stand at a distance of at least 2-3 feet from the baseline. Of course, unless you are aware that the hit will probably be short. At the time of serving the ball in deep, you will not be caged and have to give an effortless advantage to your opponent.
In the end you have to be in sync with your partner and there should be open lines of communication between the two of you. Pickleball can be hoards of amusement once you get a hang of it. Furthermore, this nitty-gritty falls into place as the game falls into a rhythm. Move together on the court and you will have the time of your life playing this intense sport. When playing doubles in pickleball, you and your partner must always be tethered together. Imagine if you are attached to a rope that is roughly 8 – 10 feet long. Move up and back or in the side-to-side position in the formation of a team.
Patience can be a difficult virtue to practice on the field as the doubles strategy is difficult to master. However, the major portion of patience lies in being selective with the choice of your shots. If you cannot strike the ball with a descending blow to get it across the net, deliberately hit a more conservative shot. You will easily avoid a lot of errors by being more patient.