So, I have finally gotten my feet wet and have been learning the ropes of the game. They were right! Pickleball is a blast and I seem to be getting the hang of it. The first few weeks were a bit more difficult for me as I seemed to be running around a bit more than others and never seemed to be in the right place.
Once again, I returned home and sought out my trusty friend – the internet. I read a bunch of tips and tricks and watched several videos to see what I can do to improve. I tried to assemble a few tips and tricks I have picked up to see if it can help you as well.
I’ve been playing singles, so this is more geared to singles. In another post, I’ll talk about doubles.
Give these a try and I hope it improves your play!
First thing to do even before you start to play is stretch! There is quite a bit of bending and lunging and turning. Pickleball is also a quick game with a score to 11. It’s hard to recover when your body finally decides to cooperate, but the score is already 5-0!
- If you stand closer to the center line it will make it easier to get to most returns.
- On the return, try to hit deep into the corner of your opponent.
- Always try to move up to the non-volley line. Players at the net always have the advantage.
- If possible, hit to the backhand of your opponent as most players favor their forehand.
- When your opponent is deep, move up to the non-volley line. This will give you a great opportunity to place your next shot – whether a dink into the kitchen or a passing shot as they try to recover their position.
- If you are stuck deep and your opponent is at the non-volley line, there are a few things you can try depending on your position and ability to make certain shots.
- A passing shot – a hard shot that will get by your opponent before they have a chance to react
- A drop shot that lands at their feet making a return difficult
- A lob shot that will move your opponent away from the non-volley line. This is the most difficult when playing with someone more advanced because it is difficult to get it deep enough so they cannot get a good return to make a point or side-out.
- Always try to face toward the net. This will keep you balanced and give you the best opportunity to return a shot on either side
- Always try to vary your shots – and see if you can make your opponent think you are hitting one shot while really executing another.
- Don’t always play for a winning shot. Sometimes it’s best to wait for your opponent to make the mistake.
- If you don’t have a good opportunity for a strong shot, use the dink. This is a shot that just clears the net and bounces in the kitchen. If done properly it will not allow your opponent to gain any advantage and execute a strong offensive shot against you. The dink is a very strategic shot that you should spend some quality time practicing.
I hope these few tips will help improve your game like it has mine! Keep an eye out for doubles tips!