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Online Pickleball Strategy Guide

Welcome to the PickleballCoach.com online Pickleball Strategy Guide. Here you'll find lots of useful Pickleball Strategies and Techniques to help you improve your Pickleball game. Just click any of the links on the left and you can read all about that specific pickleball strategy or technique.


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Pickleball Strategy Guide

Reduce Unforced Errors Pickleball

The safest place on the court to bounce the ball is soft, low and in the middle of the no volley zone. With this placement, your opponent may hesitate, thinking that his partner will hit the ball. Hit the ball soft so your opponents will have no pace to work with. This is the highest percentage shot.

When at the net be patient. Keep hitting the ball soft back into the no volley zone until your opponents make the mistake of hitting the ball too high. Do not go for the kill unless the ball is at least 12" above the net. Eighty-Five percent of your shots should be volleys standing within 12 inches of the no volley zone. Do not try a tough angle shot until you have drawn your opponents out of position. Keep blasting the high balls at your opponents’ feet until they miss it. Never try an angle shot or difficult shot when the ball is below the net. Be defensive. Try a lob when your opponent least expects. It is also a very effective shot.

Be prepared early. If you hit a fast volley to your opponent, you must prepare your paddle face for the next shot faster. The faster you hit, the faster you must prepare.

Be patient and wait for a ball that is 12" or higher over the net before trying to hit a winner. Always go for your opponents’ feet, no matter where they are on the court. Foot shots are much safer than angle shots.

Only try angle shots if you get a sitter and feel that you are 150% sure that you won’t make an unforced error. A sitter is an easy shot.

If you are playing properly, eighty-five percent of all your shots and your partner’s shots should be volleys no further back than 12" from the no volley zone. Ground strokes are only used when returning a serve, hitting the return of your serve, or if opponent lobs and pulls you away from the no volley zone line. Get back to NVZ line as fast as you possibly can.

Hitting down the middle is a high percentage shot and is much safer than a wide angle shot.

Always allow for error never aim for the line itself.

One of the most common mistakes players makes is swinging at their volleys and punching their ground strokes. It should be the other way around.

If you cannot make a specific shot at least six out of ten times, do not try this shot in a game until in practice you can make it consistently. Four out of ten tries is just enough to lose the game. Shot selection at key times in the game is very important. Know the shots that you are very consistent with and use them at key times in the game. Give your opponents a chance to lose. Don’t beat them to it.

There is a time to try and hit a “Pure Winner”, a time to hit a “¾ Winner”, and time to just keep the ball alive by blocking it back to your opponent.

            1.    Pure Winner – (as hard as you can hit the ball).

a.    When your partner is weaker than both of your opponents and you get a high ball. You must take advantage of your good opportunities.

                        b.    When you are the favorite team.

                        c.    When you have a decent lead in the game.

d.    When playing good competition; you make hay when the sun shines because you don’t get many good opportunities to go for it.

            2.    ¾ Winner – (3/4 pace shot).

a.    When you are in control of point at the net and both opponents are at baseline and are very steady players.

            b.    When a ball hit to you is not a high percentage shot.

                        c.    When you feel your team is steadier and better than your opponents.

                        d.    When your position on the court is not very good.

            3.    Just keep the ball alive by blocking the shot to opponent’s feet.

a.    When an exceptionally fast ball is hit to you be defensive by blocking it back rather than swing at it.

Be Careful: A less difficult shot to hit may sometimes cause a player to miss a shot because it looked so easy that he thought it was impossible to miss. A player tends to over hit and not concentrate as much as when hitting a difficult shot and misses it.

When it is very windy make shorter steps and keep adjusting your feet because the ball keeps moving around. Watch the ball closer than normal and make most of your shots down the middle of court.

If you feel you can hit with extreme power all the time and still not sacrifice placement and consistency then you have to decide whether you are a great Pickleball player or kidding yourself. If you decide on the latter, take a little pace off your shots.

When warming up before your Pickleball game hit a couple of high lobs to check out the wind direction and speed so you don’t lose a few point s during the game. Try not to look into the sun if possible. The sun can cause an error.

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