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Online Pickleball Strategy Guide

Welcome to the 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

Pickleball Return of Serve

Never try for a pure winner. Do not make an unforced error. Keep the ball deep, slow and low to the opponent’s backhand. Slow to give you plenty of time to set up at the no volley zone line.

Change spin occasionally (top or underspin). It will cause some opponents to make mistakes at times.

Once in a great while, when ahead, hit fast return of serve for a change up when you feel your opponents will least expect it.

Place the return down the middle, slightly closer to the back hand player. Both opponents may think the other will take the shot.

Wait for the serve 12" or more behind the baseline so that the ball will bounce in front of you, not at your feet for a difficult shot. If your opponent has a very fast and deep serve, you may have to wait about 3 feet behind baseline.

Have a mental note in your mind of players who do hit soft, short serves. Watch the face of the server’s paddle and be ready to sprint in and split your feet for the short return.

If one opponent is weaker than the other, hit the return to weakest opponent’s backhand until you get ahead a few points.

When the better of your two opponents least expects it, hit a shot to him deep to his backhand. The element of surprise can help.

When your serve is returned, try to place a soft shot in the no volley zone. Do not try to overpower your opponent with a very fast passing shot, unless you are an advanced player and you feel you can win more than half the points in this manner. Both opponents are already at net, and it would be a very low percentage shot. A low soft shot is important because it gives you time to get to the net and not be on the defensive. More points are won when returning serve because the first team that gets to the net usually wins the point. If you can win 6 out of 10 points with any other strategy, go for it.

Never Miss Your Serve because you are hitting too hard, an especially important part of the game. Your opponents only need a pulse to win the point if you miss the serve. Give them a chance to lose. Also, your partner will lose confidence in you if you keep missing your serve.

After serving, step back one step behind the baseline. There are two reasons for this. (1) The ball must land in front of you not at your feet. (2) It will be easier to see if your opponents return is going to be out. If your opponent has the ability to hit a drop shot, be prepared to quickly run forward.

When serving the ball, give yourself leeway, aim for center of serving box 5 feet from baseline. Serve fast only if you never miss your serve.

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