Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the world right now! With more and more people wanting to play, and new tournaments and competitions being readily available, you may be thinking of playing competitively.
If you want to play Pickleball against others, then you may want to up your game, and learn new techniques to get better.
Luckily, in this guide, we will go over all of the tricks of the trade you need to know if you want to smash your next Pickleball game.
First, let’s go over the rules and talk a little bit about Pickleball.
Pickleball is a paddle sport where you can play as singles or doubles, indoors or outdoors. With elements of tennis, table tennis, and badminton, there are a lot of rules and regulations to know about.
The basics of Pickleball is that the ball must stay inbounds, and bounce once per side. The serves must be done at the baseline, and cannot land in the non-volley zone.
Each player is only permitted one serve attempt, as the ‘let’ rule is no longer allowed.
The purpose of the game is to win a point, and keep a rally going until the point is gained.
How To Get Better At Pickleball
If you want to play competitively, then you will need to improve your skills, and practice playing Pickleball often. Practice makes perfect, but this is not just about yourself.
You will need to practice with your partner or teammate too, as communication and being in sync is so important if you want to win the game.
But, we do have a few tips for you on how to get better at Pickleball!
Always Be Ready
Our first tip is to take your stance and positioning into consideration. You will always want to be prepped and ready to receive the ball, as this can make or break your defense.
To ensure that you are ready, you will want to keep your feet shoulder-width apart.
Keep your knees slightly bent, so you have a better range of movement, and you can spring into action at any given moment.
Have your shoulders back, and relax the upper body, but keep your paddle and arms in front of you so you are ready to hit the ball back towards your opponents.
This will ensure that your reflexes are on point and ready.
Work On Your Third Shot
Knowing how to execute a third shot is essential in a good game of Pickleball.
The game will start with the first shot, which is a serve, and then the second shot is the receiving team’s serve, making the third shot the serving team’s second shot.
The third shot is highly important in a game of Pickleball. This is because if you are serving, you’ll need the receiving team to hit the ball back, and then you will want to smash that next shot.
This can help you speed up the pace of the game, and take control of it.
A third shot can either be used forcefully to try and win the point, or you can use it to change your position on the court.
Your third shot will want to have a great arc, and peak on your side of the court, but you want it to go over the net and into the opposing side’s kitchen. Therefore, a third shot will need some lift if you want the advantage.
Learn How To Dink
A dink shot is essential if you want to start winning Pickleball games. If you can master this shot early on, then you will find your technique improving, and you will be far more successful in the game.
A dink shot is a short drop shot that starts near the non-volley line. It has to go over the net, and will drop near the opposing side’s non-volley zone.
If you are a beginner, then it is far too easy to linger at the back of the baseline and practice your powerful long shots. But, you’ll need a dink shot in your repertoire if you want to keep your opponents on their toes.
When dinking, you won’t want to smash the ball. Just keep your knees bent, and have your paddle at a 45 degree angle facing the net.
Then, swing from the shoulder, and keep your elbow and wrist tight and stable. Follow the shot through, and keep your paddle ready to return the opposing team’s shot.
Practice With Your Teammate & Communicate
The best way to win a Pickleball game is to ensure that you are able to move and fill in the spaces on the court.
When playing with a teammate, you will have to be in sync, so that you can ensure you both can defend the ball on your side of the court.
Many players believe that it is best to have one player positioned closer to the net, and one closer to the baseline, so you can hit and receive a variety of different shots.
However, this leaves a lot of open space for the opposing team to land points.
Instead, if your partner moves closer to the net, then you need to too. You want to have space between you so that you don’t bump into each other, but also ensure you are covering your side of the court.
Therefore, it is vital that you communicate with one another, so that you are able to anticipate one another’s every move and work as a team.
Great Strategies For Pickleball
If you want to take your Pickleball game and technique to the next level, then there are some strategies that you should implement.
For instance, we recommend communicating with your team mate when returning your shots, to make sure that you are both in the right position.
You also want to be able to implement a good drop shot. To do a drop shot, you will need to stand facing the net, and you will want to hit the ball underhand and loft it so that it arcs over the net.
The ball will need to arc before it hits the net, so that it lands near your opponent’s feet and at the non-volley line, but not in the zone. Then, you will need to move closer towards the net as soon as you hit the ball.
Another strategy is to aim for the feet, as this can confuse other players, and avoid toeing the baseline when serving. Finally, we recommend that you practice a lot.
This can help you gain more patience and remain calm and positive when playing the game against others.
To summarize, learning how to master the game of Pickleball takes time. You will need to practice a range of shots and techniques, and ensure that you play often with your partner or teammate.
Having good communication, and being in sync with your teammate can often make or break your game.