If you’re a big pickleball fan and love nothing more than getting out on the court and racking up the points, then it’s almost inevitable that at some point or another, you’re going to be faced with harder opponents than others you might have faced.
When it comes to taller players, they can certainly have an advantage across a variety of different areas of the game including the volley and, of course, the serve.
So, how can you play against taller players and set yourself up for the best chances of a win? This is what we’re here to answer.
Do Tall Players Really Have An Advantage In Pickleball?
If you’re a pickleball player, then it’s only natural that you should be interested in learning more about what types of players might have a natural advantage or affinity for playing pickleball – and taller players are usually at the top of that list.
To cut a long story short, yes, taller pickleball players do typically tend to have an advantage simply due to their height.
This means that there are a few areas of the game where pickleball players who are taller have a natural advantage, and this includes the power of their serve, the reach over the net as well as the angle of the attack.
This is all pretty easy to understand when you break it down. For example, taller pickleball players (see also: 5 Common Pickleball Backhand Mistakes That Players Make)have naturally longer arms than those who are of an average or shorter stature.
This means that, no matter where on the court they might be standing, there is a much higher chance that a taller pickleball player is going to be able to get to where they need to be to receive the ball with more ease than a shorter player.
Then we have the angle of attack. Generally speaking, taller players also typically tend to have a more sophisticated angle of attack when hitting their shots, which can force points out of the receiving players.
For example, not only do taller players usually have the ability to make incredible “smash ” shots, but they also usually have the ability to get more speed and power behind the ball simply due to having a steeper angle in which they are hitting.
Not only that, but when it comes to playing against taller players, there is also an added risk of the taller players being able to hit shots that fall below the waist due to their increased angle across their shots, which means that it can be harder to return the ball than if you were playing someone your height or below.
In other words, yes, taller players most certainly have an advantage in pickleball.
But, is there anything that you can do to improve your game against taller players? Let’s take a look in the next section.
How To Play Against Tall Pickleball Players: Top Tips
Even though pickleball players (see also: 11 Best Warm Up Exercises That Every Pickleball Player Should Know)do have a natural advantage (usually) over shorter pickleball players.
The good news is that there are a few things that you can do to help counteract their increased angle and power to improve your chances of forcing points on their side – let’s take a look at them below:
1. Always Aim Below The Knee
This is one of the best pieces of advice that we have to share with you when it comes to forcing a point out of a taller pickleball player(see also: 53 Funny Pickleball Sayings That Every Player Should Know).
More often than not, being taller can sometimes make it harder to return shots that fall below the knee, so it makes sense to try and angle your shots to land somewhere in that area.
By making a shot that’s going to land somewhere near their feet, there’s a high chance that they aren’t going to be able to get the paddle where it needs to be in time to return it.
2. Don’t Be Afraid Of Smash Shots!
Just because you might be shorter doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to be able to pack a powerful shot!
Many expert pickleball players (see also: 10 Best Pickleball Players In The World)often recommend that, when it comes to playing against a taller player, one of the best ways to catch them off guard and force a point out of them is by launching a pickleball directly at them.
This means that you’ll need to hit the pickleball at their body, but don’t stress – pickleballs do not hurt and many people do not mind this.
Also, this type of body shot is legal within pickleball, just make sure that you are only ever aiming for the waist or below.
So, why is this type of shot so effective?
Well, even though taller people have plenty of advantages in pickleball, a body shot is going to require them to make an awkward shot that has a much higher chance of them making a mistake and landing you a point.
3. Play Close To The Net
This is the final piece of valuable advice that we have to share with you. When it comes to playing pickleball against a taller player, the last thing that you want to do is play far away from the net.
Why? Well, as we have already said above, taller pickleball players (see also: How Much Do Pro Pickleball Players Make?)naturally tend to have the ability to make more powerful shots from a further distance, so a long game is going to suit them just fine and raise your chances of a mistake.
What you want to do is to stick to a drinking game as much as you can. When you do this, you’ll be able to take their natural advantage away and make the game more fair.
We’ve made it to the end! Now that you’ve read through the above, we hope that we have been able to give you some pointers on how to play against taller players.
Thanks for reading, and good luck out on the pickleball court!