Improve Your Pickleball Game
How would you rate your pickleball game on a scale from 1 to 10? If you’re getting anything lower than a 5, it’s time to get to work. Getting better at America’s fastest-growing sport isn’t hard if you have some tricks up your sleeve. That’s what we’re here for! If you want to know how to improve your pickleball game, we have 12 tips and tricks to get you going in the right direction.
Are you ready? Let’s go!
How to Improve Your Pickleball Game
Know The Rules
If you’re looking to improve your pickleball game, the first step is to learn the rules. While pickleball may seem like a simple game, there are actually a number of intricate rules that can impact the outcome of the match.
For example, did you know that you can only score points if you serve the ball? Or that the ball must bounce before it can be hit?
By understanding these and other pickleball rules, you’ll be able to make more strategic choices on the court and better anticipate your opponent’s moves. As a result, you’ll be able to take your game to the next level.
Get to the Kitchen
When you’re playing pickleball, one of the most important things you can do is to be at the kitchen line. The kitchen is the non-volley zone of the pickleball court that extends seven feet from both sides of the net from each sideline. This puts pressure on your opponents and opens up shot angles. This is why you want to get to the kitchen quickly and safely.
Once you hit an effective dink, head towards the kitchen! Stop when your opponent is about to hit the ball, but don’t run back to hit it on the bounce. If you want a winning shot, remember winning shots are volleys and are hit from the kitchen.
Keep Your Opponents Back
If you can keep your opponents back when you’re at the kitchen line it puts them at a major disadvantage. They have to cover more of the court area. They also have the difficult task of having to hit a shot in the kitchen to give themselves time to move forward.
You can also place the ball at their feet because it’s one of the most awkward shots to return. There’s a good chance that they’ll make an error.
Always be in a Ready Position
If you’re looking for how to improve your pickleball game, always be in the ready position. This consists of keeping your knees bent slightly and your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your weight on your heels, not the balls of your feet. Relax your upper body and shoulders. Make sure your arms and your paddle are in front of your body and pointing up slightly.
Before every shot, get yourself back into the ready position so you’re prepared for whatever your opponent is going to hand you.
Practice Your Third Shot Drop
The “third shot drop” is something you always want to know how to do because it limits your opponent’s ability to attack the ball. This gives you time to get to the kitchen line. Practice this shot often. It takes time to perfect, but once you do, you’ll notice an improvement in your game.
Know When You’re on the Defensive and When You’re on the Attack
In pickleball, you can be on the offensive one minute and on the defensive the next. Some players make the mistake of trying to attack when they should be more concerned about defense. Another common mistake is playing easy shots to the opponent when you should be working to press your advantage. Being able to recognize which team has the advantage and play to it is vital if you want to improve and win.
Be in Sync with Your Partner
You want to be in sync with your partner so your opponent doesn’t find gaps and place their shots there. If your partner moves back, you should move back. If they move right, you do the same. The idea is pretty simple but one that many pickleball players ignore.
Make Shot Selection Simple
If you’re new to the game, don’t try a bunch of fancy shots. This can complicate the game and lead to lost points. Instead, choose simple shots. Dinks and drop shots are your best bets. Making shots that keep your opponents deep will also work to your advantage rather than trying fancy shots that may backfire.
Keep Out of “No Man’s Land”
Stay away from the area halfway between the no-volley line and baseline. This is called “no man’s land” because the opposing team has more time to react to your shots and you are giving them more angles to hit at. There’s also a gap in front and behind you, for them to aim their shots.
Your strongest position on the court is at the net. You and your partner want to be at the “no volley” line. Set up evenly just behind the line. This is the perfect position to return the volley without the ball hitting the ground.
Being able to recognize that put-away opportunities happen due to the previous shots is a good strategy to have. As teams play through a point, players move and create large open spaces on the court. If you can aim for these spots, you’re forcing your opponents to reach for the ball. This puts them at a greater risk for error.
Watch the Ball
Last, but certainly not least, watch the ball if you want to know how to improve your pickleball game. It can be easy to get distracted and keep your eye on the ball. Focus on the ball and its bounce. Many players become so concerned with other things on and off the court that they forget this most common point.
There you have it, ten tips and tricks to improve your pickleball game. Give these a try and watch your opponents sweat a little as they try to keep up!
While it’s always more fun to play pickleball with friends, sometimes the best way to improve your game is to practice on your own.
When you’re the only one on the court, you can take the time to really focus on your technique and practice the shots that give you the most trouble. You can also experiment with different strokes and strategies without worrying about whether or not your partner is getting frustrated. And if you make a mistake, there’s no one there to tease you about it!
So next time you’re stuck inside on a rainy day, grab a paddle and head to the nearest pickleball court. You may be surprised at how much your game improves when you’re the only one playing.
Are You Looking for a New Pickleball Court for Your Game?
If you’re looking to build a new pickleball court or want to resurface one you already have, North State Resurfacing is here to help. We are experts in the field and have been a trusted source for new courts and resurfacing in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia since 1990. Call us today at (919) 365-7500 or reach out to us online to learn more.