Whether you are a beginner or intermediate player, you need two main characteristics to take your Pickleball game to the next level. First, you need extraordinary physical skills and strengths, and the second principal characteristic is to plan a wise strategy.

Beginners often pay more attention to physical skills rather than strategic guidelines as they find difficulty in learning how to develop successful strategies in a match. Many basic and advanced Pickleball strategies can be used to gain an edge over the opponent. There are different strategies for singles games or doubles, and their implementation is different in each game.

Let's break down specific strategies which every player should know to improve the game.

Strategies for Pickleball Singles

Singles is a more physically demanding game than doubles. You cover the court's total width by yourself, and you need a fitness level much more than doubles. So, you should plan the game on your current fitness and that of your opponent.

Here are the five basic strategies for playing singles:

1. Serving 

In singles, you should use your serving as an attacking weapon which means you have to perform hard and deep. A proper serve increases the chance of high scoring by almost 100%, and it sets the nature of the entire game.

Ideally, hit the opponent's weak side. It's better to hit hard and try to stay close to the middle line. This closeness will help you to get back to a ready position when your opponent returns the serve.

2. Return the Serve

Again hit the ball hard and deep. It would be best to try to aim your return towards the deep corner to keep your opponent on his/her feet.

If your opponent maintains the middle position, your ideal bet would be to work them around the court. Hit the angles and retain your opponent on the move.

3. Approaching the net

Select your time to approach the net wisely. You have to be aggressive when you decide to move the net. If you are going to attack and offend the net, you have to hit hard and deep.

 Tall players have the reach advantage. So, they can get away with a little more at the net. But the smaller player with short reach, they need to choose their approach to the net cleverly.
4. Shot Selection

Shot selection in the game will decide the fate of the contest. Therefore, you need to masters or control several shots. Don't be reliant on one or two shots. If you do so, then the chances of losing the game are high because you will expose your weakness to your rival, which creates massive problems.

It would help if you tried varying hits with the combination of strengths and different shots, i.e., Forehand, volleys, and backhand, and focused on different angles.

5. Try To Read Your Opponent's Game

Success in a pickleball game depends upon how well you have done your homework about your opponent. For instance, an experienced player likes dinking close towards the net, whereas beginners prefer hard hits.

How To Get Benefit From Reading Opponent's Game 

If your opponent has a weak backhand, try to expose that weakness and send shots that will force you to use backhand shots.

Your opponent wants to hit a winning 'passing shot.' If you well know your opponent, you can use this strategy against him by hitting a winning drive.

Strategies For Pickleball Doubles

Here are the four basic Pickleball strategies. These will help the players to become better, smaller Pickleball players.

1. Hitting

When it comes to serve or return, you should try to maintain 100% accuracy on every shot. Professional players prefer simple shots over fancy shots.

        How to serve in a doubles match

  • It would be best if you hit deep as it is the best way to get a start.
  • Try to strike a dink shot and move to the net.
  • When returning, observe your opponents. If they have a weak backhand, try to go hard in that area.

2. Returning

Unlike the singles, where you need to hit the ball around the corner, a double game requires hitting the ball toward the middle. This strategy will keep your opponents on his/her feet and, most of the time, create confusion and massive problems.

3. Strategies For The Third Shot

Playing Pickleball permits you to work on your reflexes, balance, hand-eye coordination, and agility without putting excessive strains on your body. It is an excellent alternative for older players who cannot play tennis because of physical limitations (hip, shoulder, joints, or knee problems).

       Many options can be considered as a third shot.

  • A hard hit-common for beginners. It can be a good idea if you want to earn a point at baseline.
  • A drop shot-low hit over the net angled at the middle.
  • A lob, a dink, and a side drop shot are other crucial third short strategies.
4. Poaching

Poaching is mostly used in tennis, but Pickleball players can also use it to take advantage. To be clear, poaching is when one player crosses over the center of the court to hit a ball that is directed for your partner.  This works pretty well when you are more skilled than your partner. 

       When you plan to poach, you should consider the following factors.

  • Conduct schedule interaction with your partner. You should always be on one page.
  • You need to avoid stretching. Instead, you move. For this, position your footwell so that it will help you to get the right position.
  • Observe your opponent well and predict their next shot.

Strategies For Professional Pickleball Players

Placement Over Power And Speed
Tyson McGuffin-top ranked player, suggests that 'Opposite to many sports, the higher the skill level, Pickleball game slows down instead of speed up. This game is more about spin and placement rather than speed and power.

Instead of trying to hit a winner shot, it is good to place the ball over the net and wait till your opponent makes a fault so that you hit a sure winner.

Communication Is Important
You won't see two professional players standing and watching each other's faces on the court. Match winners are always communicating clear and loud.

How to communicate in a better way

  • Get in the habit of calling 'Yours,' 'Mine,' 'You,' or something else for each shot.
  • Decide who will take lob-mostly is the faster partner even when the lob is on the other side.
  • Discuss team strategy very clearly with your partner.
Keep Shots Low
Many players want to hit the short with a lot of power. But it never happens with the professionals. They focused on keeping the shots low and working their opponent's game.


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