Pickleball Strategy and Shot Making

I have recently joined the International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association (I.P.T.P.A.) which is a highly accredited organization. Soon I will be attending a workshop and testing session held in New Canaan Ct. Here are basic tips that players should know based upon sound percentages and error free logic.

  1. Learn the dink game first, in the no volley zone. Start small.
  2. Short backswing from low to high, using a continental grip (or extreme grips) for more advanced players coming over from tennis.
  3. Feel the grip and ball lightly, avoiding a death grip.
  4. Keep shots as simple flat shots until spin is mastered.
  5. Movement is mostly side to side at NVZ and baseline. Avoid cross over steps as it’s difficult to control shots. Use the crossover when out of reach. good position is key to good shot execution.
  6. Contact out in front and accelerate through contact.
  7. Get ready quickly (ready position) after each shot.
  8. Have your paddle up at chest height in ready position.
  9. Avoid hitting the net.
  10. Serve the ball middle to deep, and avoid faulting out.
  11. Return deep, preferably to the backhand of the opponent.
  12. The receiver should approach off the return of serve, since the server has to let the return bounce! The receiver’s partner should line up in the NVZ.
  13. Once you get to the net, keep the other team back, and hit your volleys deep. Give yourself plenty of court when hitting deep. Don’t aim for the lines.
  14. Choose selecting the right shot to approach on. It should be low in the NVZ.
  15. Dinking the ball should make up most of your shot selections. Develop patience in the NVZ.
  16. Put away balls that are about one foot above the net.
  17. The primary goal is to be defensive, forcing your opponent to go for a winner too soon.
  18. Playing the ball “down the middle,” solves the riddle. Hit to open space between your opponents.
  19. Hit the ball to your opponent’s feet when you receive an “up ball.”
  20. Move as a team following the ball.
  21. Hold the NVZ as a team. After hitting a smash (sideways to the net, point and smack!) return to the NVZ.
  22. Communicate: me, you, switch, back, up, out, etc. Strategize between points (quickly).
  23. Stay positive and supportive of your partner.
  24. When both up at the NVZ, the forehand down the middle should take a little more of the middle shots (12-18 inches).

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