15 Best Pickleball Tips and Tricks: Guide to Make You a Pro Player

  • Date: January 24, 2023
  • Time to read: 12 min.

If you’re looking for a fun, exciting way to stay active and give your game of pickleball a boost, then you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll be discussing some awesome pickleball tips and tricks that will help take your game up a notch. Whether you’re just starting out or are already an experienced player, these tips are sure to improve your game and give you an edge over your opponents.

1. Don’t lob often!

Let me tell you something: lobbing ain’t gonna get you to where you wanna be. Sure, it’s a useful shot sometimes in the right situation, but I’m talking about the constant lobbying – all game long. Those baseline third-shot lobs that keep going back and forth? They’re something else altogether. Sure, maybe every now and then, they’ll catch your opponent off guard, but usually, they’ll just drop into the net – or go out! The point is, don’t let yourself fall into a lazy cycle of short lobs; mix it up if you want to move up.

2. Practice makes perfect!

Suppose you want to improve your tennis game, drill, drill, drill! It’s the single best way to become better. At first, I started playing for fun, and that can definitely still be a part of it. But at some point in time, if improving becomes important to you, then drilling is the best route. Hitting more balls per hour gives more reps for improvement than during drills. Plus, there are so many great drills out there that you can quickly get lost in finding which one works best for you. To make it even more fun and competitive, why not score each drill? That always kept me on my toes when I was trying to hit the next shot perfectly. A personal favorite of mine comes from Simone Jardim. That makes me feel like such a pro after I finish them!

3. The Serve

Do you want to get better at pickleball? Then learn this essential trick! The serve is one of the most important aspects of pickleball; it sets the tone for the entire point! A good service should be low and deep so that it reaches far into the opponent’s court and gives them a difficult time returning it. Make sure to use spin when serving, as this will make it more difficult for your opponent to return.

Also, keep in mind that serves don’t necessarily have to go straight over the net; mix things up by using angles when necessary! This will keep your opponent guessing and can give you an edge over them.

4. Try to hit it like a target

When you’re playing pickleball, it’s not enough to just think about who you’re hitting the ball to – you’ve got to think about where you’re hitting it too! It might take a while before you can hit the ball exactly where you want it, but when you go into it with intention, that really helps with your overall strategy. Whether that’s aiming for their backhand or even their third shot in the middle of the court, having that target in mind can make all the difference in getting your shots on point.

5. Know Your Opponent’s Strengths and Weaknesses

Before each match, it’s important to assess your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses. This will help you determine how best to attack them during the match. Watch them play as often as possible so that you can identify their patterns and tendencies. Once you know what types of shots they favor, you can use this knowledge against them by forcing them into difficult positions or hitting shots they aren’t expecting.

6. Focus on Footwork

Strong footwork is essential in pickleball because it allows you to move around the court quickly and efficiently. When your feet are in a good position, it also gives you more time to react to your opponent’s shots. Spend some time practicing different footwork drills like shadowing or side-stepping so that your feet become second nature on the court.

PRO TIP: Hey everyone, the next pickleball strategy tip we have for you is easy to remember but also easy to forget: Move your feet and bend your knees! The key here is positioning yourself correctly so that you can properly hit the ball. Make sure you’re getting down low; this will not only help you keep the ball low on the court, which is a winning move in pickleball, but it’ll also engage the most powerful muscles on your body—your legs! So don’t skimp out on these two fundamental moves. As Joe Rogan says, “Move your feet and bend your knees!” It just might take your game to the next level.

7. Keep Your Eye on the Ball

If you want to be successful at pickleball, make sure you keep your eyes on the ball at all times. This means watching it from the moment it leaves your opponent’s paddle until it reaches yours; if you don’t do this, then chances are high that you won’t be able to react properly when returning their shot. Keeping your eye on the ball also helps with depth perception since it allows you to gauge exactly where the ball is going and adjust accordingly.

8. Always use the correct grip

Alright, so your paddle is like a handshake with your non-dominant hand. You have to hold the paddle in such a way that it seems like it’s shaking hands with you. That there, my friend, is the Continental or Handshake grip. This grip is great for beginners because it allows you to manipulate the paddle in any way you need, plus it sets you up perfectly for any of the future paddle strokes you may learn. So make sure you use the right grip because, as we all know, proper form nets results!

9. Play low

Getting low to touch the ball may sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! Practicing getting low before you try for a dink can help you react faster and become an elusive target for speedups. Imagine yourself shifting your weight down by bending your knees, engaging your core muscles, and focusing on being lower than the ball—you’ll be ready to catch it in no time!

Give it a try and see how much easier it is to dink with proper form.

10. Learn deep serve to backhand and play it all the time!

Alright, pickle ballers, here’s the deal: your serve is alllllllll about precision and accuracy. We already know that pickleball is a unique game due to its underhand serve, so you have to make sure and bring your A-game every time you step up and prepare to serve. Unlike tennis, pickleball gives you one shot to land your serve in the right service area, so it’s important to get it close…no one wants those score-turning double faults!

The good news? You always have full control over the serve – give weather conditions like wind a little luck – so keep practicing and mastering that skill of precision and consistency on every single serve for every single rally!

Serving strategically can give you the upper hand in a game of pickleball, and there are two ways to do just that. Challenge your opponents by targeting their weaker side – usually the backhand – with your serves. And be sure to send your serves deep into the service box; this will push your opponents beyond their comfort zone by forcing them to make a further return. Making them move back will allow you to take a longer third shot, if necessary, and take charge of the rally! Be mindful, though; there’s no need to send your serve over the baseline or into the net. That would simply make it an easy point for your opponent. Now go out there and step up your serving game!

11. Learn this pickleball return trick

Alright folks, here’s the second pickleball strategy tip for intermediate players mainly- return deep! You want to get that ball close to the baseline on your opponent’s side of the court and make it as close to impossible for ‘bangers’ – those who love to drive their third shot – to drive with any real force. Let your deep return give you and your partner some extra time to react and really step up the challenge. Just remember, though, don’t hit it so deep that you miss out on bounds that hand your opponent the point. So stay deep, but stay in bounds… no matter how much you want to drive those bangers nuts!

When performing the return of serve in pickleball, always remember to hit it deep into the court and to target your opponent’s weaker third shot.

Furthermore, if there is an opposing doubles team with a weaker player, it is especially important that you aim for this person and their weaker side: usually their backhand. If you have mastered this technique already, try experimenting with some more advanced strategies at the Non-Volley Zone line, such as varying techniques depending on the type of shot you are facing or even attempting a sneaky “float” serve. Following all these tips can help give you a competitive edge over your opponents and make sure that you’re playing like a pro!

12. Be always in a ready state/stance

Getting into the “Pickleball Ready” stance is an extremely important element of your game that you should focus on. This ready position should be applied when transitioning across the court and entering the “No-Man’s or No-Lady’s Land” or the “Transition Area.” You can also use this position at the Non-Volley Zone line. To get in “Pickleball Ready,” you want to make sure that your feet are shoulder-width apart, your knees are bent, and you maintain a compressed body using the balls of your feet. It’s also essential to keep your paddle facing 10 or 11 o’clock (or 2 and 1 o’clock if you’re a lefty), along with having your paddle forward and head up for maximum visibility. Give it a shot and stay Pickleball Ready!

Being Pickleball Ready is essential if you want to stay sharp and right on your game! When playing close to the pickleball net, having your paddle up in front of your body will give you an edge. With it already up, you won’t need extra precious milliseconds to lift your paddle when the shot comes in. That’s why being Pickleball Ready is so important: one less thing on your list of things to do! But don’t let your guard down after a good shot either – always anticipate the pickleball coming back! And that’s why having a lightning-fast reaction time can be the difference between winning and losing. Train hard, prepare, and stay confident – all these components are part of being ‘Pickleball Ready’!

13. Always shot select

Decision-making on the pickleball court can be a huge factor in winning or losing a match. It’s important to make quick decisions and commit to that decisions. The time to make a decision and execute it is just a fraction of a second, so if you change your mind, you are likely going to end up making an error. Good shot selection, playing the higher percentage shots, and positioning yourself according to where the ball is going can really help your game. So trust your instincts, make your decisions, and don’t back out. Commit and win!

When it comes to shot selection, making a decision and following through with it is key! If you’re unsure of your choice, go all in – it’s better to commit fully to a risky decision than halfheartedly pursue something more cautious. Chances are if you trust yourself and stick with your choice no matter the outcome, everything will work out in the end. In any case, even if it doesn’t work out, at least you know that you put forth 100% effort.

14. Stay patient

Patience is key when playing pickleball. You see it so often on the court, where a player will rush to hit a shot without letting the point develop. But that’s not the way to go if you want to be successful in pickleball! The best way to advance towards victory is to remain patient and wait for the perfect opening before you attack – meaning the ball must be above or close to the top of the net. That kind of patience pays off eventually and will give your opponents no chance of counter-attacking against you.

Do you know how long a pickleball game is?

A single game lasts anywhere between 11-21 points, with each team having the opportunity to serve back and forth until one team reaches the winning point tally. If you don’t want to limit your playing time to one match, then a double match could keep you playing for long as it lasts up to 15 points or two out of three games. Either way, pickleball makes for great competitive fun that can last anywhere between 10-60 minutes! And you need to stay on the ball for the whole time!

If you’re looking to build your confidence on the pickleball court and control your aggression, you’ll want to practice patience. Focus on attackable shots that are in reach by aiming for those that are at or above the net – try not to go after that pickleball that falls short. Keep your focus, and you will be rewarded with success and confidence. When you become a patient player, the game of pickleball will become more enjoyable and less about the attack!

15. Don’t be afraid to play pickleball alone!

The first summer I started playing pickleball, I just couldn’t get enough of it. I was biking and driving to the courts any chance I had. And while I loved having friends come out and join me, one of my favorite things to do was play alone! Sure, you can practice your serves all on your own – just set up some markers like water bottles and see how many balls you can hit deep into the court to get your serve deep. 

You don’t even need a partner for smash practice, either! When you are alone, challenge yourself by varying the heights of your smashes until you can put the ball away with ease, like you were serving tacos at a party! Playing alone gives you a chance to work on those areas that need improvement without feeling like someone is watching or judging you – so don’t be afraid to play alone from time to time!

These awesome pickleball tips and tricks are sure to help improve your game no matter what level of player you are! With practice and dedication, these pointers will help take your game up a notch so that you can dominate in competitive matches against even experienced players.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much should you tip pickleball lesson?

When you take a pickleball lesson, tipping your instructor should always be done after you’ve had a positive experience. A good rule of thumb for how much to tip is about twenty percent of the cost of the lesson. But if your instructor has gone above and beyond by answering questions during and beyond the session, providing helpful advice, or assisting you with any other complexities related to the sport, then they certainly deserve even more! Pickleball instruction can really take your game to the next level, so rewarding your instructor appropriately will ensure they continue providing top-notch teaching.

How to become a 3.5-pickleball player?

Becoming a 3.5-pickleball player is the ultimate goal of any passionate athlete. To achieve it, you’ll need to hone in multiple skills — agility, speed, footwork, and improving your technique against opponents. Advancing to the 3.5 level requires great athleticism, knowledge about the sport, and dedication. If you can make all these factors come together seamlessly in your own game, there’s no limit as to how great of a player you can become! You’ll likely need to practice frequently to stay sharp and participate in some tournaments, if possible, so that you can see how your skills stack up against other players at this level. But with hard work and dedication, the rewards will be felt for years!


With these three tips— know your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, focus on footwork, and keep your eye on the ball—you’ll be well-prepared for any pickleball match! Put in some practice time with these strategies, and soon enough, winning matches will come naturally! Start implementing these tips today so that you can dominate every match with ease! Good luck out there!

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