7 Pickleball Tips for Beginners and Intermediate Players

Pickleball is a fun fast-paced, workout game, which is enjoyed by people of all ages and skills for its simplicity. That is why it is a growing sport in the world presently. Here we share with you a few tips that will help you to improve your Pickleball game skills to the next level.

From following the right strategy to using the right equipment, we will share your best 7 tips to master the pickleball game. Whether you are a Beginner Player or Intermediate Player, You can learn some game-changing tips and tricks to improve your gameplay and have more fun on the court.

7 Pickleball Tips for Beginners and Intermediate Players

1. Don’t be afraid to play alone

Even though you are the only one in the court, you can very well practice serving on your own. Just set up any water bottles or objects on the opposite side of the court. With a serve, try to hit the water bottle and check how many strikes you need to hit the water bottle.

Learning to serve deep will help you to make the third shot drop easier.

Have you smashed too many overheads into the net? Or did you hit too many overheads in the fence? If your answer is positive, you need to either toss the ball into the air or hit it up with your paddle. This is a great chance to practice putting the ball away with varying heights, try to toss the ball, and move around a bit.

To practice returning lobs, start at the left side of the NVZ line and toss the ball toward the right side of the baseline. Also, practice by starting at the right side of the NVZ line and tossing the ball toward the left side of the baseline too.

Learn the hook of the game by hitting drops and drives by running back to return the lob. The key element to the game as more people mix in lobs during the rally.

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You can also practice on the wall at the courts or in the basement of your house.  Tape a line 36’’ high across the wall (34” in the middle if you need to be more accurate) and 20’ long if you have a longer space. Draw an NVZ line 7’ away from the wall to a makeshift pickleball NVZ. Through this, you can learn dinking and volleys with this new creation. Being faster from volleying against the wall helps in speed and control as you are getting a lot more feedback from all the repetitions you do.

2. Less Lobbing

Being a serial lobber on the court will not take us to the next level of the game. Good lobs help to upgrade our skill levels. Yes…! The intentional baseline third shot lobs help to upgrade the match skills.

3. Drill, Drill, Drill and Drill

We may start to play the game for fun elements but not being able to hit consistent shots and points ending early may be due to unforced errors. But Drilling can be more fun as you are hitting more balls and getting a better workout and exercise per hour than playing games. To add more competitiveness to the drill, keep a score with each drill so that it will be more fun to do.

4. Pick a Target

Have you ever imagined the target spot before hitting the ball? Before hitting the ball, not only think about who is hitting the ball but also think about where you are hitting the ball. Many players struggle with targets, as they break eye contact with the ball before they strike it on the target spot. 

Have a thought about whether you are thinking about hitting the third shot in the middle? Or thinking about hitting a drive to their backhand?  Even though it is not possible to place the ball exactly as you want, hitting with the intention will help you in the long run to get the ball where you want to hit and help you to strategize.

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5. Watch the Ball

Have you ever shanked a ball or whiffed it? Another struggle that happens in the game is players trying hard to place their shots on the corners of the court or along the sidelines. Focus on the ball and having contact with the ball is essential for a good play. Always be ready in the right position to play the strike. 

In pickleball, a soft, short drop shot comes from near the non-volley line, goes over the net, and drops into the opposing non-volley zone which is similar to a short drop shot in tennis. In the beginning stage, learn to hit longer shots to get used to the paddle and basic strokes.

Dinking is a key skill that will improve your pickleball gameplay to the next level. It takes a lot of patience to set up the winning shot. So, it’s better to focus on the ball and learn to dink the ball as soon as possible.

6. Use the right grip

The way of Holding the paddle has a great effect on your gameplay. It is better to start with the handshake grip (also called as continental grip). Holding the paddle out with your non-dominant hand and then shaking hands with the paddle. This is how we need to hold for continental grip. 

7. Get low

A high ball makes it easy for your opposite player to strike back with more aggressive shots and so your opponents can score points so easily. So, learning to play lowballs is a great shortcut to upgrade the player’s skill levels.  A high ball is also known as an “attackable ball”.

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When standing straight up, your reaction time will be slow. It will be easier to focus on speeding up while you are standing straight. You will feel how much easier it is to dink when you practice getting low.

Here are the four easy steps to hit the ball low:

  • Better to hit the ball as soon as possible so that the ball won’t get high.
  • Tightening the Paddle grip will affect the angle of the paddle played. So, it is always necessary to adjust and hold the paddle grip more periodically.
  • Make sure the paddle’s closed position is perpendicular to the ground. So that the hit ball will travel parallel to the ground.
  • Hitting the ball high will cause you to maximize the ground shots.

One major mistake player make is they move their feet as they run or swing through the ball. Also, it’s impossible to put the right focus on the ball with frequent runs. As it is harder to hit the sweet spot on your paddle in your frequent unusual run. So, try these steps,

  • Hit the ball to the spot
  • Keep the feet firm
  • Swing

By following these steps on every swing, you can play your best shot on the ball and it will be easy to hit the ball in your desired spot.

Being in the kitchen line (non-volley zone of the pickleball court) helps to put pressure on your opposite players. Always remember, all winning shots are volleys and are hit from the non-volley areas in the court.

These are the best 7 simple tips and strategies that help to play more efficiently. Everything comes with practice, likewise, the gameplay and skill level will be increased once you start playing Pickleball on the court. With every mistake, there is a new learning that improves your strategy. So why are you still waiting?