To help you improve your pickleball game, this guide will go over 5 of the best pickleball advanced strategies. Pickleball is a fun and challenging cross between tennis, table tennis, and badminton. Due to its dynamic gameplay and interesting rules, the sport has been gaining popularity among people of all ages.
5. The One-Third, Two-Thirds Strategy
One of the most underrated pickleball advanced strategies available is the one-third, two-thirds strategy. Basically, this strategy consists of only covering two-thirds of the court at any time.
At this point, it is easy to see why so many people are reluctant to implement this strategy: It implies leaving one-third of the court open and vulnerable. However, when implemented correctly, the one-third, two-thirds plan can be incredibly effective. In order to do it, follow these steps:
- Whenever you are covering your line, your partner needs to be covering the middle. Likewise, when you are covering the center, your partner should cover their own line.
- You and your partner should position yourselves between six and seven inches apart from each other.
- Maintaining this distance, make sure the middle-third is always being covered.
- When on the attack, get closer to your partner in order to form a wall on the second third of the court.
- If your opponent goes for a low-percentage shot to the area that remains uncovered, either you or your partner should be prepared to run back and get it.
- As soon as your opponent gets out of position, get back on the attack.
4. Advanced Covering Strategies
Speaking of the line and the middle of the court, one of the most important pickleball advanced strategies has to do with knowing when to cover either one. Luckily, if you know how to do it, this strategy is fairly simple.
When the opponent directly opposite you is hitting the ball, you should cover your line, leaving your partner to cover the middle. Conversely, if the opponent that is directly opposing your partner hits the ball, cover the middle and leave your partner to cover their own line.
The reason this strategy works so well is that it restricts the answering possibilities of the opposing team. In other words, your team should be effectively covering both the line and the middle at all times. This way, the only shot left to your opponent will be a low percentage cross-shot that is very difficult to pull off. It should also be mentioned that this strategy grows in importance as the ball gets closer to the outside of the court.
There are some pickleball advanced strategies that you can implement to improve the efficiency of your team’s defense. One such strategy is shadowing.
There are some instances in which your partner may have to move to the side to the court in order to answer a wide ball. In moments such as these, you may want to shadow them by moving closer to them than you normally would. Make sure you cover a portion of the space that they would normally cover. This may sound obvious, but it is only half of the strategy. The other half of it relies on what you and your teammate do next.
First of all, your teammate should hit back the ball towards the opponent that is directly in front of them. While they do this, you should be regaining your position on the other side of the court. If you do this correctly, you will cover most of the court. In the end, you’ll leave no room for your opponents to pull off a high percentage shot that would be very difficult to answer.
Without a doubt, one of the most well-known pickleball advanced strategies is poaching. This term refers to the practice of a player stepping into their partner’s side of the court to return a ball. As you guessed it, under normal conditions, the ball that the poaching player returns would have to be dealt with by their teammate. However, poaching is still perfectly legal within the rules of pickleball. As a result, whether it’s correct to poach a ball is more a matter of ethics and communication between partners.
Poaching is an essential strategy that can be used to surprise and destabilize your opponent. Additionally, it can be used to fill a hole that was left by your teammate, saving an otherwise lost point. More precisely, however, it can be said that poaching is a useful strategy in two different situations.
- The first situation in which poaching can be used effectively is when one player is much better than his or her partner. In competitive games, opponent teams will often try to exploit the weaknesses of a less-experienced player. When this happens, most shots will go directly to the weaker player. To prevent failing to answer those shots, the strongest player may intervene, moving over to the weaker player’s side of the court and answering the ball.
- The other situation in which poaching should be used is when a pattern is revealed. As a result, it can be anticipated and beaten. Often, this involves the use of the poaching strategy. One clear example is when your partner is back at the baseline for any reason. The opponent may take advantage of this, either by shooting low balls in the non-volley zone or returning the third shot with force to keep your teammate back.
1. Spinning the Ball
The last entry in this list of pickleball advanced strategies may also be the simplest. Learning how to spin the ball can result in nightmarish shots for your opponents. Whether it is a topspin or a backspin, this kind of move will have your opponent scrambling to answer the ball.
Hopefully, the strategies described in this guide will help you take your pickleball game to the next level. At any rate, practicing them will surely help you improve your game. Did you find these pickleball advanced strategies useful? Let us know in the comment section!