8. Hitting Drop Volleys
Experienced pickleball players know that there are few things more aggravating than an opponent that stays away from the net at all times. In this kind of situation, one of the most advisable pickleball offensive strategies is connecting a drop volley. If you are not familiar with the slang yet, head over to our pickleball terminology guide for a quick lesson.
By performing this shot, you will have a good opportunity at catching your opponent off guard, making it very difficult for them to respond. Typically, this shot is placed near the post that is on the side of the opponent who is farther back in the court. However, you may also consider a drop volley that goes across sides (from left to right or vice-versa).
7. Offensive Lobbing
Despite being a very simple and somewhat passive shot, a lob is one of the best pickleball offensive strategies in certain situations. In particular, lobs are very useful when both your opponents are inside the non-volley zone. When you manage to connect a proper lob shot, however, it’s important to know what to do next.
If you have enough time to run back to the baseline, do it as it gives you the best chance to respond to your opponent’s overshot. However, if you don’t have the time to run back to the baseline, the best bet is to maintain your position at the net.
6. Shooting Overhead
If done correctly, hitting an overhead shot can be a quick and efficient way to win a point. However, it is important to know exactly how and when to do it. The main thing is to hit it when the ball is high enough. Additionally, when trying to take the following into account:
- If possible, use the palm of your other hand to block the sun.
- Maintain the face of your paddle as vertically straight as possible.
- Try not to backpedal. Instead, try turning sideways and side-stepping to reach the ball.
Even though it may sound very basic, the right type of footwork can be one of the most effective pickleball offensive strategies you can use. Mainly, the right kind of footwork will help you hit the ball without stepping in the non-volley zone. This will allow you to hit volleys and drop volleys without being too far away from the net.
For example, you may step into the non-volley zone with one foot, stretching to hit the ball much like a swordsman stretches to stab the enemy. Additionally, it is important to have a clear grasp on how to footwork around the court. Most of the time, side-stepping is the most effective way to do so.
4. Hitting Down the Sideline
One of the most popular strategies for winning an easy point in pickleball is hitting down the sideline. However, it’s also one of the riskiest. Place the ball a few inches too far, and you will have effectively ruined yourself. For that reason, it is only advisable to try hitting down the sideline in the following situations:
- Your opponent is a poacher.
- You have a solid advantage and are favored to win.
- The ball is very easy to hit.
- Your opponent is standing near the net covering all angles but the sideline.
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3. Hitting Low Returns
Due to its explosiveness and efficiency, the low return is one of the classic pickleball offensive strategies that is preferred by the most high-octane professional players. The basic concept behind this move is the following:
The lower you hit the ball, the higher your opponent will have to hit it back in order to keep the point going. Apart from making the shot harder to answer, a low return can be confusing to opponents. This is particularly true when the shot is placed near the middle of the court as teammates will often have doubts regarding who should answer the ball, resulting in an effortless point.
2. Anticipating Out Balls
Speaking about effortless points, one of the most energy-conserving pickleball offensive strategies available is simply anticipating out balls. In order to do this, you need to be capable of reading your opponent’s body language while calculating the odds of the ball actually going out of bounds. If it sounds difficult, it’s because it is. However, it’s a great way to get ahead while conserving energy and frustrating your opponent.
1. Poaching Effectively
Poaching is a specialized term that refers to answering a shot that goes over to your partner’s side of the court. There is a certain amount of controversy regarding this strategy. Some people consider it rude, while others expect it as a natural progression during a doubles game.
At any rate, because it increases the dynamism of the game, this move is expected during professional pickleball games. At its core, this strategy depends upon communication between you and your partner. If there is confusion regarding a poach, things can get chaotic really fast. For that reason, it’s important to develop a system of communication that will allow your team to poach effectively.
If you are new to the world of pickleball, there is no doubt that learning the strategies featured in this guide will help you improve your game quickly. Which one of these useful pickleball offensive strategies will you be trying first? Let us know in the comment section below!