I see sooo many players of all ages, who are working much harder than they NEED to be on the court, and aren’t getting nearly as good results as they COULD be. The key to getting great results in pickleball is not to get younger, stronger, faster but to play SMARTER.
Today’s video blog post is a quick review of The 5 Rules of Playing Smart Pickleball, which I introduced in my book, Smart Pickleball. If you are feeling stuck at your current level of play or are constantly on the defense, then you’re probably not following the 5 rules of playing Smart Pickleball. So if you’re looking for a way to improve your game but you suspect you won’t be getting much younger, stronger or faster this week, this topic is for you.
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I want to talk about the 5 rules of playing smart pickleball. So what are those particular rules?
Smart Pickleball Rule #1 – Buy Yourself Time
Whenever you have a choice, choose that shot that buys you more time to get back into position and ready for the next shot.
Smart Pickleball Rule #2 – Keep Your Opponents on the Defense
Keeping your opponents on the defense means keeping them at the back of the court, or keeping the ball low if they are tat the net, both of which are very important parts of the game.
Smart Pickleball Rule #3 – Maximum Results for the Minimum Effort
Whenever you have a choice, choose the shot that requires the least effort and keeps you in the game.
Smart Pickleball Rule #4: Play the Probabilities
Always choose the highest percentage shot.
What do I mean by highest percentage shot? Try to hit one of those shots that will keep you in the game rather than try to hit hero shots. Not that it’s not okay to do that but I often say that if you hit that ball in into your court, it’s a hero shot but if you missed it, it’s a zero shot. So always be very particular about hitting in your highest percentage shot which gives you more time.
Smart Pickleball Rule #5: Anticipate the Next Shot
Like in chess, anticipate what shot you’re gonna hit before you hit it, anticipate what shot your opponents will respond with, and get ready for it! Learning to anticipate the next shot is probably the most challenging rule of playing Smart Pickleball, but it is so important to learn. You can save yourself SO much time, energy, effort and frustration just by BEING in right spot and correctly anticipating your opponents shots. It does take some learning but it’s worth it. One of the I highly recommend you to come to one of my clinics or bootcamps and you will learn a lot about how to anticipate the ball as it comes through.
In everything I teach on my website, on my clinics, bootcamps, workshops, these are the principles I’m really focused on.
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P.S. — Ready to learn the nuances of playing Smart Pickleball? Pick up a copy of my Amazon.com #1 Best-Selling Book, Smart Pickleball on Amazon or Barnes & Noble today (It’s available in print, e-book and audiobook versions.)
Did you miss last week’s post? Check it out here:Why Top Pickleball Players Can Break The “Rules” & You Shouldn’t
Danny Lew says
Thanks for all the awesome pickleball tips. I just started to learn the sport and this info is very helpful.
Arun s says
In Pickleball there is a lot of untapped room to get creative, as long as it is in your comfort zone. Make sure you are relaxed and comfortable before trying a variety of things. Those could be anywhere from trying a variety of grips, pressures and ways of coming across the ball with the relaxed paddle face.
A light and short paddle, such as the one used in Pickleball affords you that luxury. Can’t do that in tennis. Long heavy racket gives you less room for freedom of swing, where you have to be a lot more disciplined. It’s a slow learning curve. Not so in Pickleball. Remember that what works for someone else won’t necessarily work for you either. Be your own individual player at your best.