Those pesky tennis players with such beautiful ball control, smooth strokes, good footwork and tricky spin… Do you ask yourself, “How ever do I play against them?” When you diagnose the problem, it’s quite simple actually, once you know these two secrets.
Last month I had someone write in asking for advice on how to better calibrate their drop shot.
Unless you’re a nationally ranked player, (and even then!) I’m sure you can relate to having days (or… ahem… entire pickleball careers) when you can’t seem to get the darn ball over the net from the back of the court without giving your opponent a cream-puff of a put-away shot to slam back at your feet.
If you want to improve your game (and not just keep beating the same people you always beat) you HAVE to get up to the kitchen and play from right behind the no-volley line.
You life-long tennis players — Yes, I’m talking to you!
You’re not playing tennis anymore, and although the racket-skills you developed in tennis will serve you well, the physics of a pickleball game are simply different.
You. Must. Get. To. The. (No-Volley) Line.
Not ON the line, of course, but RIGHT BEHIND it. I mean, plant your feet 1-2″ from the line and don’t move back. Move side to side as needed. Step one foot into the kitchen to take a ball on the bounce, but play from RIGHT BEHIND the line.
Pickleball Poaching: If you’ve been playing pickleball for any length of time and you play against people who are determined to win, you’ve probably been in the situation where the only time you get to hit the ball is on the serve or return of serve because your opponents hit every other shot to your partner (presumably the weaker player).
A question I hear a lot is: “Prem, do you have any suggestions for what to do when I’m playing with a lefty? “What I don’t hear quite so often is: “Prem, how do I play against a right-left combination?” and the reason I don’t hear it much is because a surprising number of players never even NOTICE when one of their opponents is left-handed (not to mention if both of them happen to be).