Pickleball seems tough to play in the beginning, however, most players get addicted to it once they master the rules and moves. As a beginner, you first have to master the basic moves and rules. After you’ve masters the basics, it’s now time to get creative and use the basic skills to develop strategies and techniques to send your opponent parking. In this article, we compiled for you the basic principle of offensive strategies in pickleball to help you perfect in your offensive game.
Some Basic Principles
Poaching in pickleball involves a player answering a shot that was targeted at his core player. That is, if a shot is targeted at your partner’s position, you cross over to your partner’s side of the court and answer it. Poaching is considered both offensive and a strategy depending on how it’s done.
You can guess that poaching makes your partner angry, especially if they are a beginner. Poaching makes your partner feel useless in the game. The principle is, you have to agree about poaching before the start of the game. In a game where you are an advanced player playing with a beginner, do not poach them unless agreed beforehand and vice versa.
Correct foot working
Footwork can be a great offensive strategy in pickleball, especially if you master it well. Footworking shall allow you to make a return from closer to the net without getting into the non-volley zone. For instance, it is allowed to hit the ball with one leg inside the non-volley zone but not two.
You can take advantage of this and step into the non-volley zone with one leg and stretch your hand and upper body forward and hit or drop a volley from very near the net. It is of great importance that you learn the basics and rules of the foot working around the pickleball court in order to take advantage of the offensive foot working moves.
Anticipating balls out
This is one of the effortless but effective basic principle of offensive strategies in pickleball. Anticipating balls out needs more observation than energy. It involves studying your partner’s moves and body posture to determine whether their shot shall fall out of bounds or not.
While studying your opponent’s body posture and anticipating the position where that ball shall land might seem hard, it makes your work easy and your efforts fruitful. Your opponent also gets frustrated to return a shot only for you to show no effort returning it, then it falls out of bounds, a really genius move.
Overhead shooting is a great aggressive and offensive strategy to capitalize on your opponent’s mistakes. Normally, overhead shots are possible when the opponent lobs too low, or their shot lands too near to the non-volley zone. In case of an overhead shot opportunity, move back a little and adjust to a sideways position.
Try and return the ball at the highest possible point you can. The sun can get destructive and therefore be sure to cover your forehead. Your paddle needs to have its face verticle for better offensive overhead shots.
Making low returns
Making low returns is a great offensive strategy used by most professional players. When you make a low return, the ball goes higher to your opponent’s side. It is important that you target the ball at the center of your opponent’s court, so it ends up being too hard to answer and confusing for your opponents.
Confusing because, if you have two opponents, then the central ball isn’t targeted at any, such neutrality makes them confused on who to answer the shot.
Drop volleys hitting
A drop volley is always ‘untimely’ for an opponent that stays far away from the net. The main idea behind this strategy is that your opponent shall be too far to answer the shot in time which gives you an easy point. When hitting a drop volley, target the ball near to your opponent’s post and close to the net. Also, ensure that you target the opponent who is far away from the net.
Hitting down the sideline
Hitting down the sideline is one of the riskiest but effective offensive strategies in pickleball. A little mistake when hitting down the sideline makes you the hunted. Therefore, be careful and follow this carefully. Only try hitting the sideline when:
- Only if your team has higher chances of winning.
- When your opponent is a poacher.
- When the ball served is easy to hit.
- A weak opponent is to the backhand of the court.
- An opponent has left the sideline uncovered while concentrating on all the other angles.
Only try hitting the sideline if you have checked for the above and are sure of better outcomes, otherwise, a little miss might cost you.
Lobbing can be utilized as an offensive strategy to earn an easy point. For instance, Lobbing when your opponent is far away from the baseline making them too late to answer your shot. It becomes even interesting when your opponent is moving towards the net, then you offend them with a lob.
After offensive Lobbing, things might get tough for you if you don’t prepare. In case you can reach the baseline faster, do so early. However, if you cannot reach the baseline in time, your best bet is to maintain your position at the net.
Basic Principle of Offensive Strategies in Pickleball
To sum up, the above basic principle of offensive strategies in pickleball shall allow you to get easy points. Strategies are what shall determine the quality of your game and whether you’re winning or not.
If you are a beginner, we assume you already have the basics, the above strategies shall allow you to perfect your game and challenge your opponents the next time you’re on the court. If you are experienced, the above strategies shall remind you and put you on ties with your strategic pickleball game. Which is your best strategy?