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Shot Wisdom

Wisdom:  First four shots

1st shot:  (Server)

Get your serve over the net and deep.

(My secret...which yes, I'm telling you now, is I often try to move the returner.  I try to serve to somewhere a few feet from where you're standing to get you moving or off-balance).

2nd shot: (Returner) 

Return the serve deep with an arcing return - this keeps your opponents back and gives you time to get up to the net.  Remember - "Return and Run".  Don't stay back at the baseline admiring your shot.

3rd shot: (Serve team)

Drop it or drive it - there's decisions to be made.  If one or both of your opponents is staying back, keep them back.  If both are at the line, a drive or a drop might be most effective.

4th shot: (Return team)  Will depend on the type of third shot.

Fourth shot options - Simone Jardim

Wisdom:  Places to aim

Places to aim?  The middle line deep is often a great place, especially against both right handers and a right-hand/left-hand partner duo when both have their forehands in the middle and might try for the ball. 


Another place to aim?  The opponent's paddle arm which will cause a "chicken wing" effect as they try to move to hit the ball which may cause an unusual shot or a pop-up you or your partner can capitalize on.

Wisdom: Learn the rules

The 2023 USA Pickleball rules booklet can be found HERE.  You should really know the basics at least so that in competitive play, you do not have your opponent take advantage of your ignorance.  

A Facebook post from Ron Ponder of IFP (International Federation of Pickleball) puts it best:

"Seems like every rules question on here ends with. "... so we replayed it".  Heads up, people!  That's hardly ever the rule!  Here are the only times the rule book allows replays in non officiated play, paraphrased.

11.E If a cracked or broken ball affects play.
4.A.8 Hidden release of ball on drop serve
8.C A valid hinder
11.L.5.b Ball goes over net and hits crossbar, etc.,
13.D.1.b Disagreement on foot faults.
4.K Wrong score called and challenged before 3rd shot. "

Drills and Tips

10 tips - doubles pickleball strategy - by Joe Baker

Respecting the X - updated for 2022 - by Tony Roig / We Are Pickleball

How to reset better - Lee Whitwell

3 Pickleball Shots hurting your game - with Nicole Havlicek

Third Shot Drop - with Matt and Brian Staub

Returning Lobs - with Simone Jardim

Block defense against hard hitters - with Scott Moore

Cross-court dinking when pressured - by Tyson McGuffin


Block volley drills / soft hands - by Simone Jardim

Pickleball fitness - keeping balance at the NVZ - by Sarah Ansboury

YouTube channels/videos

This is a list of some of the YouTube channels I enjoy.  There are plenty of others.  Hit up YouTube for all your pickleball video needs!

Sarah Ansboury:

C J Johnson

In2Pickle - friends out of Clearwater

PrimeTime Pickleball

Pickleball Channel

Pickleball Magazine

Pickleball Kitchen


APP Tour - Tournament videos


PPA Tour - Tournament videos

Major League Pickleball (MLP)

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