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9 Strategy Tips to Play Singles Pickleball Well

In singles pickleball, you are on your side of the court. On the pickleball court, you can’t rely on a partner to be on your side. This means that you have to be able to cover the entire court and make every shot, as well as think ahead with a strategy. The strategy in singles is different from that of doubles play, making it a refreshing experience.

Here are 9 strategy tips for singles pickleball players. Whether you are new to the game or looking to sharpen your skills, these tips will help you improve your singles pickleball strategy. Learn more at Pickleballbyyou.

1.Keep Hitting a Deep Return of Serve

The return of serve in singles pickleball should be deep on your opponent’s side of the court. To keep the ball close to the baseline & just outside of the court, you can move toward it with your return. This will make it harder for your opponent to take a shot and give you more time to do so yourself.

Hit your opponent’s weaker side, which is often the backhand side, and give yourself enough margin for error.

  1. Serve Near the Middle Position on the Pickleball Court

One way to serve better is to bring the ball in the middle of your opponent’s side of the court, but it needs to be in the right box! Serving near the “T” on the court will enable you to prepare for your next shot much faster and prevent your opponent from hitting angles with the return of serve. Although there isn’t a set rule for how close to or far from the center you should be serving from when playing singles, mixing up placement on your serves can help give even more offense to your opponents!

  1. Keep Serving Deep in the Pickleball Court 

We all know that a deep serve is a good strategy in doubles pickleball; it’s even more important to hit a big, deep serve in singles. This will force your opponent back beyond the baseline and make for a more difficult return for your opponent.

  1. Come Into the Kitchen Line! 

One common theme between doubles & singles pickleball is that most points are won at the Non-Volley Zone. As a result, you need to keep moving and get to that area. It’s especially true for singles pickleball because by coming to the “net,” you can cut off your opponent’s angles on the pickleball court.

It’s worth noting that with this pickleball strategy tip, your opponent might find success and win a few rallies due to good passing shots. However, most points are won near the Kitchen line, so finding a place for yourself is important.

  1. Momentum Is the Most Important Thing

Momentum can be more important than the size of your court. It’s great if you’ve got the space to set up for a shot, but sometimes it’s better to play defensively and manage your opponent’s momentum. Fighting against an opponent’s momentum is difficult and often leads to a harder position to escape. Note where your opponent tends to go in the heat of the moment, then work towards chaos.

  1. Remedy when you make a return mistake

Now that we’re learning how to hit a big, deep return of serve in single pickleball, it’s important to know what to do when you hit a bad one. You have two options:

  1. When playing defensively, stay back at the baseline and depress the ball. Do your best to get it back in play and return to your offensive position.
  2. Position yourself about five feet behind the Non-Volley Zone for your opponent’s third shot. This will help you prepare for any shots they might hit and make it as difficult for them to put the ball away. Your goal is to take over more of their court and prevent them from getting a clear line of sight to the net

You should probably choose the left option (punch) if you’re stronger and your opponent is weaker. The right option (looking) might work better if you’re weaker or your return of serve was bad. Custom paddle as a gift for him.

  1. Observe Where the Ball Hits

After you hit your shot, watch where the ball goes. Following the flight of your pickleball will put you in between your opponent and the ball closest to them (i.e., not yours). Meaning you’ll be in the middle of the shortest path between your opponent & where you stand on the court, making it easier to hit them from all angles. This makes your opponent have to make a tough decision: hit the ball to the side you’re covering or crosscourt. Go on the offensive and make their defense think with your sharp eye and quick reflexes!

  1. Boost Your Lung Capacity

Single pickleball is a quick game, you are the only person you can rely on on the court, so you have to make it over to the other side in one yard. Some people think that the player who wins in singles pickleball is simply the one who can stay on the court for the longest. Don’t let your loss result from fatigue: you want to last as long as possible to stand victorious in a singles pickleball game. Make sure you stay active off the court so you can play better on it. To do this, you’ll need to be in shape and have endurance.

  1. Wait For Your Opponent to Make a Mistake

Sometimes pickleball players—especially singles pickleball players—go for ‘too much.’ They try to hit game-winning shots, and as a result, they let off easy shots. This can happen if they are super close to the net and they “open up”––get too far out of the way so as not to get blocked. When playing singles in pickleball, one strategy is to put pressure on your opponent and make them fail. Let your opponent commit their errors by going for a difficult shot rather than making mistakes yourself.

Although singles pickleball is not as popular as doubles, it’s still a sport and these tips can help you get better. You’ll be well on your way to loving it just as much! Customize a pickleball paddle and start playing.


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