Pickleball Tutorials That Will Improve Your Game Play

   Pickleball Tutorials That Will Really Improve Your Game!

       We love Primetime Pickleball’s great pickleball tutorials! Here is our collection of the best fundamental tutorials to really improve your game. Check them out!

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3 Easy Ways To Improve Your Pickleball Game Today

Top 9 Basic Pickleball Strategy Mistakes & How To Fix Them

5 Tips For Perfect Pickleball Serve Technique

The 3rd Shot (The Most Important & Most Difficult Shot In Pickleball!)

The #1 Beginner Dinking Mistake

5 Keys To Successful Dinking

Top 3 Tips For Strong Pickleball Volleys

How To Beat Bangers

How To Dominate The Net

Top 9 Doubles Pickleball Skills & Drills to Perfect Them

3 Easy Ways To Improve Your Pickleball Game Today!

 
1. Get up to the net! (the non-volley zone, NVZ); and stay there! 
  • Your chance of winning a point is always best when both of you are at the net.
  • Don’t let opponents’ shots move you back from the NVZ. Hold your ground.
2. Stop and get into position before hitting the ball.
  • Hitting the ball while moving to the NVZ is a low percentage shot.
  • Hitting with your feet set gives you far greater control.
3. Be SMART, not fancy.
  • Hit the smart shot, not the hard shot. Instead of trying to hit the low percentage winner (the “highlight shot”) hit the high percentage shot that keeps you in the point.

Top 9 Basic Pickleball Strategy Mistakes & How To Fix Them

 
You may be making any one of these top 9 basic pickleball mistakes and not even know it.  They’re easy to fix and will make a HUGE difference in your game.
 
Mistake #1. The “Wandering Server.” 

Drifting onto the court after your serve sets you up miss a deep return. After your serve, step back a foot or two.

Mistake #2. Standing at the baseline to return a serve or a return of serve. 

A deep shot will cause you to back up and have to hit a short volley and will keep you from being able to come to the net. Play at least a couple of feet behind the baseline. If you have to come up to hit the shot, then you are well on the way to the NVZ.

Mistake #3. Hitting dead dinks. 

A dead dink is a dink without purpose; a dink that causes no movement from your opponent. Your dinks should force you opponent to have to move around and change his direction and depth.

Mistake #4. Not holding your ground at the NVZ. 

Don’t be so easily pushed back off the net! When a shot forces you back, come back up! Volley deep dinks rather than backing up for the bounce.

Mistake #5. Trying to win from the back.

Players who try to win with strong ground strokes from the baseline ( also known as “bangers”). Games are almost always won by the team that plays at the NVZ. Work instead on a 3rd shot drop to get up to the net.

Mistake #6. The Drive and Rush.

This is when a player hits a strong 3rd shot and rushes the net without being aware of where the other team is set up. Be mindful of the position of your opponents and the consequence of your drive. Rather than drive and rush, drive and assess.

Mistake #7. Being a spectator on the court.

After hitting the ball, rather than watching what happens, focus on getting into the right position for the next shot. Close any wide gaps between you and your partner.

Mistake #8. Avoiding your backhand.

Even if you don’t have a great backhand, habitually cheating to the forehand side or “running around your backhand” in order to hit a forehand shot is going to hurt your play in the long run. You will be far better off taking your backhand shots and and improving your game by not always being out of position to favor your forehand.

Mistake #9. Playing with too small margins.

In other words, trying to place shots too close to the line. Give yourself enough cushion on your shots, and you will win a lot more points.

5 Tips For Perfect Pickleball Serve Technique

 
Is your serve not as consistent or powerful as you want it to be?  One of these 5 Pickleball serving tips is probably the reason.  Fix these and you’ll nail it every time…
 
Tip #1. Don’t just use your arm or your wrist.
  • Use a consistent full body motion (legs, hips, core, etc.).
Tip #2. Don’t use an open stance while serving (both shoulders parallel to the baseline).
  • Opt instead for a closed stance or semi-closed stance, allowing you to rotate your body through the serve.
Tip #3. Develop a smooth low to high swing path.
  • Avoid a tense grip and stiff arms and shoulder.
  • Slightly loosen your grip and hit through the ball with your paddle arcing smoothly from low to high.
Tip #4. Don’t start your serve with a large back swing.
  • Start your swing from just behind your back hip.
Tip #5. Perfect your service “toss.” 
  • You should neither toss the ball in the air nor hit the ball out of your hand.
  • Rather, hold the ball at about waist height and simply drop the ball before the paddle reaches it.

The 3rd Shot (The Most Important & Most Difficult Shot In Pickleball!)

 
Three key things to think about when making that crucial 3rd shot:
 
First, it’s got to be a soft shot!
  • Have a 3-4 (on a scale of 10) grip pressure on your paddle.
  • Too stiff a grip will tend to make your return too fast, and thus attackable.
Second, make sure you have a low to high swing motion.
  • You want a 3rd shot DROP, not a 3rd shot DRIVE!
Third, make sure all your weight and momentum is going forward at impact with the ball.
  • Make sure you are behind the baseline and set, ready for a deep return.
  • If you DO hit an attackable (“garbage”) 3rd shot, “DON’T chase the garbage!” Don’t follow a bad 3rd shot into the net; stay back.

The #1 Beginner Dinking Mistake

 
Many beginners dink the ball with the paddle face held vertically open.
  • This means handle up, paddle head almost straight down towards the ground, with the face parallel to the net.
  • This causes you to pop the ball up resulting in a smash.
  • You also lose the ability to backspin the ball  and ball control is minimal.
  • Instead the paddle should extend from your arm at almost a 90 degree angle, both on the forehand and backhand.

5 Keys To Successful Dinking

 
 
1st Key. The Grip: Use the continental grip.
  • Also known as the “handshake grip.” With the head of the paddle pointing away from you and the face straight up and down, shake hands with the grip. Your thumb and forefinger form a V over the top of the handle.
 
handshake grip
continental grip
2nd Key. The proper Swing Path: low too high in front of your body.
  • You need to practice a consistent  stroke. Always contact the ball in front of your body with a short backswing, a smooth stoke from low to higher, with a compact follow through.
3rd Key. Use your legs!
  • Avoid keeping your legs straight and bending at the waist alone to strike a low ball.
  • At the net, get low with your knees bent and use your feet to move into hitting position.
4th Key. Net Clearance.
  • Make sure your shots clear the net! Give yourself a good margin of error (a foot above is good). Don’t try to have your shot barely clear the net. It’s not about height; its about depth (which is key #5)!
5th Key. Hit it in the Kitchen!
  • You want your dinks to fall short of your opponents feet in the kitchen. Dinks that go further than the kitchen can easily be volleyed back with pace.

Top 3 Tips For Strong Pickleball Volleys

 
Tip #1. Have a stable (constant) paddle face angle.
  • With your paddle in a continental grip, maintain a constant angle in your volley strokes.
Tip #2. Keep your stroke compact.
  • Your backstroke should never go behind your body and your followthrough should be more of a push than a swing with no more than a foot or two from backstroke to followthrough.
Tip #3. Maintain an optimal contact zone.
  • Avoid contacting the ball too close to your body (jamming you) or too far in front of your body (causing the ball to pop up).
  • The optimal range is from about a foot in front of you to perhaps two feet in from of you.

How To Beat Bangers

 
Defending against hard hitters (“Bangers”) in pickleball.
  • Develop “soft hands” to slow the game down by taking the pace off a hard hit ball and dropping it in the opponent’s kitchen.
  • Keep a stable and firm wrist with a relaxed grip to allow your paddle to absorb the pace of the ball.

How To Dominate The Net

 

  • Hold your ground at the non-volley zone (NVZ). Stay right up at the NVZ line. (Being back even 6 inches or a foot off the line exposes significantly more court and angles to your opponents.)
  • Being right at the NVZ gives you more opportunities to attack and to put constant pressure on your opponent.

Top 9 Doubles Pickleball Skills & Drills To Perfect Them

 
This may be the best overall drill program for developing the 9 most important skills in doubles Pickleball! The skills needed for doubles mastery are:
  • Skill #1. Dinking and Dink Volleys.
  • Skill #2. Attacking from the Non-Volley Zone (NVZ) line.
  • Skill #3. Resetting and Blocking from the NVZ line.
  • Skill #4. Baseline Skills (including flat drives, topspin dipping drives, slicing, and dropping).
  • Skill #5. Transition Zone Skills (including drop volleys, drop half volleys, driving volleys, and driving, dropping, and rolling approach ground strokes).
  • Skill #6. Serving.
  • Skill #7. Returning.
  • Skill #8. Lobs.
  • Skill #9. Overheads.