Pickleball Strategy – 10 Tips to Help Win the Point

Every sport has two major components. First there are the physical skills, i.e. how to hit a ball, kick a ball, etc. Players need to master the different strokes, kicks or hits necessary to be successful on this level.

The second component is strategy. Beginners are often so focused on the physical aspect that they overlook the mental and strategic guidelines. The video below provides a brief outline of the types of shots and player positions necessary under certain conditions to enable a team to have the best opportunity to win a pickleball game..

I have outlined which skills are presented in which order and what the general time stamps are for each. Move the time-slider to get to any of the skills should you want to skip around or repeat a segment. The last ten minutes or so present a quiz for the viewer to test their understanding of pickleball strategies presented.

If you have some helpful hints, enter them in the comment section below.

Doubles Pickleball Strategy 101-How to Play Smart Pickleball, Ten Tips

00 – 1:10 – Overall Strategy and Goal – Getting your team to the net as quickly as possible.

Tip #1
1:11 – 2:26 – Shot #1: The Serve

Play it safe and do not miss!

Tip #2
2:27 – 3:55 – The Return of Serve

Aim for a specific spot in the left-hand court. The video explains why this is a good strategy!

Tip #3
3:56 – 6:02 – Return the Serve and Charge

The team receiving the serve SHOULD establish control of the net upon hitting the return of serve.

Tip #4
6:03- 8:42 – Partner positions

Play in tandem and not in a “this is my side, that is your side” manner. Another important note is to communicate UNLESS the shot is obvious and even then it may be better to call every shot; “you”, “me”, “no”, etc.

Tip # 5
8:43 – 11:26 – Third Shot Drop Shot

An alternate strategy is also provided for those who cannot make a third shot drop shot.

Tip # 6
11:27 – 12:37 – 4th Shot should keep opponents as deep as possible

Tip # 7
12:38 – 14:06 – Dinking when everyone is at the net


14:07 – 15:47 – Review of the first five shots of a Pickleball game

Tip # 8
15:48 – 16:34 – Net play – When to hit softly and when to hit hard

Tip # 9
16:35 -18:11 – Keep opponents back in the court if you can

Tip # 10
18:12 – 19:34 – Avoid low percentage shots

Down the alley from the back of the court
Lobbing from the back of the court

19:35 – End – PB Quiz with diagrams for viewers to test their knowledge of PB strategy.

13 thoughts on “Pickleball Strategy – 10 Tips to Help Win the Point

    • January 22, 2016 at 6:38 am

      Patricia, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I curate this site to help others share my passion for pickleball!

  • December 14, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    I am enjoying your tips and will be passing them on to other members of our group. Thanks for sharing.

    • December 15, 2016 at 6:46 am

      Hal, Thank you for stopping by JBRish for pickleball news and perhaps other items of interest. Yes, PB is great fun. I must admit that I am not a PB wiz, but I do find it a great deal of fun and I have made many friends in the N. Phoenix PB community! One of my articles was just published in Pickleball Magazine, PERFECTING THE LUCKY SHOT, which I think most players would appreciate! Thanks for the comment! J. Ross

  • April 17, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Do you know of any resources for matching grants to build pickleball courts in a city park system? Please advise. Thanks

    • April 18, 2017 at 6:57 am


      My best advice is to look at the USAPA (USA Pickleball Association) website – http://www.usapa.org/ to see what resources might be available. One good place to start might be here – http://www.usapa.org/communities-clubs/ -to check with other communities in your state to see if they have any advice or answers. Other than that, I don’t know of any other resources; sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

  • July 24, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    Great tutorial, simple high level, just what I was looking for!

    • July 24, 2018 at 5:46 pm

      I am glad you found this interesting. I am not an expert PB player, although I play between 3.5 and 3.75 depending on the day. I enjoy teaching pickleball to others and watching them enjoy the game. Thank you for visiting and commenting! You might also enjoy another Joe Baker video about how to practice PB skills by yourself. Check it out – https://jbrish.com/pickleball-video-hate-practice-love-better/

  • February 14, 2021 at 10:44 am

    Simply outstanding! I believe that once a player has learned court courtesy, the basic rules and strokes and played a bit – this video should be extremely beneficial in developing their game. I play on a number of public courts where we bang away without the thought required to learn and play the game strategically to our greatest benefit – myself included. Thank you for sharing!

    • February 14, 2021 at 2:17 pm


      Thanks for visiting JBRish.com and leaving a comment. I can bang away at times, but I enjoy points where I can use a well placed and well-paced shot where the opponent is caught off guard. I do enjoy the short game and playing the angles which can give other players a fit!

  • April 5, 2021 at 12:24 pm

    Your website has given me a lot of practical guidance, and for that I thank you.
    This informative article is one of the best I have
    read up to now on your website, and so I felt I had to take some time to post
    a comment. You have given me a number of tips that could aid me going forward.

    • April 6, 2021 at 3:31 pm

      Thank you for your recent comment. Every game or sport has a set of strategies that will help practitioners become more proficient more quickly if they are followed. I am glad that you found this post helpful.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.