This video is worth studying and watching a couple of times. There is no substitute for practice. Playing games, the experts repeatedly say, will not help improve your game as much as targeted practice.
If you haven’t seen Joe Bakers other pickleball videos, run, do not walk,to your nearest computer and view these:
Doubles Pickleball Strategy 101-How to Play Smart Pickleball, Ten Tips
Doubles Pickleball Strategy 102 – Smart Pickleball Vol. 2, Power
For those who may not know, there is an interesting online resource with a good number of pickleball tips to help us brush up on our game or, for those who do not know, teach about pickleball strategy. Since most players compete as a doubles team, the strategies are aimed primarily at doubles play.
One of the suggestions I try to stress when people ask me for ideas is that a doubles team should move together during play. One of the hardest positions from which to win a point is when one partner is in back of the court while the other is up at the net. That positioning leaves a large hole in the pickleball doubles defense which a good opponent can exploit.
“Imagine an invisible link that keeps you and your partner no more than about 10 ft. apart. When your partner moves to retrieve the ball, that link is like a powerful magnetic force that pulls you with him. If your partner is pulled to the sideline to play the ball, you are pulled with him to cover the middle. If that link is broken, you leave a big gap up the middle. It is very common to see players protecting their side of the court instead of moving with the ball and their partner.
In the same way that the link pulls you laterally, it should also pull you forward and back. When your partner moves up to the no-volley line, that link is pulling you along to establish a position of strength. When your partner is forced to the back court to retrieve a ball, it is much more likely that he will hit a return that can be slammed back at you. So the link should be pulling you back with him, at least part of the way, until you see what type of return that your partner is making. That link has some flexibility, but should never break completely.
Watch for those broken links on the other side of the net. That creates an opening for you to hit a winner.”
If you read a number of hints from the Pickleball coaches and advanced players, they will often provide similar ideas about how to play a better doubles game.
One highlight is to “move together” so that there are no “gaps” in your offensive or defensive positions.
Another often stated principal is to focus on placement and not so much on power. Hitting the ball where your opponents ARE NOT is a better strategy because it tends to cut down on unforced errors such as hitting the ball out of bounds, etc.
Below is a brief video from Pickleball 411 if you want to see these concepts in action:
Pickleball 411: Three Tips to a Better Doubles Team