5 Essential Tips Every Pickleball Player (and Partner) Should Know


Pickleball is a game of strategy, finesse, and teamwork. Whether you’re a seasoned player or just starting, understanding the nuances of the game can elevate your performance and enjoyment. Here are five indispensable tips that every pickleball player and their partner should know.

1. Reset Dinks to the Middle

When you’re pulled to the left or right or forced to run, it’s crucial to reset the ball by hitting it to the center. This strategy helps regain control and disrupts your opponent’s rhythm. By aiming for the middle, you create a neutral zone that can prevent your opponents from capitalizing on your movement.

Benefits of Resetting to the Middle

  • Regains Control: Hitting to the center helps you and your partner regain control of the rally.
  • Disrupts Opponents: It forces your opponents to adjust their positioning, potentially causing errors.
  • Creates Neutral Zone: Aiming for the middle can neutralize aggressive plays from your opponents.

2. Take More Dinks Out of the Air

Holding your ground at the kitchen line and maintaining a solid base is crucial. Taking balls out of the air during dinking rallies is essential. Instead of stepping back and hitting on the bounce, volleying the ball disrupts your opponent’s rhythm and gives them less time to react. Bending your knees and staying low allows you to make more of these shots.

Advantages of Volleying Dinks

  • Disrupts Rhythm: Volleying gives your opponents less time to set up their shots.
  • Maintains Aggression: Staying at the kitchen line keeps you in an aggressive position.
  • Enhances Control: Bending your knees and staying low improves your control over the ball.

3. Loosen Your Grip

Squeezing the paddle tightly can lead to tension and increased errors. A loose grip allows for more fluid and controlled swings. When dinking, a relaxed grip enables you to swing through the ball more effectively. While you shouldn’t use a full swing, a looser grip can result in more solid and consistent shots.

Benefits of a Loose Grip

  • Reduces Errors: A relaxed grip minimizes tension and errors.
  • Enhances Fluidity: It allows for smoother and more controlled swings.
  • Improves Shot Quality: A looser grip can lead to more consistent and effective shots.

4. Be Deceptive and Attack Straight

Many players get into cross-court dinking rallies, but attacking down the line can be highly effective. Looking cross-court and then attacking straight can catch your opponent off guard, especially the player who is spectating. Attacking straight gives your opponent less time to react and can exploit their weaker side.

Tactics for Deceptive Attacks

  • Catch Opponents Off Guard: Attacking straight can surprise your opponents.
  • Involve the Spectator: Targeting the player who is spectating can disrupt their rhythm.
  • Exploit Weaknesses: Attacking straight can exploit your opponent’s weaker side.

5. Involve the Spectating Player

We’ve all been there—your teammate is engaged in a back-and-forth rally while you stand ready. Instead of just watching, involve the spectating player by directing the ball at them or up the middle. This strategy can break the rhythm of the rally and create new opportunities.

Strategies to Involve the Spectator

  • Break the Rhythm: Directing the ball at the spectating player can disrupt the rally.
  • Create Opportunities: Involving the spectator can open up new strategic possibilities.
  • Enhance Teamwork: Engaging both players in the rally improves overall teamwork.


Mastering these five tips can significantly enhance your pickleball game. Resetting dinks to the middle, taking more dinks out of the air, loosening your grip, being deceptive with straight attacks, and involving the spectating player are all strategies that can elevate your performance. Embrace these techniques, and you’ll see a noticeable improvement in your gameplay.


1. Why should I reset dinks to the middle?

Resetting dinks to the middle helps regain control of the rally, disrupts your opponent’s rhythm, and creates a neutral zone that can prevent aggressive plays from your opponents.

2. Why is it important to take dinks out of the air?

Taking dinks out of the air disrupts your opponent’s rhythm, gives them less time to react, and maintains your aggressive position at the kitchen line.

3. How does loosening my grip improve my game?

A loose grip reduces tension and errors, allows for smoother and more controlled swings, and leads to more consistent and effective shots.

What do you think?

Written by Billy Pickles

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