Mastering the Art of Making Your Pickleball Opponents Hit Tough Shots


As a passionate pickleball player, I recently found myself engaged in a challenging game against a formidable opponent. On my way home, I pondered over what I could do differently to improve my chances of winning the next time we faced off. It was during this reflection that I stumbled upon a podcast featuring pickleball professional Kyle Yates. His insights on making opponents hit tough shots resonated with me, and I knew I had stumbled upon a game-changing strategy.

So, what exactly does it mean to make it difficult for your pickleball competition? According to Kyle Yates, the key is to strategically target your opponent’s weaknesses. Instead of attempting flashy winners or risky shots, focus on hitting the ball to their backhand and at their feet.

Kyle Yates explains, “You don’t need a repertoire of amazing shots. You just need a consistent stream of decent shots. You could win a match simply by keeping the ball low and in play, targeting your opponent’s foot.”

Practically speaking, this means you should aim to hit a multitude of shots with a specific target in mind. For instance, when playing against a right-handed opponent, aim for their left foot. By doing so, you force them to make difficult backhand shots at a low height.

Upon reflecting on my previous game, I realized that my opponent had been implementing this strategy effectively. While she wasn’t hitting winners, almost every ball she sent my way ended up in a challenging position. Consequently, I found myself making mistakes, either popping the ball up or hitting it into the net, ultimately leading to my opponent’s victory.

Admittedly, I’m still working on honing my precision to consistently hit my shots at my opponent’s left foot. However, Kyle Yates emphasizes the importance of deliberate shot selection and understanding the reasoning behind each shot.

“Maintain a laser-like focus, aiming every single ball at their left foot, and truly emphasize it. You might be surprised to find that it’s easier than you think. Most players tend to see the ball and hit the ball without considering the purpose and target of their shots,” advises Kyle Yates.

I believe Kyle’s advice is invaluable, and I am confident that implementing this strategy will greatly enhance my game. I hope it does the same for you as well. By strategically targeting your opponent’s weaknesses and making them hit tough shots, you can gain a significant advantage on the pickleball court. So, the next time you step onto the court, remember to think strategically and purposefully with every shot you take.

What do you think?

Written by Billy Pickles

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