Ten Ways to Improve your PB
Jason from PrimeTime Pickleball has 10 great pickleball tips that I’ve summarized here:
1 Give yourself margin.
Aim high enough over the net and not for lines.
2 RE-set balls struck below the knees.
Avoid hitting up high.
3 Use their feet as a target.
Force to make errors.
4 Don’t avoid your weaknesses.
You’ll never improve.
5 Get to NVZ after your return.
That’s where the game is played.
6 Learn to hit serves with more spin and pace.
The serve can be a weapon.
7 Work on the third shot drop
It’s the only way to approach.
8 Don’t hit to your opponent’s strength.
Make them win with their “b” shot.
9 Take advantage of high balls.
Now is the time to attack.
10 Have fun.
It’s a social game.
The link for this video: https://youtu.be/ZkYLOfyAUr8
If you desire to improve as a pickleball player, and have another enthusiastic partner you can get a great workout in bout 45 minutes that will prepare you for completion and develop the skills needed to play better pickleball. We have tried this sequence in our boot camps and it works miracles for making the little adjustments required to move up a level or more! Practicing one on one maximizes your time spent on the court and ensures an atmosphere of cooperation so that both of you feel great at the end of practice and that you actually accomplished goals you set with your training partner. You’re both helping each other succeed in this win-win environment.
You will see stacking where the servers line up on the same side so that an easy switch can be done to positioning the serving team on their favorite sides.
Also, notice that on the serves that the players smack the ball lower than the net on the arc of the ball with a simple pop serve. The ball is hit clean with little or no spin. Also the return of serve is hit clean and back on the approach shot. The dink shots then occur at the kitchen until a player attacks a ball hoping to set up a weak up ball for a put away. This is classic pickle ball.
Notice that sometimes the third shot drop does not have to bounce in the kitchen—it can be a low ball below the knees of the opponent that forces them to hit up, thereby giving the server time to move up to the kitchen. Also notice that sometimes the server or servers partner will delay on going to the no volley zone until there is an approachable dink to advance. Not all third shots are approachable. You may have to wait till number five or seven to advance as a team to the NVZ.
There are three kinds of third shot drop. There’s the flat high and easy forehand, the forehand topspin which is high and fast dipping, and the backhand low slice. This video shows great detail of the arcs of the ball for each kind of shot.
Jordan and his wife do a great job here.
Notice the long cross court NVZ dink shots. Patience is required. You must stay in the rally and not go for it too early. Also notice how low the dink shot approaches are.
There are courts at the The Lawrence School in Falmouth (1 dedicated) West Falmouth (two lined inside two tennis courts) and North Falmouth (one dedicated) and two lined on two tennis courts. The schedule is posted on the Falmouth Recreation Department Web Site.
This is the link to view the Pickleball and Tennis schedule in the Town of Falmouth.
Also there is an app you may download to join Falmouth Pickleball to see when groups meet, where and when. The name of the app is called Team Reach. The group is called
FalmouthPB and the link to join is
The roll forehand volley from a lower (just below the waist or above) can be used to attack or put away balls with the control of topspin. This shot takes practice to learn and is well worth it. As said in the video, 4.0 + players have this shot but it can be learned by a 3.5 player as well. It is an advanced shot. Enjoy the video. This is a shot we will try in our classes. Enjoy!
Any shot in the kitchen or even past the kitchen that is below the knees is a red zone shot— a shot that should be neutralized by giving another below the knee shot back to your opponent.
A shot that is around waist height or “comfortably lower” can be counter attacked. This counter attack is a yellow zone shot that can be struck with some dipping topspin or flat. It challenges your opponent. If they are set for their shot early they can counter attack. If they are pressed they may reset with a dink shot to get back into the power point.
A shot above the waist, that is in your “wheelhouse”, is a green zone put-away opportunity. Typically these shots are dipped hard with topspin or flat at your opponents feet or placed off the court.
Knowing the ball height and opportunity height is critical for good shot selection in pickleball.
There are three basic shots that can happen at the kitchen;
1) dink, 2) attack and 3) put-away.
When dinking you are trying to set up a ball that sits above or just below the net that allows you to hit your shot at your opponents right shoulder, thereby forcing them to “reset” with a dink volley that hopefully sits up for you to attack again or even better, put away.
Whats really cool to watch in this video with Jordan and Riley is how Riley uses a two handed backhand volley and attacks balls below net height well. Also, notice how low they bend while at the kitchen.
One thing I noticed that Riley does that wasn’t mentioned is that he takes a micro “split step” just before Jordan contacts the ball. It seems to make him quicker and sharper on his shots—interesting!!!!!! Two other things he does are noticeable: 1) Riley’s elbows are slightly more in front of his body in his ready position. 2) He seldom if ever backs up; his feet stay wide at the no volley zone and picks up difficult dinks at his feet right off the hop!
The spin, pace, and location of Morgan Evan’s serve is absolutely an art form to watch. The serve can be an aggressive attempt to win the point outright on one shot. Theoretically you could dominate a match with your one shot wonder—the serve! Check out his serve.