The sport of pickleball is as much about strategy as it is about physicality on the court (if not even more about strategy and the mental game). The doubles pickleball team or singles pickleball player that figures out the right strategy first, typically will win the game. And, one element of this pickleball strategy is finding patterns.
There are a lot of repeatable patterns of play on the pickleball court. Pickleball players will fall into a certain pattern of shots in order to amplify their strengths and target their opponents’ weaknesses. In other words, pickleball players will find patterns that they win the majority of, and avoid patterns that they find themselves losing the majority of.
One way to discern patterns and improve your strategy is pay attention to the following:
- Which opponent is playing head-to-head with you (i.e., across the net from you)? Are you winning the majority of rallies/points by being head-to-head with this particular opponent?
- Which opponent is playing crosscourt from you? Are you winning the majority of rallies/points by being across from this particular opponent?
There are certain patterns that play out on the pickleball court when you are head-to-head with a particular opponent and crosscourt from a particular opponent. For instance, maybe you have faster hands than one particular opponent, which allows you to speed up the pickleball and win most of the hand battles against that opponent at the net. Pay attention to which match-up leads to you and your partner winning more rallies/points. To note, this does not mean you have to win every rally/point, but, rather, most rallies/points. If you win the majority of rallies/points, you will win the game.
Once you identify which match-up is better for you and your partner, then you can manipulate your court positioning to maximize that particular match-up. The way to accomplish this is by stacking and switching with your partner (to learn more about stacking and switching, check out Pickler’s articles on “What Is Stacking in Pickleball, Plus When & Why to Do It” and “How to Stack in Pickleball”).
Further, pay attention to what your opponents are doing and any adjustments that they make. Again, pickleball is a game of strategy and it is critical to make constant adjustments to your strategy from point to point. So, if your opponents make an adjustment and switch sides, how should you adjust and adapt your strategy to counter your opponents? Pay attention to court positioning of your opponents and position yourself and your partner to put yourself in the best position to be successful.
Bottom line – Patterns and strategy are critical to success on the pickleball court. One component of patterns and strategy is finding the right match-up of you and your partner against your opponents. Pay attention to the proper match-ups that give you the best chance of success on the pickleball court.
WANT MORE PICKLEBALL TIPS AND STRATEGIES?
Plus, if you want more pickleball tips and strategies on every aspect of your pickleball game, check out Pickler’s online video lesson collection called My Pro Pickleball Coach. My Pro Pickleball Coach is a fraction of the price of one clinic or even one lesson, and features over 140 video lessons (over 7 hours of instruction!), as well as a corresponding e-book. These online video lessons are available on demand 24/7 and breakdown every aspect of the sport of pickleball, including pickleball drills, strategy, and advanced concepts, so you will play your best pickleball.