About three points into the pickleball game, I hit what I thought was a decent shot to my opponent’s backhand. However, I was quickly met with a fast-flying return. I glanced back up to my opponent, realizing that she was a lefty. Instead of hitting the pickleball to my opponent’s backhand, I sent the pickleball straight to my opponent’s forehand for an easy kill down the middle of the pickleball court, splitting me and my partner.
This reminded me of an easy habit to adopt before every match:
Identify whether one or both of your opponents are left-handed and where they are on the pickleball court. Share this information with your partner.
This is important because, many times, your opponent’s backhand is weaker than his or her forehand. By identifying and targeting your opponent’s backhand, you will probably have greater success in challenging your opponent and winning points.
Also, to note, you and your partner could have an advantage when playing against a lefty/righty duo if and when both of your opponent’s backhands are down the middle of the pickleball court. However, be wary when your lefty/righty opponents have both forehands down the middle. In this scenario, it will be key to target one or both outside lines of the pickleball court. For advanced players, you may see what is called “stacking,” which is a strategy (and at times a somewhat confusing strategy) for lefty/righty duos to position themselves with their forehands down the middle of the pickleball court at all times.
Lastly, remember when you have an opposite-handed teammate on the pickleball court (e.g. you are a righty and your partner is a lefty, or vice-versa) to communicate! Call for the ball and discuss who is responsible for the shots down the middle. Communication will help you overcome any difficulties with the middle shots.
*Pictured above in our Pickler Pickleball Classic Bright Yellow Performance Long-Sleeve Tee Shirt is one of our favorite lefties, Pickler Helene. Share a picture of your favorite opposite-handed pickleball player on our Facebook page!