Beat Better Players With These 4 Pickleball Tips

Have you ever wondered why in some games of pickleball you’re able to beat players who are better than you? If this has happened to you, I can assure you it wasn’t a fluke. You probably utilized a few of the tips that I’m about to go through without even realizing it.

I recommend going through this article as a checklist to make sure that you’re focusing on all of these whenever you play. If you haven’t been to our website before. I’m Ethan and welcome to our website The Comprehensive Minds.

Today we’re going to go over 4 tips to automatically win more and beat better players. And let me tell you, these tips are probably not what you think. So let’s get into it.

Tip Number 1

The first tip on the list is something that many players neglect when they lose their focus. It’s the kind of thing that requires your 100% attention throughout the point. I’m talking about having a strong ready position when you’re waiting for the ball and making sure that you’re always in the right position on the court.

As I said, if your opponents think they’re better than you, they may not be focusing on this. So dialing this in every game is an awesome way to get a huge advantage. Focusing on ready position. The main spot that we need to worry about this is when we’re at the kitchen.

Whether your opponents are driving the ball at your face from the back or using a speed-up at the kitchen line, it always makes more sense to have your paddle up and ready between shots. Never have your paddles dangling like this.

a person trying to play a pickleball shot

And remember, guys, a strong ready position applies to your legs too. Make sure that you always have a wide base with slightly bent knees so that you can explode in either direction.

We don’t want to be standing up tall like a school bus. We want to be low like a Ferrari. Check out the below image how low all four players are at this point.

four players playing pickleball match
pic credit: Screenshot| CBS ports

This gives them the ability to stay on balance when their opponents use to push things and they need to lunge for the ball. By staying low, they’re able to maintain their consistency regardless of what kind of shots their opponents throw at them. Another thing to consider is where we’re standing on the court, and when?

There are a million ways that you can get this wrong. But today I’m going to address the top few that I see at the 3.0 to 4.0 level. One way players mess up their positioning is they don’t move forward on a good drop or they do move forward on a bad drop. Whenever you hit a drop, you should immediately identify whether it’s good, bad, or okay.

If it’s good, you should move forward and try to make it to the kitchen. If it’s okay, you should move to the transition zone. If it’s bad, you should stay back and defend.

This model is simplistic and you should adjust it to your ability. But just know that your positioning after the drop is arguably just as important as the drop itself.

Another area players mess up their positioning is when they’re at the kitchen, particularly if you’re about to get killed or you’re in a firefight, it can make the world of difference to take a step back. Giving yourself a little more space can be the difference between winning and losing the point.

Other than this, another important reminder is that you should always get in quickly to the kitchen of your returns. This could sound obvious, but it’s crazy to me how often I see players not doing this. Take your turn while moving forward and make your way to the kitchen immediately.

Trust me, guys, your positioning is not something that you want to neglect. If you focus on this enough, it can totally be the difference you need to beat higher-level players. And by combining this with this next tip, you’ll literally automatically win more just by increasing your intensity.

Tip Number 2

Moving on, our next tip might be the most overlooked on the list. I’m talking about using proper footwork. The main place I see players neglect. This is at the back of the court.

I’m telling you, the amount of times that I’ve seen my students miss their third shot because they’re out of position is off the charts. Check out how well Simon Jardine positions herself at this point for her drop and reset and how she has been lazy with her feet on a reset.

player trying to make a shot in pickleball match

There’s a very good chance that she would have been out of position and missed the ball. The goal with our feet is to make it so we’re never reaching or too close to the ball.

This way you’re always in a position to move forward and use your body weight to hit the shot. An important thing to consider is that in a point we should be focusing more on our footwork than our technique.

The number one reason players neglect their footwork is because they’re too worried about how they’re going to hit the ball. The issue is that no matter how good your technique is, it’s impossible to hit the shot well, if you’re out of position. That said, in our games, we want to prioritize our footwork as the main point of focus when preparing for our shots.

By doing this, you’ll enhance every aspect of your game. This is the type of thing that can be the difference to beat players that are better than you. You haven’t realized already, beating better players is going to come from out competing with them.

The only way we can do this, though, is by applying our focus and intensity to the right areas, which we’re going over now. That said, it’s tough to put this to work if your partner isn’t on the same page too, so make sure to send them this article.

And guys, if you’re looking to take your game to the next level, enhance pickleball team has created the Dink pad to be your personal training partner. Drilling is the number one way to improve your game, and the dink pad allows you to drill in every on your own time.

And with that drill, I’m working on the accuracy of my dinks by aiming for the targets. Now just how I’m keeping my strokes compact by drawing a line with my paddle toward the target. This kind of intentional drilling is the only way to increase your consistency and accuracy. If you want to check out the dink pad, you can check by clicking HERE.

Tip Number 3

I have something you probably thought about, but you most likely have. I haven’t considered it like I’m about to go through.

I’m talking about not being too predictable when you’re playing. If you repeatedly use the same strategy at every point, your opponents will be able to lock on to it and get used to playing you that way. That said, occasionally in pickleball, the element of surprise can be your best friend.

I’m not saying that you should use a different strategy at every point, but every once in a while it makes sense to deviate from our core strategy to keep our opponents on their toes. To most players, the core pickleball strategy is to try to make it into the kitchen after your serve.

Where would that be with a drop or a different shot?

Once you’re in, you patiently dink and wait for the right ball to accelerate on. On your return, you try your best to keep your opponent’s back with deep volleys that make it tough for them to move in. If they make it in, then you transition to the dink game. If this sounds like you.

The question is when should you deviate from the strategy and how should you deviate from the strategy? This is where most players get this wrong. Many players just throw the occasional drive, lob, or drop shot where they’re getting antsy or they feel like they haven’t done it in a while.

When you mix it up and how often you mix it up should be based on your strengths and weaknesses and your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses.

If you’re drives incredible, then throw this in more often. If it’s bad, then maybe don’t use it too much. On the other side, if your opponents are great at handling drives, maybe you need to use the shot less. You can apply this mindset to any shot that would fall into the category of mixing it up.

To me, this means drives, lobs, drop shots, or any other shot that isn’t used at every point your goal in every game should be to identify your opponent’s weaknesses early. Once you do, consider your strengths and develop a custom plan to mix up your strategy.

That said, on each of these shots, you also want to make sure you’re going for them when you have the right opportunity. For example, even if you have a really good drive, it doesn’t make sense to go for the shot, if your opponent hits a super deep return, throw the shot, and when the return sits up more, they don’t make it in quickly.

It’s very important that you apply this opportunistic approach to mixing it up. Don’t deviate from your core strategy just for the sake of changing things up every once in a while. Wait for the right moment, then strike. Thinking about this kind of stuff is one of the easiest ways to win more and beat players who are at a higher level than you.

Many times though, it’ll seem like deviating from your core strategy won’t work any time you throw in a shot that’s out of the ordinary, you get destroyed. When this happens, guys, don’t worry.

Tip Number 4

Some players are just really good at handling these sorts of situations. Against these types of players, there’s only one way to win, and so many players don’t have the strength to utilize this. I’m talking about being patient.

Think about how many times you’ve lost points because you went for big shots too early or at the wrong times. It’s good to mix it up sometime, but 70% of the time you want to be very patient within the standard strategy of pickleball.

Being more patient can easily be the difference to call for higher-level opponents. Looking at this point here. There’s a reason why every pro dinking rally seems to last for 10 minutes. Patience wins. The question is, where on the court am I referring to being patient?

As I just highlighted, the main place that we need to be patient is when we’re at the kitchen. We all know how tempting it can be to go for a dumb speed up, but as you probably know, it’s almost always better to wait for the right shot.

a handy chart showing proper technique to play pickleball

Back to my handy chart. We usually want to be patient in the yellow and the red zone. Once we get a shot in the Green Zone, that’s when we want to go big.

And if you’re worried that your opponents are going to fire the ball at you first, just know that as long as you’re keeping your dinks low and have a strong ready position, you should be in a good position to beat them if they speed the ball up on you.

Final Words

That said, guys, every tip on this list works together symbiotically, so make sure to remember them all so that you can use them in every game that you play.

Alone, they’re weak, but together they’re strong. I’ve never said this before on our website, but it might even make sense to read this article twice so that you remember everything.

And then the great idea is to save this article so that you can read this article as a reminder for all of your matches. And if you want to develop Lightning Fast hands, watch the below video.

Also Read:

7 Important Pickleball Strategies Every Player Should Know

Pickleball Alert: MLP and PPA Agree To Merge

Develop Lightning Fast Reactions and Handle Harder Shots In Pickleball Game

9 Tips For Perfect Pickleball Serve Technique

The Top 9 Biggest Pickleball Mistakes And Their Solutions

8 Best Pickleball Strategies To Win More Games

You Should Never Do These 6 Dumbest Things On a Pickleball Court

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