Playing Tips

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Interview With A Pro: Deb Harrision conducted on Feb. 20/15 in The Villages, FLA
Part I

Part II

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Tip #61 - New Rule: Drop Serve Now Allowed for 2021 (Provisional Change Only - May Not Be Permanent)

Here is what you need to know:

Radio Sports Talk Show On Pickleball:

Tip #60 - What "Keep Your Eye On the Ball" Really Means

One of the most important elements to playing good pickleball is to "keep your eye on the

ball". Coaches & those instructing beginners will say this all the time. But what does it really mean?

Are you seeing (picking up) the ball as it's heading TOWARD your opponent's paddle? Are you watching

WHAT your opponent is doing with the paddle right BEFORE impact? Are you watching its flight through

the air READING its pace and spin? When will you DECIDE whether to bounce it or hit it in the air? Are

you watching the ball INTO your paddle? These are all questions you must ask yourself sometimes in a

fraction of a REQUIRES your full and undivided this begs the next very important

question...are you or can you be that focused? Make your commitment to be as focused on each of these

components of watching the ball "well enough"!

Source: TipBit #177

Tip #59 - 3 Things You Can Do to Help Win the Dinking Game

Tip #58 - Create Consistency With Your Backhand

Tip #57 - Soft Hands for a Good Drop Volley aka The Water Balloon Drill

#56 - Everything You Need to Know (and more) About Non-Volley Zone Rules

Tip #55 - Guess What? There Are Times When You Don't Want To Hit the 3rd Shot Drop

Tip #54 - 3 Secrets To a Better Dinking Game

Tip #53 - Recreational Players Take Note: Easy Way to Hit the 3rd Shot Drop or Any Drop Shot

Tip #52 - Three Ways To Disguise Your Attack

Tip #51 - Easy Drill To Improve Your Return of Serve

Tip #50 - How To Defend Against Hard Hitters....Take Pace Off the Ball

Tip #49 - 12 Drills for Warmup & To Improve Your Game. Betcha Can't Keep Up With These Guys!

Tip #48 - Coach Mo On How To Play Percentage Pickleball

This is a preview from Coach Mo's new DVD "Pickleball Clinics 2: Playing Percentage Pickleball". Click here to see the preview which

has several good tips. The DVD can be ordered by clicking here.

Tip #47 - Improve Your Volley Game - Three Common Mistakes To Avoid At the NVZ Line

Tip #46 - Preventing Wrist & Elbow Strain in Pickleball

Even though pickleball isn’t as strenuous on the arms as some other athletic pursuits, people still need to take action to prevent sore elbows and wrists from


A primary strategy is not to rely too much on backhand shots. Muscles used during forehand moves are generally stronger than those used in backhand shots.

Stronger muscles are less likely to become fatigued and develop strains.

To prevent sore wrists, it’s best to include the core of the body as well as the shoulder and elbow when hitting the ball. Although pickleball may have the person

standing in one place much of the time, it shouldn’t be played as though the person is shooting darts at a dartboard. Instead, using the full arm and the core

muscles is appropriate, since this game is technically more like tennis and badminton. This should improve the player’s ability to score points and win games

as well.

Lifting weights every day strengthens muscles used in this game. People who are unaccustomed to lifting might start with 1-lb. weights and gradually increase

the weight. One lifting activity involves holding the forearm straight and using the wrist to lift the weight. A second activity involves lifting the weight using the

elbow instead of the wrist.

Tip #45 - Is Your Backhand Really Weak? Practice this technique and watch your backhand become a great shot!

Tip #44 - You Are At The NVZ Line, The Ball Is Coming Hard & Fast, Here Are Two Ways To Block It.

Tip #43 - Everbody Preaches The Third Shot (Drop Shot) As A Necessity. Here's when NOT to hit the third shot drop.

Generally, you want your third shot to drop into the kitchen, so your opponents will not be able to slam it back at you. There is one situation

in which a different strategy works better. That's when one player has stayed back near the baseline or in no man's land. When you see that,

hit the ball fast and low to that player's left foot. The objective is to keep your opponents struggling in the back or middle of the court, so you

can maintain a huge advantage at the kitchen line.

Tip #42 - Gale Leach's Best Websites for Pickleball Information. Gale is the author of The Art of Pickleball and she is quick

to point out that: "My list is not comprehensive, and I’m sure I’ve missed sites that should have been included. But I offer this as a starting point if you are looking for tips, tricks, basic info, and/or strategies." Click here to see the list.

Tip #41 - Does Your Backhand Suck? No More Backhands! Try This...But It Might Take Some Practice!

PS - Bet the neighbours love this guy!

Tip #40 - Why You Must Play At The Non-Volley Zone Line (Plus 3 Common Mistakes)

Tip #39 - Good Things Come in Three's

If you want to play your best each day, you need a plan..the plan does NOT need to be elaborate or all much can you remember, anyway? play and practice are all together different...practice means focusing on one thing, one stroke, one technique, one strategy, not your entire game...but game play, whether casual games, organized matches, league play or tournament play, all require your best game...and you need to “bring it”, time and time, how do you do that?

Before you play, decide what are the most important factors to remember...give yourself THREE...then focus exclusively and constantly on them, before AND during each and every point...if you are not doing well, getting behind, re-double your efforts on just these areas...AND remember to remain just as focused when you're ahead...amazing how things can change when you forget to focus...

What THREE things are you going to remember? The title above, Back to Basics, is a good start...if you can adhere to these simple basics, you can and will do your best...

1)Watch the Ball...always, as it comes to you, as it hits your paddle, as it reaches your opponent, and as it comes off your opponent's paddle...then repeat...

2)Bend your Knees...get down low and stay down low as long as it'll be closer to the ball, you'll see it better and you'll always be ready to move...

3)Move your Feet...don't ever get caught just standing there or reaching for a shot...always get in the best possible position to stroke the ball..if you've been pulled out of position, move back ASAP...stay active at the net...remember, happy feet!

It's easy to remember THREE...any more might just be too much...if basics aren't your problem, choose THREE that help your stroke mechanics(like paddle back, firm wrist, or open face) or THREE that help your strategies(like positioning, communication, or positive support)...pick the BIG THREE!!!

Tip #38 - Playing Strategy 101: Tons of tips on how to improve your playing strategy can be found here

Tip #37 - Dinking 101: The Why & How of the Dinking Game

Tip #36 - Top 10 Tips From Three Of The Top Pickleball Coaches. Click Here

Tip #35 - Ready Position: Prem Says to Keep Your Paddle UP!

Tip #34 - Deb Harrision Interviewed on the Pickleball Channel Discusses: the Ready Position, the Half Volley at the NVZ & the Secret to the Third Shot Drop ("apex" refers to the highest point the ball reaches before it starts to fall into the NVZ). This tip is for more advanced players.

Tip #33 - The Seldom Done, Does Not Go Over the Net, Totally Legal, Around-the-Post Shot in Slo Mo. Note: Aim for the back corner & your opponent likely won't get a paddle on the ball.

Tip #32 - Yes They Do Play Singles...Be Prepared to Run!

Tip #31 - Dinking Strategy & How To Convert Your Backyard To A Pickleball Court.

Tip #30 - Got some time on your hands? This is actually 10 tips in one video. See how your game stacks up against these suggestions. Follow these tips and your game will improve!

Tip #29 - If You Are A 3.5 Player Or Higher....You Must Have This Shot In Your Repertoire. We have talked about this before but the

third shot drop is an absolute necessity for intermediate to advanced level players. Here's an explanation & drill to help make this

shot a part of your game.

Tip #28 - Attitude Is Everything. Notice how these two winners just ooze a positive attitude.

Tip #27 - Do You Bang the Ball on the Return of Service? Try this soft return tactic and watch your game improve.

Tip #26 - Canadian Cookie Drake teams up with Josh Grubbs to win Bronze in Arizona. Cookie is a 60+ player but played down

with Josh in the Mixed 19+ division to win a medal. Listen to their tips for success.

Tip #25 - How To Win the Dinking Game....Use The Staub Shot. Other than shear patience there are a couple of ways to win

the dinking game. Here is one named after Brian Staub a 5.0 rated player from The Villages, FLA.

Tip #24 - Having Trouble With Your Backhand? New players in particular often have trouble hitting good backhands

consistently. Get your paddle ready and swing with Deb as she demonstrates the proper technique for this shot.

Tip #23 - Volleying Techniques for the Intermediate to Advanced Player by Deb Harrison.

Tip #22 - Making Line Calls: That Ball Was In....Well Maybe Not! This video clip shows why balls that you think may be

in are actually out. It's all about "compression" or the lack thereof! NOTE: Each team calls their own lines using "their

best judgement" so even if you disagree with your opponents call it cannot be argued. When making calls, if you are not

sure if the ball is in or out than the benefit of doubt goes to your opponents.

Tip #21 - Who Can Call Foot Faults In the Kitchen? Apparently the rule that says only you or your partner can call faults

on your side of the net only applies to line calls. According to this video you or your partner can call kitchen foot faults

made by the opposing team....but it should be done properly and in recreational play it would result in the point being replayed.

Tip #20 - Caught in a Dinking Game?....Try Lobbing the Ball ! Here is a demo clip ending with a tricky "Bob McQuiggan

between-the-legs shot."

Tip #19 - Backhand Serve is Legal! Having trouble with your normal serve? Unable to serve forehand because of an injury?

Try serving backhand. Here's how it's done.

Tip #18 - Help! My Serves Are Going Out! Here are some tips on what to do if you "lose your serve" or are having problems getting it in.

Tip #17 - "Keep Talking": Communication Is Important. So says Deb Harrison from The Villages, Florida's pickleball capital. This

is especially true if a right hander is playing with a left hander.

Tip #16 - Hitting Down the Middle. We have all been taught that "hitting down the middle" is a good thing. In this clip Coach Mo

clearly explains how you can improve your game by using this strategy.

Tip #15 - Three Different Serves & Why You Need All of Them.

Tip #14 - Coach Mo On How to Practice he wouldn't do this if Mrs. Mo was around! Note: One of our players just received

a pack of 6 "Quiet Balls" from for $10. These are made of rubber/foam and work nicely off the wall at the Timken gym.

Tip #13 - Okay We Know Almost Nobody Does Warmup Stretches! But if you want to get serious about preventing muscle pulls etc. here are

some stretches that are quick, easy and specifically geared to pickleball.

Tip #12 - Go Softly! Quick Tip from Gold Medallist, U.S. National Tournament, November 2-9, 2014 Buckeye Arizona.

Tip #11 - Pickleball At It's Best. U.S. National Open Men's Final, November 2-9, 2014 Buckeye Arizona.

Tip #10 - How To Return the Hard Shots When Playing At the NVZ Line - by Deb Harrison.

Tip #9 - Quick Tip: Keep the Ball In Play. There are many times when you think your opponent has you beat on a shot and you

barely manage to get it back over the net. Clip courtesy of Pickleball Channel.

Tip #8 - Replacing the Grip on Your Paddle. This is not a playing tip but a tip on how to replace or build up the grip on your paddle.

Unless you buy a new paddle every couple of years this will have to be done & it's a fairly easy process. Clip courtesy of .

Tip #7 - Everbody Is A Pickleball Player....They Just Don't Know it Yet

Tip #6 - Simple But Effective - Hit your shot so that your opponent has to take two steps or more and your chances of winning the

point increase greatly.

Tip #5 - 10 Ways to GUARANTEE That You Will LOSE More Games Than You Coach Mo

1. FREQUENTLY miss your serve.

2. FREQUENTLY miss your return of serve.

3. HELP your opponents by keeping their OUT balls in play.

4. When your opponent hits a very difficult FAST shot at you, try & hit a low percentage sharp-angled shot for a

winner rather than a DEFENSIVE shot.

5. Take away your PARTNER'S easy forehand shots with your weaker backhand shots.

6. Get upset with your EXCELLENT PARTNER who has successfully jumped in front of you to win the point!

7. Do NOT keep the ball at your opponent's feet as much as possible.

8. Do NOT play up the the No Volley Zone.

9. Hit the ball TOO FAST for good placement and do NOT give yourself enough leeway for error.

10. Take TOO MANY sharp angle shots rather than High Percentage Shots down the middle of the court that bounce

between your opponents.

Tip #4 - Come Up, Come Up, Come Up! Here is a great explanation of why you have to get to the net ASAP.

Tip #3 - The 7 Things You Must Do by Prem Carnot (The Pickleball Guru)

  1. Serve deep.

  2. Hit the service return slow & deep so you have time to move up to the net.

  3. Move up to the net as soon as possible. Stand 2” behind the no-volley line, and only step in when you are going to hit the ball off the bounce.

  4. Make the third shot of the game a drop shot. In order to GET up to the net, after your opponent returns your serve, make your next shot

  5. (called “The Third Shot”) a soft drop shot from the back line so the ball falls over the net and lands in the kitchen, forcing your opponents to let it bounce.

  6. (To reiterate: Shot #1 is the Serve; Shot #2 is the service return; Shot #3, a.k.a. The Third Shot is the drop shot)

  7. Keep them deep. If your opponents are not up at the net (i.e. in no-man’s land or at the back of the court), continue to hit the ball hard and at their

  8. feet (or even behind them), so as to keep them from coming up to the net.

  9. Never hit up. If your opponents ARE also up at the net, don’t hit the ball at an upward angle toward them. Instead, hit soft dink shots, which fall DOWN

  10. into the kitchen once they cross the net. This forces your opponent to let it bounce, until — sooner or later — they will make a mistake and hit up, which

  11. will place the ball high enough so that you can “put it away” by hitting it hard down at their feet, where they probably can’t return it. (Oops, that’s why

  12. they shouldn’t have hit up!)

  1. BTW: Hitting a shot that travels horizontally across the plane of the net is barely better than hitting the ball upward over the net — Don’t do it! Instead,

  2. try to either hit the ball hard at a downward angle if it’s high enough, or drop the ball gently so that it is going downward after it crosses the net.

  3. Keep your paddle up. Bring your paddle up to the ready position out in front of you after EVERY shot, even while moving from the back line up to the

  4. kitchen, and especially between volleys and dinks.

Tip #2 - Use the Split Step To Improve Your Game

Tip #1 - The Importance of the Third Shot