Pickleball Singles Strategy – Tips and Techniques


Pickleball, a fun sport rapidly gaining popularity among people of all age groups, especially in the US, combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. There are many reasons that have contributed to it becoming one of the most played sports all around the world. For some, it’s a fun sport, others consider it an easily accessible sport and some enjoy playing it because it is easy to learn and enjoyable for people of all age groups. 

But if you have landed on this page, we assume it’s because you want to learn the pickleball singles strategy. In single play, where each player covers the entire court alone, strategy becomes the most important thing in the court. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player looking to refine your game, understanding and implementing effective strategies can take your performance to the next level on the court.

Understanding Singles Pickleball Strategy: 

One thing about pickleball singles play is that it is a fast paced game. You don’t have to rely on anyone, so you basically get to test your own skills while you are on the court. So, let’s jump onto learning some amazing pickleball singles tips and strategies that are sure to make you love the game even more. 

1. Serve Smartly:

The serve sets the tone for the point. Keep your serves deep and varied in direction to keep your opponent guessing. This will also keep your opponents back towards their baseline. Serving from near the centerline allowing for better coverage of returns.

2. Deep Returns:

When receiving serves, your goal should be to return deep shots, preferably to the corners. This puts pressure on your opponent and gives you more time to recover and predict what their next move would be. 

3. Positioning Matters:

Stay near the back third of the court, allowing yourself ample time to react to your opponent’s shots. Force them to use their weaker backhand by positioning yourself strategically.

4. Use Forcing Shots:

Hit deep shots into the corners whenever possible. This will deny your opponent time to set up for their shot. This also creates opportunities for you to advance to the non-volley line and execute a passing shot.

5. Face Your Opponent:

Maintain a stance where you face your opponent directly. This positioning gives you better control over returning shots to either side of the court.

6. Avoid Drop Shots Unnecessarily:

Reserve drop shots for moments when your opponent is out of position or deep in the court. Smart, right? Using drop shots when they’re well-positioned gives them an advantage to counter with a passing shot.

7. Vary Your Shots:

Another clever way to confuse your opponents is to keep them guessing by mixing up your shots. Occasionally, feint one shot and execute another to keep them off balance.

8. Adaptive Movement:

Move laterally as your opponent moves, but maintain proximity to the center line to cover a wider range of shots effectively.

9. Strategic Use of Lobs:

Save lobs for situations where your opponent is positioned at the non-volley line. Lobs should be used sparingly and strategically, as they require precision and can be easily countered by skilled opponents.

10. Responding to Opponent’s Position:

When your opponent reaches the non-volley line, assess your options. Consider executing a hard passing shot, a drop shot to their feet, or a well-placed lob, depending on your proficiency with each shot type.


What is the best way to cover the court in pickleball strategy singles ?

Position yourself in the middle, knees bent, shoulders open, facing your opponent. This stance allows you to react quickly to shots on either side of the court.

How do I deal with high lob shots in single pickleball strategy?

Quickly move to the baseline, then forward, not backward, and aim to hit the return in front of you, either with a drive or a lob. Anticipate the trajectory of the ball to position yourself effectively.

How can I avoid getting overpowered in singles pickleball?

If facing a powerful opponent
1. Your aim should be at their feet to disrupt their shots.
2. Respond with a soft, controlled dink near the net
3. Let their shots that seem to go out, actually go out, instead of returning them.
4. Maintain a calm mindset and focus on placement rather than power.

How can I improve my serves in singles pickleball?

Practice different types of serves, such as topspin, slice, and flat serves, to keep your opponent guessing. Work on consistency and accuracy to make your serves more effective.

Bottom Line

In short, you might be thinking that having the entire court to yourself against your opponent is challenging. But trust us, if you master pickleball singles strategy, you will enjoy the game and also defeat your opponent. But mastering the pickleball singles strategy requires a combination of skill, anticipation, and adaptability. So if you  incorporate these tips and techniques into your game, you can improve your performance and enjoy greater success on the court. 

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