Shots Pickleball Beginner Should Know (Must Know)

Embarking on your Pickleball journey? It’s important to master some key shots to enhance your gameplay and boost your confidence on the court. This article covers shots pickleball beginner should know, providing tips and techniques to improve your skills and dominate the game. Let’s dive in and explore the must-know shots that’ll elevate your Pickleball experience!

Shots Pickleball Beginner Should Know: The best guide there is

Shots Pickleball Beginner Should Know

As a beginner in Pickleball, understanding and mastering these fundamental shots will significantly assist in developing your game.

  1. Serve: This is the shot that starts the game. The ball should be hit diagonally to land in the opponent’s service court. Remember, you can only score points when you serve, so practice is key.
  2. Return of Serve: Your response to the serve must be accurate and strategic. It should ideally land deep in the opponent’s court, depriving them of easy scoring shots.
  3. Dink Shot: A soft shot intended to land just over the net in the opponents’ non-volley zone. The goal of this shot is to keep your opponent close to the net, making it hard for them to hit aggressive shots.
  4. Lob Shot: A deep shot meant to go over your opponent’s head, it can be particularly useful if your opponent is close to the net. Practice controlling the height and depth of this shot.
  5. Drive: A hard, low shot that quickly travels to the opponent’s court. Perfecting a drive takes time, but it can step up your game.
  6. The Volley: When the ball is hit in the air, without letting it bounce first. This can be a game-changing shot, especially when executed near the net.
  7. Drop Shot: A soft shot designed to land in the opponent’s non-volley zone. A well-executed drop shot can put your opponents on the defensive and wrestle control of the game to you.
  8. Third Shot Drop: A key strategy shot used after the serve and return of serve, aimed to land softly into the opponent’s non-volley zone, allowing you to approach the net.

Mastering these shots can initially seem overwhelming, but with dedicated practice, you’ll soon become comfortable with them. As you grow in your pickleball journey, remember that consistency is the key. Enjoy the process, and have fun!

What is the mistake beginner pickleball players make?

Beginner pickleball players often make several common mistakes. One of the most frequent ones is lingering in ‘no man’s land’, the area between the baseline and the kitchen line. Another common error in beginner players is rushing after hitting the serve, making it challenging to return the shot from their opponents.

What is the mistake beginner pickleball players make

Some beginners stand straight with their paddle low by their side instead of maintaining a ‘ready’ position. Moreover, another common mistake is scooting up immediately after serving.

Beginners need to be aware of these common mistakes on their pickleball journey and work on rectifying them through conscious practice.

How do beginners get better at pickleball?

For those embarking on their pickleball journey, becoming a competitive player involves practice, strategy, and patience. Here are some guidelines to improve your game:

  1. Learn the Rules: Understanding the rules and scoring system is critical. Familiarize yourself with terms like ‘double bounce rule’, ‘non-volley zone’ or ‘kitchen’, and ‘faults’.
  2. Work on Essential Shots: Master basic shots like serve, return of serve, dink shot, lob shot, drive, volley, and drop shot. Each shot has a purpose, and learning when to use them strategically is vital.
  3. Proper Footwork & Positioning: Moving fluidly around the court is key in pickleball. Practice your footwork and stay alert. Also, avoid lingering in ‘no man’s land’.
  4. Master the Serve and Return: Ensure your serve is strong and reliable. Similarly, an effective return can set the stage for the rest of the point.
  5. Use the Dink: The dink is a strategic shot underutilized by beginners. Dink shots can attract opponents to the net and open the court.
  6. Practice Patience: Many beginners make the mistake of rushing points. Being patient, letting rallies develop and waiting for the opportunity to strike can win you games.
  7. Vary Your Shots: Mixing up your shots can keep your opponent guessing and off-balance. This includes varying speed, spin, and direction.
  8. Give Importance to Fitness: Pickleball requires quick reflexes, agility, and endurance. Ensure you’re in good physical condition.
  9. Play with Different Partners: This helps you adapt to different play styles, learn new strategies, and improve your game.
  10. Never Stop Practicing: Consistency is key in pickleball. The more you play, the better you get.

Remember, everyone was a beginner at some point. Mistakes are part of the learning process. Stay positive, keep playing, and enjoy the wonderful game of pickleball!

How do you know what skill level you are in pickleball?

Determining your skill level in pickleball involves evaluating various aspects, including physical and strategic abilities like control, consistency, adaptability, forehands, serves, dinks, volleys, adaptive play styles, pace control, and tactical placement.

Pickleball ratings, also known as skill levels, play a crucial role in gauging a player’s proficiency. They typically range from 1.0 to 6.0+, where a 1.0 rating indicates a beginner and a 6.0+ rating is reserved for top professional players.

How do you know what skill level you are in pickleball

In the framework provided by USA Pickleball, the national governing body of the sport, the player skill ratings rubric provides detailed specifications of the skills needed to achieve each level of player rating.

Moreover, you can also seek assistance from seasoned coaches and players to better determine your current skill level, especially when you’re new to the game.

In conclusion, while self-assessment is an excellent starting point for determining your pickleball skill level, gaining insights from experienced players, coaches, and standardized rating systems such as those by USA Pickleball can provide the most accurate measurement.


Pickleball is a fascinating sport combining elements of tennis, ping-pong, and badminton, requiring skill, strategy, and agility. As a beginner, there’s a great deal to learn, but understanding the fundamental shots is crucial to pursuing your pickleball journey successfully.

Mastering the serve, return of serve, dink shot, lob shot, drive, volley, drop shot, and the third shot drop is instrumental in improving your game strategy and overall performance. Remember that practice is key, and every accomplished player was once a beginner.

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