CJ Johnson Headshot
CJ Johnson
Tony Roig
Tony Roig

#133- Partner Poaching – What to do?


Partner poaching- players hitting another player’s ball. It’s part of the game when done appropriately.

But it can also be used as a tool by one player to try and play an oversized role during the game.

It is a particular problem in rec play when one player believes themself to be the superior player – often a misperception.

I share with you a comment on a post by one of our students inside the Pickleball System Facebook group who shares her journey and story with us.

From this I give you some perspective on how to look at poaching and talk to you about it from both sides.

In this episode we cover the basics of poaching appropriately as well as how to handle things when your partner is all up in your space. We also give you tips to avoid being that player.


00:00- Dealing with poaching and distracting calls in pickleball

04:47 – The tale of WD 40: Why poaching can lead to success in doubles pickleball

09:36 – WD 40 as a metaphor for avoiding distractions in pickleball

13:44- In the riff: Tips to avoid distractions

In the riff, I share with you some tips to avoid distractions. They are costing you points out on the pickleball court.

Specifically on distractions having to do with calls, scores and things that are not totally outside your control, but should not occupy a large part of your mind as you’re playing.

Those distractions may seem like not a big deal but trust me, you got to train yourself to handle them, put it out of your head and focus on the next shot.

Join us inside our next Pickleball System class. ⁠Click here to register or for more information.⁠⁠

Links Mentioned in the Podcast

→ Pickleball System class

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→ Our mental book recommendations

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Tony Roig

Hola. Hello. Konichiwa. After 40 years playing tennis, I am now a full-time pickleball player and professional. As a 5.0 rated Senior Pro Pickleball Player and an IPTPA-certified Master Teaching Professional, my focus is on helping players like you learn to play their best pickleball. In 2016, shortly after starting to play pickleball, my friend Tom and I jumped into the highest division at the first US Open in Naples, Florida. That morning it became clear just how much there is to learn in this seemingly simple sport – a lifetime of learning if you so choose. Since 2018, I have been on a mission to share my knowledge of pickleball so other players can enjoy the game at a higher level and attain their pickleball objectives. When not studying or playing pickleball, I like to travel with my other half, Jill.


  1. Avatar photo Michele Horan on April 2, 2023 at 9:17 am

    Tony and CJ: Hello
    Thank you for all the great tips, videos and advice about playing better pickleball. Your teaching style is very easy to follow and understand! I appreciate and I’m very grateful for you both!!
    Shrewsbury, MA

  2. Avatar photo Elaine St. John on April 2, 2023 at 7:40 pm

    FROM ELAINE ST. JOHN: This SO hits home! COMMUNICATION is key, for sure. There are some players who I will NOT play with. Ever again. EXAMPLE: He said insulting things to the effect that “You’re always too slow. I WANT the point!” How do you think that makes me feel? I’m still a bit “sensitive”…there is “OK POACHING” and DUMB JERK POACHING…

    Got that off my chest…”You Can Do It”….

    WD40…my take-away…🤗

  3. Avatar photo Carol on April 10, 2023 at 10:05 am

    Thanks for the Pickleball Therapy podcasts, Tony, and for sharing my story in #133 Partner Poaching! I have stocked up on WD40, and I’m ready to play! This is a great game, not to be spoiled by others. The System is so well presented, and I’m really happy to be continuing my formal journey for a 2nd year! Cheers to you and CJ! …….Carol

    • Avatar photo CJ Johnson on April 10, 2023 at 5:48 pm

      We’re glad to be on the journey with you Carol

  4. Avatar photo Rick S on September 13, 2023 at 6:40 am

    Tony, I had a poacher so bad he came over and knocked me down while I was taking the shot at my side on the kitchen line. I have cuts and bruises and am icing. A lot bigger than me and I’m past 70. Any comments on how to handle? I had to leave and hope no injuries I’ll feel later.

    • Avatar photo CJ Johnson on September 13, 2023 at 7:06 am

      Glad to hear you are ok. I’d just tell him that I prefer he not do that, getting injured is not worth the win. If he continues then it would be my suggestion to say “No Thank You.” Here’s a article https://betterpickleball.com/no-thank-you/

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