Pickleball Playing Tips

Playing Tip: That’s what Friends are For

By CJ Johnson / August 2, 2018 /

You always want a friend by your side. When you and your partner are together, you form a barrier that your opponents must penetrate. This is true whether at the baseline or at the kitchen line. You should try to move in unison back to front, side to side. The only time you start apart…

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Playing Tip: Let It Go

By CJ Johnson / July 17, 2018 /

If only those high fast balls weren’t so tempting! Most of us love them, but we must learn to let them go. When you are at the kitchen line, and a ball is sailing at you shoulder high or more, it is probably going out. There is less than 15 feet of court space behind…

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Playing Tip: Just Cause It’s Legal

By CJ Johnson / July 3, 2018 /

Just because something is legal, doesn’t mean it is smart.   You are permitted to stand in the kitchen, but doing so will only get you in trouble. When you are in the kitchen, you can’t do anything until the ball bounces. And, you become a big target for your opponents to aim the ball…

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Playing Tip: Stay in the Moment

By CJ Johnson / June 20, 2018 /

Good players can lose points when they become mentally distracted. The biggest enemy of your pickleball game is self-flagellation. You miss a shot and you beat yourself up about it. The best friend of your mental game is a short memory.   When I played competitive golf one of my go-to mental tactics was a…

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Playing Tip: Stay Back After Your Serve

By CJ Johnson / March 13, 2018 /

The goal is to get to the kitchen line (non-volley zone) as quickly as you can but don’t be in too big of a rush.  When you were a novice, you didn’t stay back after your serve, and you lost a point or two by hitting a shot before letting the return of serve bounce. Ah…

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Playing Tip: Run, Duck or Switch

By CJ Johnson / January 4, 2018 /

When you are at the kitchen line, and your opponent hits a lob over your head, how do you respond? If you and your partner are side by side at the kitchen line, one of you may choose to make a run for it. It’s normally best if the fastest most mobile person attempts to retrieve the…

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Playing Tip: Recognizing Defense v. Offense

By CJ Johnson / December 11, 2017 /

At times your team will be put on the defense during play. At other times you can play offensively. Knowing the difference helps you avoid low percentage shots. We all know by now that partners together at the kitchen line form the strongest offensive team. However, you may have trouble getting to the kitchen because…

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Playing Tip: Silent Partners are for Business

By CJ Johnson / November 28, 2017 /

Silent partners may be good in business, and sometimes in marriage, but they do not make good pickleball partners. Communication between partners helps avoid unforced errors that come when you expect something from your partner, and he doesn’t do it. The best partners move as a single force, together at the baseline, together at the…

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Pickleball Playing Tip-Different Place & Different Pace

By CJ Johnson / November 13, 2017 /

Playing Tip: Different Place, Different Pace   What’s the best thing about being unpredictable? You keep the other guys off guard. Take advantage of every opportunity you find to change your target. Hitting several shots in a row to the opponent directly across from you turns his partner into a spectator, one likely to relax…

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Pickleball Playing Tip-You Get What You Hit

By CJ Johnson / October 10, 2017 /

Reactions slow with age. The ball comes back quickly in pickleball so if you can anticipate it you will be better prepared and anything that you can do to get a little jump on the ball will help you react more quickly. Odds are, you get what you hit. It’s similar to a pool table. If…

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