By: CJ Johnson | January 18, 2020 |

Pickleball 2020-What Are Your Goals?

If you want to play better pickleball in 2020, two things will help, a little reflection and a plan.


Take a moment to think about last year. What do you do well on the pickleball court? What didn’t you do as well? If you want to play better this year, I’d suggest that you do more of what you do well and work to improve the shots you’re struggling with.

That may sound simple, but I often see people focus almost exclusively on what they do well or solely on improving what they do poorly. Good pickleball is achieved by doing both.

That’s the first step in improvement. A thoughtful inventory of your shots and your fitness will construct an improvement plan.

How do you put a plan together?

When it comes to crafting the plan, I’ve got you covered. Here’s your complete pickleball practice plan. After you’ve taken a look at it check out this video for additional details. 

As I mentioned at the start, a little reflection helps. To help you get an idea of how to play better pickleball in 2020, I took a look back at the Better Pickleball YouTube Channel’s most viewed videos from 2019.

5. How to Hit a Pickleball Drop Shot

The third shot drop gets a fair amount of attention. After all, Pickleball is one of the few sports where the serving team is on the defensive. The servers need to get to the non-volley zone to level the playing field. A less attackable third shot drop, one where the apex of the bounce is below the net, makes that possible. If you want to become more consistent with your third shot drop, it starts with technique. In this post, you’ll find all the basics you need to execute an effective and consistent 3rd shot drop

4. Pickleball Third Shot-Stop Getting Killed on Your Way to the Kitchen

Players on the serving team use a variety of shots to get to the net. But if you’re not the one hitting the ball, you need to know the best way to get to the non-volley zone. Here’s a primer on how to get to the kitchen based on your partner’s shot choice.

3. Pickleball Strategy-How to Get to the Net Fast

No matter how well you hit your drop shot, it may get attacked, or you may not be able to get to the NVZ in just one shot. It’s imperative to learn to play from “no man’s land.” It’s the second hardest shot in pickleball, but one that will get you all the way to the kitchen.

2. What’s the Best Pickleball Serve?

Would it surprise you to learn that the serve is the most popular pickleball topic on YouTube? The reason may be that you only get one. Perhaps it’s because it’s the only opportunity your team has to score points. (Unless you’re using Rally Scoring)

There is no doubt that too many players try to do too much with a serve and end up making one of the most costly moves in pickleball. Hitting your serve out. Here are some ways to add a little variety to your game without adding unnecessary risk.

1. Pickleball Reset Shot-How To Control the Flight of the Ball

This one was a bit of a surprise. Drills aren’t usually the most popular channel videos. In fact, How to Hit a Pickleball Drop Shot was two times more popular than the drill videos designed to develop the touch hit the shot.

I’m not sure if this is so popular because the drill is a ton of fun or if players realize how important it is to have this skill. It doesn’t matter if it’s a third shot drop or a dink. If you want to play better pickleball, you must be able to control the trajectory of the ball.


It’s easy to fall into a trap and focus on improving too many things at one time. Good pickleball requires shot mastery, physical prowess, and a focused mind. There are a lot of players who dream about playing their best pickleball but don’t take the right actions to ensure it will happen.

Ask yourself what type of player you’d like to become, what are your assets and liabilities and then construct a plan to make your dream a reality. Most importantly, ENJOY THE JOURNEY!

CJ Johnson

Hey there — I’m a professional three-sport athlete and coach who has spent my entire adult life earning a living from playing and coaching sports. Since I started coaching more than three decades ago, one thing has remained the same: My commitment to see students not as they are but as what they can become and to move heaven and earth to help them realize their untapped potential. You should know that when it comes to helping pickleball players over 50 live their best lives on and off the courts, I'm an expert. Good pickleball is not just technique; it's the mind and body working holistically. That's why I'm also a personal trainer and weight management specialist. When I’m chillin', you'll find me watching Star Trek with my husband John and our two fur babies, Shirley and Ralph. (Yes, Happy Days)