By: CJ Johnson | June 29, 2019 |

Pickleball Lob-Use It or Lose It?

Should you use the pickleball lob as a tactic?

I’m often asked if a pickleball lob is a sound strategy.

The answer is YES and NO.

It depends on how and why you’ve chosen to use the lob and that can be confusing. It helps if we start with understanding some lob basics.

Why use a pickleball lob?

The lob is a tactic to move your opponents away from the non-volley zone.

Is the pickleball lob like a tennis lob?

There are some similarities to the tennis lob but in pickleball, there are two types of lobs.

A defensive lob is hit primarily from the baseline while your opponents are at the non-volley zone.

An offensive lob is when all four players are at the non-volley zone.

Why shouldn’t I use the lob?

It’s a risky shot.

      1. If you hit it too short, your opponents have an overhead that they can now smash at your feet.
      2. If you hit it too long, you’ve committed a fault.
      3. The court is short and there’s little margin for error.

Is the lob a good option for a third shot to get my opponents away from the net?

I often see players try to use the lob as a 3rd shot alternative. While this might work against some teams, in general, it’s a weak shot compared to a drop shot or a drive.

Make sure to watch the video for a complete overview of the lob and strategy for using it successfully.

Do you use a lob? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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)