CJ Johnson Headshot
CJ Johnson
Tony Roig
Tony Roig

Pickleball Playing Tip-You Get What You Hit

you get what you giveReactions 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 you hit a hard, fast shot, you will get a hard fast shot back. Hit a soft shot, you will probably get a soft

Hit at an angle cross court, anticipate a return in the opposite angle. A high lob often brings on a high lob return. It takes a skilled player to change pace and direction on shots, so play the odds and anticipate a mirror image return.

Bev writes a weekly email blast for our pickleball club. She delivers the rules with clarity and a sense of humor. If you have a rules question post 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)


  1. Avatar photo Ima Johnson on December 12, 2022 at 3:00 am

    Can talking by opponents be a fault or error? Sometimes the yak interferes with my play.

    • Avatar photo CJ Johnson on December 12, 2022 at 3:40 am

      Hi Ima, here’s the rule 3.6.a Distraction – Physical actions by a player that are ‘not common to the game’ that, in the judgment of the referee, may interfere with the opponent’s ability or concentration to hit the ball. Examples include, but are not limited to, making loud noises, stomping feet, waving the paddle in a distracting manner or otherwise interfering with the opponent’s concentration or ability to hit the ball. Try this, watch the ball come over and when it lands say to yourself bounce and then when the paddle makes contact with the ball say hit. That helps to distract our minds.

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