CJ Johnson Headshot
CJ Johnson
Tony Roig
Tony Roig

Playing Tip: The 10% Challenge

little boy playing pickleballSo you are in the groove, playing pretty well and syncing with your partner of the moment. Suddenly everything gets thrown off balance because one of your opponents, or maybe your new partner, is left-handed! Do you know that 10% of the U.S. population is left-handed?

Left-handers might be grumpy because they face challenges every day that the rest of us don’t even notice. The world is built for right-handed folks. But that makes lefties very adaptable.

Here are a couple of basics;

Experienced players know the importance of hitting to weak backhands and avoiding feeding shots to strong forehands. But you can’t play smart if you don’t even notice that one opponent is left-handed. So start each game by checking the paddle hand of the other players.

When one opponent is a lefty,  unless they stack which requires a different strategy, there will be times when both of your opponents’ forehands are in the middle. Your typical shot down the center line will be feeding balls to their strength. Don’t do it. You’ll need to change direction.

When they win a point, they have to switch places, and now their backhands are both in the center. Great time to go back to the middle shots.

If the lefty is your partner, you should agree at the beginning of the game who will try to take the center shots. It is more important than ever to communicate, and you should probably call every ball to avoid confusion. It’s a great idea to do this even when you are playing with someone who holds the paddle in the same hand as you do.

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.



Leave a Comment

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

I agree to these terms.

Like what you see?

Subscribe to the free newsletter today for more exclusive pickleball tips.