Pickleball Doubles Strategy

Pickleball Doubles Strategy: 9 Ways to Win Your Game

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When playing a pickleball doubles strategy, it’s essential to have a strategy. You and your partner need to be in sync and know what each of you will do when the ball hits you.

So, to play and win pickleball, the double strategy is to remember that you should always be able to hit the ball. This means you shouldn’t be too far back or too far forward but rather stay in the middle of the court. If you are too far back, you won’t be able to hit the ball before it goes out of bounds; if you are too far forward, you will have a hard time hitting it over the net.

However, this article is about the top pickleball strategies and doubles guide. It covers all the tactics to win at doubles, and when you have played well, you can practice more to play at a high level.

9 Best Pickleball Doubles Strategies

Pickleball Doubles Strategy

1- Non-Volley Line Strategy

One of the top strategies for winning doubles pickleball is to consider things to remember to stay in your non-volley pickleball zone. The NVZ is the area in front of the net and behind the baseline.

The Pickleball zone is critical because you can only volley the ball if you are in this zone. If outside your NVZ, you cannot volley the ball and must hit it back with a groundstroke.

However, in doubles pickleball, mastering the non-volley zone (NVZ) is paramount, and various strategies cater to different play styles.

One effective tactic is positioning oneself near the center of the NVZ, which facilitates hitting groundstrokes on either side, ensuring versatility in shot selection and quick responses. Alternatively, another advanced pickleball strategy doubles is to position oneself towards the back of the NVZ.

This positioning is especially beneficial for volleying, offering an advantage when the opponent predominantly plays groundstrokes. So, to understand these double placements and rules within the NVZ, players can capitalize on their strengths and exploit their opponents’ play patterns.

2 – Consistently Serve Deep to Backhands & in the Court

In pickleball doubles, the serve plays a pivotal role in setting the tone of the rally. A deep serve, aimed towards the far reaches of the court, can push the receiving team onto their back foot. Targeting their backhand – typically a player’s weaker side – can elicit weaker returns, giving the serving team an advantage.

Moreover, by serving close to the sidelines, you limit the receiving team’s angles, making it challenging for them to hit crosscourt shots, which are often more difficult to defend against.

It’s also imperative to remain observant and adaptive; by monitoring your opponent’s positioning and tendencies, you can win double strategy your serve to exploit any weaknesses or patterns in their play.

3- Pushing the Opponent Team Back from the Non-Volley Line

In pickleball doubles, positioning and strategy go hand-in-hand. To effectively employ pickleball strategies in doubles, it’s crucial to focus on displacing your opponents from the non-volley line.

However, proper pickleball doubles positioning allows teams to control the court, limiting the opponent’s offensive options.

However, mastering these key elements can make the difference between a winning and losing rally.

  • First, ensure you are positioned well on the court, with one player up near the net and the other in the backcourt. 
  • This will help you control the ball and keep your opponent’s team from getting too close to the net.
  • Use your shots wisely and keep the ball in play as much as possible. This will frustrate your opponents and eventually wear them down. 
  • Finally, be patient and stay focused. Pushing your opponent team back from the non-volley line takes time and patience, so don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t happen right away.

4 – Aim for Holes

The best strategy is to aim for the other team’s holes. Holes are the areas on the other side of the net that are easiest to hit.

If you can hit your opponents’ holes, they will have difficulty returning the ball. In addition, aiming for holes can help you keep your opponents guessing where you will hit next.

5 – Watch the Pickleball and Hit the Pickleball Out in Front

Doubles’ pickleball strategy is all about positioning. You want to be in an excellent spot to hit the ball and defend against your opponent’s shots. Watching the pickleball and hitting it before you is essential when playing doubles.

If you are at the net, try to stay towards the middle to reach either side. If your opponent hits a shot to your left, step over to your right and hit the pickleball back. If they hit it to your right, step over to your left and return the ball.

If you are playing at the back of the court, try not to stay in one spot. Move around so you can hit the ball in different directions. If your opponent hits a shot straight at you, move forward and hit it back.

6 – Drop-shot Strategy

The drop shot can often be the most effective way to get the ball past your opponent and into the desired spot on the court. This is because a well-executed drop-shot will make your opponent move closer to the net to try and get in position to hit it back, opening up space behind them for you and your partner to hit balls into.

Here are some tips on how to execute a successful drop-shot:

1) When positioning yourself for a drop-shot, ensure you are close enough to the net to reach it easily and far enough back so your opponent has difficulty hitting it.

2) Step forward before hitting the ball to generate more power and angle on your shot.

7 – Hitting on Feet at the Level of Opponent

In doubles play, working together as a team is the key to success. One strategy that can be used to gain an advantage over your opponent is hitting the ball at their feet level.

This strategy can be successful when your opponents are not anticipating it. To execute this shot, you must be slightly in front of your opponent. Aim for your opponent’s feet at the top of your swing when you hit the ball.

If executed correctly, this shot will force your opponent to move backward and could result in them making a mistake.

8 – Try Maintaining the Upper Hand

Playing pickleball strategies in a doubles format can be a fun and exhilarating experience, but it can also be a bit challenging if you are unfamiliar with the game.

Here are a few key things to playing pickleball double match strategies:

1) When playing against an opponent, try to maintain an upper hand by keeping them on the defensive. This can be done by hitting the ball hard and making them run around the court.

2) Be aware of your partner’s position on the court at all times and try to hit the ball toward them so they can make a return.

3) If you find yourself in a difficult situation, do not hesitate to ask for help from your partner. They should be ready to come up with a plan B if needed.

4) Stay positive and focused throughout the entire match.

9 – Placement Strategy

In pickleball doubles, the placement of your shots is key. You want to place the ball where your opponent has difficulty getting to it or in a spot that will make it difficult for them to return it. There are many different places you can place your shots, but here are a few of the most common ones:

The serve is one of the best places to start with a placement shot. You want to aim for the far corner of the court so your opponent has difficulty returning it. Getting them moving back and forth across the court will put them on defense and give you an advantage.

Another common place to hit your shots is just in front of the net. However, placing the pickleball net will make it difficult for your opponent to hit a clear shot back to you.

How to Play Pickleball Doubles Strategy

Playing advanced pickleball doubles strategy involves not only individual skills but also strategic collaboration with your partner. Therefore, mastering the doubles strategy can give you a significant advantage on the court.

Here’s how to play pickleball double strategies:

  1. Serve and Return Deep: Start with a deep serve or return to push your opponents to the back of the court. This makes it challenging for them to hit aggressive or attacking shots.
  2. Move as a Team: Always move in sync with your partner. When one moves to the net, the other should too. If one moves laterally, the other should adjust accordingly. This helps in covering the court efficiently.
  3. The Power of the “Third Shot Drop”: After serving and returning, aim for a soft shot into the opponent’s kitchen (the non-volley zone). This shot, known as the third shot drop, forces your opponents to hit upwards, giving you and your partner a chance to approach the net.
  4. Control the Net: Dominating the net allows you to hit downwards, making it tougher for opponents to return. It’s easier to smash, dink, and control play when you’re close to the net.
  5. Dinking Strategy: Engage in a dinking rally when you’re at the net. It’s a soft shot that goes just over the net, landing in the kitchen. It keeps the ball low, making it hard for opponents to attack.
  6. Avoid the Middle: Try to hit shots down the line or at angles. A ball hit directly between two opponents often results in confusion and errors, as both players might go for the ball or assume the other will.
  7. Stacking: Stacking in pickleball is where players stand side-by-side in a specific order, regardless of who’s serving. It’s used to keep a stronger player on one side (often the even side) or to exploit matchups against opponents.
  8. Communication: Always talk with your partner. Call out shots, warn them of approaching balls, and decide beforehand who covers what. A well-coordinated team often outperforms two strong individual players.
  9. Stay Calm and Patient: Don’t rush or force shots. Sometimes, the best strategy is to wait for your opponents to make an error. Keep your shots controlled and precise.
  10. Practice Defensive Shots: It’s not always about attacking. Sometimes, a well-placed lob or a defensive slice can turn the tables on an aggressive opponent.
  11. Adaptability: Each game might require a different strategy, depending on your opponents. Be ready to adapt and change tactics as needed.

Ideal Strategies for Winning Doubles Pickleball and Spots for Different Placemats

When playing pickleball double strategy, it’s important to know where to position yourself on the court to give yourself the best scoring chance. Here are some tips for ideal placements based on the type of shot you want to hit.

If you want to hit a groundstroke:

  • Position yourself at the back of the court if you want to play it safe and stay in bounds; this will give you plenty of time to make your shot.
  • Position yourself near the middle to put more pace on your stroke and take your opponent by surprise.

If you want to hit a lob:

  • Position yourself near the net so that you have less distance to cover; this also puts pressure on your opponents, as they will have less time to get back into position.

Summary About Pickleball Doubles Strategy

Pickleball double strategy can be a lot of fun and a great way to get some exercise. When playing, it is important to use a strategy that will help you win. You can improve your chances of winning using the tips in this article. So grab a partner and start playing to win pickleball strategies double!

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