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The 3 L's to Success

If you are a beginner or intermediate player, the first 3 shots of every point will have a big impact on how the point will play out. So lets talk about the first 3:


  1. Long Serve: The serve in pickleball can be a real weapon if you decide to do so. Use different pace and depth on your serves to give your opponent a different look. When in doubt, hit your serve deep to keep the returning team back. Do not forget to serve and stay back.

  2. Long Return: For the return, position yourself in more of your favored position (forehand or backhand). Remember to start back off of the baseline so once you hit your return you can go ahead and run up. Try to not out hit your return. That means, if you need more time to get to the non-volley zone, then hit a high deep return. Hitting the ball low and hard is great at times, but not always if you are the returning team. Your return should apply pressure but also allow you plenty of time to get to the non-volley zone.

  3. Low 3rd shot: The main objective of the third shot is to keep it low and cause your opponent to swing up on the ball. You can hit a drop or drive in this situation (lobs work at times too). Remember, if it's low you go, if it's high you stay back. A good 3rd shot will neutralize your opponent and allow you the necessary time to move up to the non-volley zone.

Next time you play, try to put an emphasis on the first 3 shots of every point. Remember the Three L’s to success: Long(serve), Long(return), Low(3rd shot).

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