Basics of pickleball with shot #1, #2 and #3. Here’s some pickleball insight from Keith James:
Use it or lose it–your choice.
The rules of pickleball were crafted to limit de facto the options for the first three shots of each point of every game. The inventors of pickleball chose to maximize fun and to give everybody a reasonable opportunity to compete, no matter what the player’s age or athletic skills.
Shot #1. The serve is delivered underhand to take away the overhead smash serve. The serve is either in or out on the first serve–no second chance as in tennis. These two rules are designed to take away the advantage of taller, stronger players and to encourage simply getting the ball into play.
Shot #2. The return of serve must bounce before the serving team can return the ball–the “two bounce” rule. The effect of this critical feature of pickleball is to give the returning team an inherent advantage. In practical play, the returning team plays one player at the kitchen line. The player returning the serve loops a high, deep shot down the middle and runs to the kitchen line. Thus, after only two shots, the returning team has two players at the no volley zone line, and the serving team has two players at or behind the baseline. This advantage for the returning team is huge and explains why points are so difficult to score.
Shot #3. Ideally, the third shot should enable the serving team to get both players to the kitchen line ASAP to gain equal court position with the receiving team. To achieve this goal, the serving team can lob the ball over the opponents at the kitchen line (risky), blast a hard ground stroke down the middle or down either sideline gaps (the speed of a hard drive gives the serving team less time to achieve position at the kitchen line), or drop the ball softly into the no volley zone to allow the serving team time to get to the kitchen line and to force the opponents to let the ball bounce before returning the ball (a difficult touch shot, but probably the best tactically).
After these three shots, the real game commences, followed by a virtually endless variety of shots and tactics.