Doubles- arguably the most popular category to play in the pickleball world. Four players battling away… now that is some fun stuff!
Here are three strategies in playing pickleball doubles that I know can help a team. My doubles partnership with Alex Hamner has been a wonderful ride of friendship and victory. We have lots of strategies we use and the following are some key ones we’d like to think helped us win gold for the fourth year in a row in Open Doubles at the USAPA Nationals. It could be our strategies, but probably a little luck mixed in too.
Strategy #1 – We never play our opponents. Many teams play the opponent, whereas they should be playing the ball. Always react to where the ball is going, what the ball is doing and what you are doing to the ball.
Strategy #2 – It’s imperative to block out any visual noise from the other side of the court. Maybe the opponent is jumping around, poaching, faking a shot or charging the net; block it all out and focus only on the ball. Those of you that personally know me can agree that I enjoy socializing and meeting new people, but when it’s game time I’m focused. I rarely see who is in the crowd and never look beyond the court… okay maybe to find the wind sock or flag to check wind direction.
Strategy #3 – Play the holes. We hit the shot where they are not. When we see our opponents out of position we quickly capitalize; bring the shot down the line, up the middle or even a drop shot when they are behind the baseline. We look for the holes and place the shot with either touch or power. It can be that easy. A quick scan of opponents locations allows you to pick the hole and BOOM hit it where they aren’t!!
If you’d like more of a visual, check out this video from Pickleball Channel – showing more pickleball doubles strategy: have fun, fill in the holes and move together!
2 comments on “Pickleball doubles strategy”
I just played in my first sanctioned tournament with two partners I’d never met before. One liked to draw my attention to weaknesses of the opponents and the other always commented on what fundamentals we had to keep executing and working hard at. I can certainly get behind Strategy 1 and definitely played a better game and stayed more positive when we reacted to the ball and executed our best game rather than worrying about the opponent!
Focus and intensity are the keys for me. A good friend of mine said I had a look of “evil” as I hit a ball that thumped him squarely in the chest. When I questioned what he meant, he said I looked as though my very existence depended on hitting that shot.
“Thank you,” I said.
I do not understand playing any game with anything less than one’s best effort. I laugh and joke between points, especially at my own expense. But during play? Game on for me!