12 Types Of Shots In Pickleball That You Need To Learn

Trying out new shots is one of the most enjoyable pickleball activities. But what about all the pickleball shots that are already established? In this article, we will share the basic types of shots in pickleball.

As an advanced pickleball player, you are undoubtedly consuming content and learning the correct fundamentals and proper techniques for hitting dinks, drops, volleys, and drives. Mastering these fundamental shots is the foundation of your journey to becoming a better pickleball player.

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To master pickleball shots perfectly, you must get the right paddle. You can read our reviews on Onix Paddles and buy the best pickleball paddle from one of the best pickleball accessories manufacturing companies.

12 Pickleball Shots to Add to Your Arsenal

There are a variety of shots to learn in pickleball, but the foundations should be mastered first. Let’s go over the basics.

Dink Escape Shot

In cases where your opponents have pulled you down with the dink strokes and post shots are not available, the best pickleball shot to get yourself back into the rally is a short, high dink shot in the middle of your opponent’s non-volley zone. This shot will reduce the angles for your opponent and give you time to get back into position.

The Dink Shove Surprise Attack

An image of a player taking a dink shot.

Dink Shove relies on a bit of deception. When your opponent goes straight past you on the non-volley zone line, set up as if you’re going to hit a dink shot and then, at the last second, quickly “push” the ball with your paddle straight at your non-volley line. The unexpected shot may jam the opponent, giving you a simple opportunity to score on your next attempt.

Cross-court Dink Volley

A cross-court dink shot is when you take a dink shot out of the air by your opponent and volley it softly cross-court so that the ball lands harmlessly in your opponent’s non-volley zone so it cannot be easily attacked.

The removal of the ball from the air achieves two goals. The first benefit is that it delays your adversary. Second, it prevents you from backing up and retreating from non-volley lines. Establishing and maintaining a position on the non-volley line is always a good strategy. As a result, the cross-court dink volley is an incredibly valuable soft shot in a pickleball game.

Cross-Court “Inside Out” Forehand Drop Shot

One of my favorite shots to hit from an odd angle is when my opponent is on the non-volley line and I’m close to the baseline. With a bit of topspin that lands cross-court on the opponent’s feet on their backhand side, this shot drop position makes this powerful cross-court shot generally unattackable.

Short-Angled Serve from Even Side

When hit well, short, angular serves that go just beyond the non-volley line and return will create a large gap in the opponent’s court. You can then hit a hard drive into the space for an easy winner.

Backhand Punch Volley

An image of a player attempting a pickleball volley shot.

Perhaps the most frequently executed shot during a match, the backhand punch volley is a great option for volleying through your opponent’s legs or hitting a gap when the ball is almost chest-high. With no backswing and full extension from the elbows, this shot is bad though not intuitive for your tennis players.

Forehand Roll Volley

This is a shot that I love, both for its performance and its relative “conservatism.” When your opponents try to drop shots or third shots, reach out when you can and hit a topspin volley shot that takes your opponent back and prevents them from advancing to the non-volley line. Your topspin roll volley will hit the court and “jump” at your opponent (due to the topspin), making their next attempt at a drop shot extraordinarily difficult.

Overhead Smash

An image of a pickleball player taking an overhead smash shot.

The overhead shot is the winning shot drive and can only be hit as a returning serve. The serving team cannot serve you overhead. However, this is your chance if the ball you receive is slightly higher, power up your opponent’s backcourt and hit it hard. These shots are not playable and lose your opponent a point, making this the most effective shot.

Half-Volley from the Transition Zone

The pickleball transition zone is the pickleball court area – sometimes called “no man’s land” – between the baseline and the non-volley line. As you work from the baseline to the non-volley line, you’ll likely need to hit some shots from this area.

Lob Shot

An image of a player taking a pickleball lob shot.

In some cases, the lob shot is a good selection, although it is generally overused. However, if executed from a dink or volley from the non-volley line, the lob can be a great shot selection when your opponent is leaning in front of their non-volley line. When lobbying, hit the ball on your opponent’s non-dominant paddle shoulder. That makes an overhead smash a more difficult shot.

Lob Return Drop Shot

When returning a lob hit over your head, don’t back-pedal. Let me say it again. Never back-pedal. Backpedaling is asking for injury. Instead, pivot, turn, and chase the ball forward. You’ll want to get behind and around the ball to execute a drop shot that lands in your opponent’s non-volley zone. Then, as a team, return to the non-volley line. Lob back with a drive or other lob is a recipe for disaster.

Block Volley

Nothing frustrates a banger more than when an opponent effortlessly squares their paddle to an impending blast, and the ball innocently pops over the net and out of their reach. Learn to absorb ball speed and frustrate your hard-hitting friends with block shots.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the best shots in pickleball?

The best shots in pickleball are not the most demanding shots. These are the perfect you. In theory, cross-court dinks, drops, drives, overheads, and half-volleys are the best pickleball shots. These shots will always give an edge to your game.

How many shots are there in pickleball?

Pickleball shots are countless, however. These can be 30-40 types depending on what the players discover and how they mix up a stroke and name a shot. However, there are a maximum of 3 pickleball strokes. These are dink, volley, and groundstroke. All pickleball shots are made by following or blending one of these strokes.

Final Words

That’s what we show you about pickleball shots. Here are the 12 most important pickleball shots to learn and eventually master.

A little advice: instead of mastering everything, take 3-4 shots, practice them, and make them your strong weapon.

Time to mix in other shots to trick your rally and make it unpredictable to your opponent. That way, you’ll be stable and lethal at once. I hope you enjoyed playing these 12 pickleball shots.

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