Pickleball tips for intermediate players: A detailed guide

As an intermediate pickleball player, you’ve probably already grasped the fundamentals of the sport. You have no trouble serving, returning, and volleying. However, now is the moment to enhance your abilities. In this article, we’ll take a look at various strategies that can aid in elevating your performance and make you a more vicious opponent on the court.

pickleball tips for intermediate players
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How do you get better at pickleball fast?

Below are several pickleball tips for intermediate players for playing pickleball competitively:

Deep serve and return

Pickleball players who hit deep serves sometimes have an edge over their opponents because it slows down their response time and minimizes their alternatives for returning the ball. Additionally, if you return the ball deep, you can better control the point and position yourself for subsequent shots.

By implementing this approach into their play, intermediate players can get an advantage over their rivals and enhance their pickleball play.

Hitting a deep baseline hugging return of serve, makes it more difficult for the serving team to get to the kitchen line. The return team has a significant advantage the longer the serving team takes to reach the net.


This is a significant pickleball tip. Pickleball is a sport where you can get better at it if you practice with other players frequently. Pick-up games are a great method to practice your abilities and pick up on other players’ playing strategies. Additionally, pickleball tournaments offer the ideal setting for testing your abilities and improving your game.

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Adequate warm-up

The basics must be mastered if you want to improve your pickleball play, especially if you’re an intermediate player. Stretching out and doing some mild cardio before each game will help you avoid injuries and get your body ready for exercise. Holding the paddle properly is also crucial to optimize power with the least amount of effort.

Always ensure that you shoot with the proper technique and positioning to optimize your shots and performance overall. Improve your game and score more points with these easy-to-follow pickleball tips for intermediate players.

Physical and mental readiness

Being mentally and physically prepared can make all the difference in your pickleball game as an intermediate player. To succeed on the court, it’s essential to stay motivated and laser-focused on your objectives. This way of thinking will enable you to overcome challenges and maintain your drive to advance your abilities.

To increase your strength and stamina on the court, add strength training to your program. Consider your competitors’ strengths and flaws before adjusting your strategy.

Pay close attention to how you hold the paddle and modify it as necessary for greater ball control. Lastly, completing footwork drills may aid in maneuvering around the court fast and effectively.

Keep in mind that mastering the pickleball game requires patience, perseverance, and commitment. You’ll be successful in mastering this thrilling sport by maintaining your focus, creating strategic gameplay strategies, including strength training into your regimen, paying attention to paddle grip to ensure you’re hitting deeper shots, and performing footwork drills frequently.

Be sure to monitor the score

Being intermediate pickleball players, it’s essential to be very conscious of the score alongside the circumstances throughout the game to enhance your game. This advice might sound apparent to some, but because it’s so straightforward, a lot of players frequently forget about it.

It demonstrates a high level of focus that is demanded of professional-level and intermediate players to be aware of who is serving and the score.

Although knowing the score might not seem like a top priority for recreational players, it is crucial for competitive players to pay attention and remain aware of the score.

Knowing the score and who is serving should come easy to intermediate players because they are supposed to have a better level of game focus. You can enhance your performance and progress as a player by adopting the routines and conduct of intermediate players, such as keeping your attention on the game and being aware of the score throughout the game.

Target your opponent’s feet

This is another pickleball tip. Aim for your opponents’ feet, so they retreat before they can return your shot. By doing this, a challenging return shot is prompted. Targeting your opponent’s feet when serving or hitting a dink puts them in a challenging situation that they may find difficult to overcome.

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Enhance your hitting accuracy

One of the most important pickleball tips for intermediate players is to constantly plan shots beforehand. Pickleball is a tactical game that demands participants to take calculated and clever shots.

You can better predict the ball’s course and place yourself on the court tactically if you’re aware of where you’re going to hit the ball before you hit it.

This method is especially important if you’re aiming at improving your skills.

It takes both physical and mental effort to improve shot placement. You can gain an advantage over your rivals in a game by integrating this tactic into your gameplay. To win the game, organize your shots in advance when next you’re on the court.

Decision-making and quick reflexes

Quick reflexes and astute decision-making are essential for success in pickleball. Players can respond quickly and accurately hit the appropriate shots by visualizing potential events before they occur. You can develop your court reading and prediction skills by working on this approach.

Pickleball is a strategy game, therefore having this ability can offer you an advantage over other players. Spend some time practicing visualizing potential situations during training to advance your pickleball skills.

Try to force a backhand shot

Most opponents you face probably have a superior forehand shot than a backhand shot. Therefore, have your opponent hit difficult backhands, which is their weaker shot.

The backhand of the opposition can be targeted with serves returned, third shot drops, and even dinks toward the net.

Even for an intermediate player, a backhand shot is more challenging compared to a forehand shot. And it’s best if you make your opponent take the extremely difficult shot.

Wonderful teamwork

Pickleball success depends on efficient communication between you and your partner. An intermediate player may assist his partner in deciding whether to strike the ball by signaling “Good” or “Out.”

A crucial piece of advice is to yell out “Mine” and “Yours” loud and clear during the third shot, which is typically made along the middle, to avoid any misunderstandings and ensure a smooth game. A successful play in pickleball requires good communication between you and your team member.

To effectively predict your partner’s next move toward the ball, you must be aware of your partner’s movements. You can tell where they are on the court by observing their body language and visual indicators.

An intermediate player can predict their movements and act fast if you do this, which improves coordination and team performance. To enhance your overall pickleball performance, it is crucial for intermediate players to place a high priority on being attentive to their partner’s actions.

You can efficiently cooperate with your partner and play as a united team against the opposing team by doing this. To enhance your pickleball skills, always place a priority on communicating and being attentive to your partner’s moves.

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Perfecting your serving skills

One of the most important pickleball tips for intermediate players who want to excel in the game is to optimize their service. Setting the pace of the game with a powerful and accurate serve gives you the upper hand in controlling rallies and setting the tempo.

It’s essential to practice frequently and master a variety of serves, including flat, spin, slice, and kick serves, to do this. Strive to serve well on your second serve, regardless of whether your first serve is unsuccessful.

An effective second serve may put your opponents under pressure, thus rendering it difficult for them to return the ball.

Hence, it’s essential that you put your service first throughout your practice routines and strengthen your pickleball skills by adding these pickleball tips for intermediate players into your training regimen.

Enhance your dink shot

Your skill level may be improved with improved dinking. Being an intermediate player, you ought to be unpredictable when making your dink shot and be able to surprise your opponent.

Maintain a “pickleball ready” position at all times

Your paddle should always be raised and positioned in the middle of your chest while you are not actively striking a shot. The ready position includes this and standing on the balls of your feet.

You’ve positioned yourself in the best possible position to attack with a forehand or backhand when your paddle is centered and raised in the ready position.

Intermediate players rarely allow their rivals to catch them off guard and in. They are constantly in the ready position.

Hit the less-skilled opponent in doubles play

It is common practice to attack the less skilled opponent when playing doubles. In mixed doubles, in particular.

The less skilled opponent, irrespective of gender, is frequently targeted, despite how unfair or simply cruel it may appear.

Relaxation and recuperation

Recuperation and relaxation are essential for an intermediate pickleball player. Due to the demanding nature of the sport, it’s crucial to make sure you’re sleeping adequately while also scheduling regular rests in between games.

You may avoid injuries and preserve your energy levels by putting a high priority on relaxation and recuperation. This ensures that you play at your best on the court.

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Prevent these pickleball errors

Analyzing your errors will help you become a better pickleball player. It’s critical to comprehend why you’re underperforming so that you can spot development opportunities and learn more efficiently.

Don’t hit the dinks too high

It’s critical to refine your dinking technique if you want to increase your pickleball performance as an intermediate player.

Do not strike the ball too high when making a dink shot because doing so can cause it to bounce high, resulting in a dead dink. To keep the ball at a lower height, consider driving or flicking it instead.

Additionally, it’s crucial to keep your opponent guessing with your dinks. You may gain an advantage on the court and raise your level of play by honing your dink shots.

Improve on your drop shot

Intermediate pickleball players should maintain an appropriate height and refrain from hitting their drop shot too high or too low to upgrade their game. Aim for the center of the ball as you strike it. A backhand shot can also help you hit the target more consistently.

To get the desired result when striking the ball, the balance remains essential. You may improve drop shots and your game by using these pickleball strategies when playing pickleball.

Playing without any spins

The significance of spin is frequently disregarded by novices in favor of a single-minded emphasis on returning the ball to their opponent.

To advance their game, however, intermediate players must become proficient in various spins, such as topspin and backspin.

A natural and rather simple spin to comprehend is backspin. You can make the ball bounce lower and disrupt your opponent’s timing by being proficient at applying backspin to the ball. For example, topspin or forehand spins can be more difficult to execute, but with enough practice, you can develop your technique and benefit from these spins.

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What is an intermediate-level pickleball player?

Intermediate pickleball players are capable of sustaining rallies while using a range of shots, such as the backhand, considered one of the trickier shots for the majority of players.

Intermediate players fall between the range of a 3.5 and a 4.5 on the two-digit scale, indicating that they have a good eye for aim and occasionally use shots with spin. The majority of pickleball groups tend to have a lot of intermediate players.

How do you go from 3.0 to 3.5 in pickleball?

Reduce lobbing

We’ve probably all participated in games where there was a recurrent lobber on the court. Can it succeed? Sure. Will it help you advance to the level you want to reach? No. I’m referring specifically to the deliberate baseline third-shot lobs.

Adopt the proper grip

The continental grip, often known as the handshake grip, is the perfect grip, to begin with.

Go low

Get down below the ball and squat with your knees bent.
Your reaction time is considerably slower getting to a dink if you are standing straight up, making you a bigger target for speedups.
You will quickly realize how much simpler it is to dink, once you start working on going low.

How do you beat better players in pickleball?

Hire a pickleball trainer

While it’s crucial to practice each skill correctly, you also need to know how to do it correctly. Finding a pickleball coach is one way to learn how to perfect each skill or shot on the pickleball courts.

Develop your skills

It’s vital to practice before playing a pickleball match. This is due to the game’s fast-paced, stressful environment, whether in a tournament or not.

Improve your general fitness

Your ability to track down more shots, move around the pickleball court more easily, and respond to the pickleball more quickly increases with your level of fitness.


As you get better, you start to intentionally hit shots. To become an intermediate or expert pickleball player, you must practice frequently.

Additionally, applying the pickleball tips for intermediate players mentioned in this article, such as honing your dinks and enhancing your footwork, can help you advance your game.

Your pickleball abilities significantly increase with hard work and practice, and you’ll soon emerge as the court’s most formidable player.

Acting right now and using these suggestions can help you play better pickleball. Remember to maintain the ready position when playing pickleball.

I hope this guide on pickleball tips for intermediate players is helpful.

Orson Carte

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