Editor's Note: These tips were compiled by members of the Lincoln Hills Pickleball Club, Lincoln, CA of which Chris Berney was a member.
At the point where your opponent is about to hit the ball, you should be in a ready position. Feet at shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, on your toes, elbows and paddle out in front of your body. Being in a ready position is more important than your position on the court.
You should aim your serve 5 feet in front of the baseline and at least 5 feet from the sideline. Do not miss your serve. For more experienced players with faster serves, your aces should outnumber your faults.
The Return of Serve
Always make the return of serve. Stay at least 1 foot behind the baseline and in a ready position. If you are not at least 1 foot behind the line, you will miss a deep serve. Hit the ball slow and well over the net height to allow yourself time to get to the no volley zone line. Aim your shot 5 feet from the base line and 1 foot from the center line (usually their back hand). This is not the time to try and hit a winner.
Patience is a virtue in Pickleball. Hit soft shots (low over the net) to your opponents feet or beside them. Let your opponent make the error. Wait until the ball is at least 1 foot over the net before going for a winning shot. When very fast balls are hit to you while your at the net, try blocking it to your opponents feet.
(Image credit: USAPA)