- In doubles play with right-handed partners, the stronger partner should start in the odd (left-hand) court to maximize use of his forehand (which is covering the middle). If the stronger partner is left-handed, have him start in the even (right-hand) court and agree that he will take the center-court shots.
- Get to the non-volley zone and try to stay there. Why? From the NVZ, you can hit drives more deeply, you can volley, dink, and lob, and all of this requires far fewer steps to reach the ball, no matter how it's hit to you. The team that stays at the non-volley zone the most will usually win more points. Try a drop shot into the non-volley zone or a lob over your opponent's head that will give you time to safely move up from the baseline to the non-volley zone.
- When a dink or drop shot lands very close to the net, try to step into the non-volley zone using only one foot, keeping the other foot outside the zone behind the line. As soon as you hit the ball, step back out of the zone behind the line. This may not be possible if you are very short or if the ball barely makes it over the net, but otherwise should become second nature. Stepping back out immediately leaves you ready to return a volley or any other shot without incurring a fault, and it's much easier to step out if only one foot is in the zone.
Gale Leach lives in Arizona with her husband, two dogs, and a cat. When she's not writing pickleball tips, she's working on the second in a new series of novels for young adults and updating The Art of Pickleball.