Skillful shot placement confuses opponents and opens up opportunities, which is all the more important in doubles where your opponents can cover more of their zone.
One singles pickleball placement strategy: aim for the 'T' on the sideline. The 'T' is formed at the intersection of the sideline and NVZ.
This target is well known from a doubles dinking perspective. It's an ideal spot to send aggressive dinks.
The 'T' is also effective in singles when hitting from the baseline. Unlike normal passing shots that whiz by at waist-level, this shot dips as soon as it crosses the net.
It puts the ball into a low, un-attackable position. If played out of the air, the opponent is forced to cover 10ft of distance to the sideline and contact the ball at ankle-height.
Like a Steve Nash bounce pass in the NBA, it's tough to defend.
If played off the bounce, the defender is pulled off of the court. They're likely to still be recovering when you hit your next ball.
Hitting the 'T' from the baseline does not create ATP opportunities like it does when hitting it from the kitchen line.
From this angle, the ball is traveling deeper off of the court after the bounce, not wider. This leaves only a small window for an ATP.
It is, however, susceptible to ernes. And if you're playing someone flying into ernes in singles, then you might just be in for a long day anyway. Mix up the sideline you choose to hit to and hold your shot until the last second to keep them frozen in the middle of the court.
More strategy ideas:
- Advanced Pickleball Doubles Strategy from Top Pro
- Change the Way You Think About Doubles Pickleball
- Third Shot Strategies in Mixed Doubles