Why aren’t you using skinny singles to practice your pickleball game yet?
Sure, it’s not as fun as doubles, but it is an incredible to way to improve.
There’s no room to lean on or blame your partner. Just mano y mano, duking it out on half the court.
How to play pickleball skinny singles
For those unfamiliar with skinny singles, it is an altered version of play where half of the court is deemed out of bounds.
There are a couple of different variations to skinny singles that can be used to mimic gameplay.
In version one, the server moves based on their score and the returner stays put.
So at 0-0 the point is played diagonally with both players using their respective right side (deuce side) of the court. At 1-0 the server moves to their left side and the point is played straight ahead.
In the second version, neither player changes position.
The whole game is played either diagonally or straight ahead. This version is great if you and your partner stack or you’d like to isolate specific scenarios.
If you’re just looking to kill time before the rest of your foursome arrives, try out version one. If you’re a tournament player that stacks with their partner, lean into version two.
How to improve your strategy
Precision: half the court means twice as much precision is required. You don’t have the luxury of returning the serve to the middle of the court. The same goes for overheads, drives etc. You must pick your spot and actually hit it.
My favorite part of skinny singles is that it exposes weaknesses. There are fewer variables. No one else to blame. There is no guessing if your partner’s high dink caused you to lose the hands battle. It’s all on you.
No need for small talk the next time you’re waiting on Tina (who is perpetually late). Crank up some skinny singles and start getting better.
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