Pickleball Singles Strategy Part 3: Passing Shots

The most basic strategy in pickleball singles is to follow your return to the net and take advantage of your position by creating angles. However, some players prefer to stay at the baseline and hit passing shots.
passing shot
Passing Shots

I recall the first couple of times I played against Christine McGrath in singles I could not get her to the net. I was so frustrated.  I would hit a short ball, she would retrieve it and then run back to the baseline.  Her preference was to stay at the baseline and hit groundstrokes.   She has the ability to create phenomenal passing shots that were hard to read.

Two Passing Shot Keys

There are two keys to hitting an effective passing shot.

  • As the passing shot is an offensive shot, you want to take your time to set up to the ball.  Players often rush through their shots.  You really have more time than you think!  Take time to set up properly. You want to make sure your feet and body are lined up properly.
  • As you line up, focus on your hips.  On a forehand, begin by lining up your opposite hip (i.e. your left hip if you arepassing shot righthanded) with your target and finish with both your hips facing the target.
Practice, Practice, Practice

You can practice hitting passing shots with a ball machine or a partner positioned at the non-volley zone.  Place some targets about one foot in from the sideline and, from the baseline, practice hitting to those targets.  Take your time, and focus on your hips.

Single Choices

When your opponent gets to the net first, you have a few options.  You could hit a third shot drop and try to get to the net as well or you can hit a passing shot.  With a little practice, you might find that passing shot is a winner.



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