Pickleball Strategies for Doubles

Pickleball Strategies for Doubles

Though you can play singles pickleball, doubles pickleball is much more popular. This is because the game is easier when you have a teammate to help you cover the court. 

When working with a team, it is important that you have the same strategy in mind. Having a strategy can also help you effectively improve your game. 

Take a look at these doubles pickleball strategies that are easy to implement and will also make a big difference. 

Improving Your Doubles Pickleball Game

It is well known that a top-of-the-line pickleball paddle is the only piece of equipment that will improve your doubles game; however, strategies are a way to improve without buying anything new. 

Here are some tips to improve your pickleball game in the three big categories. 

Partner Communication

Photo Credit: Gammasprots.blog

Communication between partners can make a big difference in your doubles pickleball game. 

Calling the Ball

One of the most simple communication strategies is to call the ball. As you are going for each shot, call out “mine” or “got it” or something similar so that your partner knows not to run to no man’s land if you are already going there. 

Switching Sides

You should also call out the switch if you are going to play a shot on your partner’s side of the court because it is easier for you to stay there after making the hit while the other partner moves over. 

Building Confidence

Partners should also complement each other on a good drop shot, winning shot, or anytime you can provide encouragement. However, keep in mind that pointing out faults, especially in the weaker player, will only dismantle teamwork. 

Strategy Discussion

Discussing pickleball strategy before the game and during breaks can ensure you are on the same page throughout the game. 

Player Positioning

Player Positioning

In order to hit more shots, player positions are vital. Here’s a quick breakdown of the main things to keep in mind. 

Court Coverage

Player positioning strategies are all about proper court coverage. In doubles, if you do not focus on ensuring each player on your team is in the most effective positions, it creates “holes” in the court where you won’t be able to get to the ball in time. 

For instance, in order to observe the double bounce rule, during and immediately after the serve, both players on the serving team should remain at the back of the court. Once the ball has been returned on the third shot, which is the return of serve return, both players should be parallel to each other at the non-volley zone

Ready Position

After each time you or your partner hits the ball, both of you should return to a ready position towards the back middle of the court so that you can reach longer shots or a deep return. Of course, you should remain alert in case the next shot is short. 

String Theory

Another popular position strategy is commonly referred to as string theory. String theory is where you imagine that each partner is connected to the other by a string. 

So for the string not to be pulled tight and break, players should move in unison. This means that if one partner goes for a shot four feet to the left, the other partner should also move four feet to the left. 

Ball Placement

Ball Placement

When talking about all things pickleball strategy, it is a disservice to not talk about ball placement.  

Placement Over Power

You don’t necessarily need power to make a good doubles team. Some of the more advanced strategies are as simple as controlling ball placement. 

For instance, instead of trying to hit a winning shot every time, focus on just placing the ball over the net and wait for the other team to make a fault or only go for that winning shot when you are absolutely sure. 

Use a Middle Shot

Deep middle shots are also the best place to hit shots in order to prevent hitting wide and encourage confusion among the opposing team on who should hit the ball. 

Get A Good Shot with a Backhand

Hitting your opponent’s backhand, especially with a serve deep down the court, can also be a great ball placement strategy too. To prevent this from being a strategy that your opponents can use, practice and strengthen your own backhand since a forehand player can get the upper hand if their backhand is strong as well. 

Overall, the pickleball players who make the fewest unforced errors are more likely to win, so try to focus on simply keeping the ball in play. 


Here are the two most commonly asked questions about pickleball doubles strategy.

What is the main initial strategy in doubles pickleball play?

The main initial strategy in doubles pickleball is to focus on ball placement. 

How do you become a good doubles partner in pickleball?

Becoming a good doubles partner in pickleball is all about good communication, taking responsibility for your shots, being consistent instead of showing off, and maintaining positivity. 

Use Doubles Pickleball Strategies to Your Advantage

Advanced strategies are a great thing to keep in your arsenal when playing doubles. The pickleball court can be hard to manage when things are so fast-paced, but by keeping pickleball doubles strategy top of mind, you can become a better pickleball player.

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