These advanced kitchen tricks do not involve any cooking ware. All you need is a paddle, some players, and some fancy footwork. In the ideal world of pickleball, one is never too predictable to opponents. A way to do this is to incorporate a variety of kitchen tricks to your skill and strategy arsenal to be able to mix up your shots and keep your opponents guessing. I have to note that it is important to master basic pickleball shots before trying to learn these more advanced ones that are described below.
The first shot is an offensive shot that is disguised at first as a dink, but ends up being a ball driven through or at your opponents. The time to hit the shot is when you are in a dink rally and your opponents are leaning in and expecting a dink— go ahead and “flip” the shot at or between them with either a flat or topspin.
How to hit the Flip Shot: 1)
Get in a dink rally with your opponents. 2) Disguise is a big part of this shot, so you want to make sure your paddle face is in the open-face dinking position until right when you make contact with the ball. 3) When you are making contact, turn your wrist and therefore your paddle face toward a closed position in order to quickly generate pace while you are completing the swing. How much you turn your wrist will determine if the ball will be hit flat or with top spin. The amount of topspin you put on the ball will determine how hard you
can hit it while still keeping the ball inside the baseline. The ball needs to have a medium to fast pace on it. 4) You will want to aim to land the ball about 2 feet inside the baseline.
Side-Shift Attack (also called the Ernie shot).
Another trick shot is when you side-shift around the non-volley zone sidelines and make contact with the ball as close to the net as possible. This shot is another offensive shot and requires good footwork and is best executed after you are dinking down-the- line (straight across) from your opponent.
It also requires good timing
so that your opponents do not anticipate you hitting it. Even if you do not make contact with the ball, this shot is still useful in doubles because it helps to keep your opponents honest when dinking, and is also a way to bait them to hit to your partner if you are seeing a majority of the balls.
How to hit the Side-Shift Attack:
1) Dink with the opponent who is down-the-line (straight across) from you. 2) Hit a dink that is close to the side-line of the person in front of you. 3) Right as your opponent is about to make contact with the ball, start moving. 4) Rather than waiting for the ball to come to you and dinking it, side-shift quickly so that your feet are planted on the outside of the non-volley zone and you are as close to the net as possible. 5) Reach out as far as you can to the ball that is still in the air. 6) You will now need to make a decision, depending on where your opponents’ ball is hit. If their ball is high, you will want to smash this ball at the feet of the person in front of you or open court. If the ball is too low, you will want to dink it to the middle or cross-court. If the ball is too far for you to reach, it is your partner’s ball. 7) An important thing to note is when you go to hit this side- shift attack shot, your partner also needs to shift with you to cover in case you cannot reach the ball.
Some Rules to Follow When Hitting the Side-Shift Attack: Breaking any of these rules will cause you to have
a fault. 1) Both feet need to be planted outside the non- volley lines if you make contact inside prior. 2) You, your clothing, or any part of your paddle cannot touch the net or net post when you hit the ball. 3) If you do not make contact with the ball, your paddle cannot pass the plane of the net. You can only pass the plane of the net if you actually strike the ball. If you swing and miss and also cross the net with your paddle, this is a fault.
When you are feeling like your game is in a rut and your opponents are getting too acquainted with your style of play, try adding these advanced kitchen tricks to your strategy and skill sets!
Christine McGrath resides in Los Angeles,
CA. She is a US Open Pro Champion, 5x Tournament of Champions medalist, Professional Pickleball Federation Desert Champion, and 8x Nationals medalist. She also enjoys the outdoors, dirt biking, snowboarding, and spending time with family.