Is it Good to switch Hands while Playing Pickleball?

In the world of pickleball, you have the freedom to switch the paddle from one hand to the other during a game. However, it's important to note that this is not something we usually recommend. Why? Well, switching hands in pickleball is quite challenging and time-consuming. This can be a problem because the game moves quickly, and you often have very little time to react between shots, especially since most shots are played within just 14 feet of the Kitchen line. In simple terms, changing hands can lead to mistakes on the pickleball court.


Is it Good to switch Hands while Playing Pickleball?
Is it Good to switch Hands while Playing Pickleball?
Photo credit: Dropshot pickleball 

Still, there are situations where switching hands might be a good idea, which you might be forced to do so. There are times when you might need or want to switch hands in pickleball. Here are some scenarios where switching hands could come into play:

1. Necessity 

Sometimes, you might find yourself in a situation where you have to switch hands due to various reasons.

2. Injury 

Injuries can sometimes limit your ability to play pickleball with your dominant hand. Some dedicated players, unwilling to give up the game, choose to use their non-dominant arm so they can still be a part of the action. For most players, this is a temporary solution until their injuries heal and they can return to their dominant hand. However, for a few, like Dotty, this switch might become permanent to stay in the game.



3. Reaching Far Distances Defensively 

Imagine the pickleball is way out of your reach on your dominant side, and you can't hit it back with your usual hand. In desperate situations like this, some players might opt to switch hands for a defensive shot. This is a last-ditch effort and should only be tried when no other option seems workable.

4. Surprising Your Opponents 

The act of switching hands looks different and unexpected to your opponents. This unique move can throw them off balance, as many players tend to focus on the paddle's movement rather than tracking the pickleball itself. So, changing hands can occasionally catch your opponents off guard, leading to mistakes on their part and scoring points for you.



5. Learning a Two-Handed Backhand 

When you're trying to master a two-handed backhand, practicing swings with your non-dominant hand can be beneficial. In this stroke, the non-dominant hand is more active, while the dominant hand provides support. Switching hands during practice can help build the muscle memory needed for a strong two-handed backhand.

Switching hands is not a simple task; it requires a lot of skill and coordination. Trying to do it on the fly during a fast-paced game can lead to errors and missed shots, which could give your opponents an advantage. Because of this, the general advice is to avoid switching hands. Instead, focus on improving your footwork, positioning, and paddle control to handle different shots effectively. But if you're set on switching, do it sparingly and practice a lot to minimize errors as much as possible.

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5 Comments
  • duanestclair
    duanestclair December 9, 2023 at 2:49 AM

    Your ignorance on this topic is showing. As a player who is ambidextrous using a double grip allows me to switch hands to hit a forehand on 98% of my shots. I simply let go of the paddle with the hand that allows me to hit a forehand. Backhands are the weak point of almost all players.

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous December 9, 2023 at 9:01 AM

      I am also ambidextrous and use a double handed grip and switch hands. And when I do switch hands, it's because I can tell before the ball gets to me, which hand to use. I don't switch hands up at the kitchen line because it's usually rapid fire or dinking and it's not necessary.

      But it does throw my opponents off... especially ones that are serving fast and hot to what they think is my backhand.......and it's not because I switched.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous December 10, 2023 at 7:13 AM

    I have never seen a successful rally when someone switches. I love when they do because they become my target. So keep switching.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous December 10, 2023 at 4:57 PM

    I switch hands all the time and I am very successful with it..when I don't I usually miss the shot. I'll just keep doing what works best for me.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous January 6, 2024 at 2:30 PM

    I’ve had people I play smile and say “keep switching hands”. After the game, I ask them why and they tell me that I will not be able to do that when I play better players. I tell them that I will keep that in mind when I play better players.

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