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Learn to avoid hitting out balls in pickleball

A simple way to improve your pickleball game is to avoid hitting balls that are going out of bounds. This may sound obvious, but it is not easy to do. You need to have self-control, good judgment, and practice reading the ball's movement.

Learn to avoid hitting out balls in pickleball
Learn to avoid hitting out balls in pickleball

You can improve your judgment by playing more games and learning from your errors. There is no one-size-fits-all rule for deciding which balls are out, because each ball has a different speed, spin, and location on the court.



Some tips to help you get started are:

Watch out for:

- A ball that is rising and hit hard at your chest level with little topspin.

- A ball that is hit at your chest level from the middle of the court, especially if the opponent is leaning forward.

- A ball that is hit across the court with a lot of force.

These are often balls that will go out if you don't hit them.



How can you get better at this skill?

Work with your partner and listen to their calls

They may have a better view of the ball than you do. If they tell you to let a ball go, trust them. Then, try to remember why the ball was out. Was it too high, too fast, or too curved? You can learn from players who are good at avoiding out balls and try to see what they see.

Challenge yourself by playing against teams who hit the ball very hard with a lot of topspin. 

These balls are hard to judge because they move very quickly. Sometimes, you may want to let a ball pass by and see where it lands. This can help you calibrate your judgment.



Practice this skill during casual games with friends and drills

Don't hit out balls even when you are practicing. Use this as a chance to improve your ability to read the ball's speed and trajectory and to know when to hit and when to pass.

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