How To Play Pickleball Singles: The Strategies 

October 24, 2021

The Pickleball sport is either played in singles or doubles.

The same Pickleball rules apply in both games. The essential skill you use while playing the doubles can perfectly crossover to the singles.

There are some fundamental differences between the Pickleball doubles and singles. Switching between the two play formats will force you to make some notable changes.

The changes begin with the simplest thing, which is the gaming gear. It’s because the singles are much faster and demand more speed than the double.

In this article, we are going to look at the rules and strategies of the Pickleball single. It’s only by understanding and practicing them that you will match or outmatch your opponent.

How To Play Pickleball Singles 

There is a lot of information you need to know about the Pickleball singles.

First, you need to know that the Pickleball single is more demanding in terms of physicality.

In the singles, you will be covering twice the amount of court space by yourself. Therefore, it calls for next-level fitness.

In doubles, you can easily outplay your opponent if you have intelligent gameplay. However, in singles, clever gameplay alone is not enough.

If your opponent happens to be physically better than you in singles, you do not stand a chance of winning.


I am sure you have already made up your mind about taking part in the Pickleball singles. That explains why you are reading this article.

You are in the right place. In this article, you will find all that you need to stand out in the Pickleball singles.

Adding some conditioning training to your daily routine depends on your fitness level and determination to be a pro in singles.

You will have to practice and master quickstarts/stops, lateral movements, and drills such as suicide sprints. These activities can boost your stamina and help you during the match.

If you feel like these drills are too much, you can add simple cardio sessions. They will keep you from burning out during the singles match. There is no other way around the singles.

It would be best if you had realistic expectations based on your fitness level and your opponent’s. In addition to your brilliant gameplay, make sure you match or outmatch your opponent’s fitness level.

The Pickleball Single Strategies

Play Simple

As mentioned, Pickleball singles are very different from doubles. If you are new to singles, you should know that there is no time for fancy play.

By fancy play, I mean finessing and stuff. The singles game is usually fast-paced. Here, it’s power, speed, and precision that will win you the match.

Playing a slow pace game will give your opponent an advantage over you. It gives them time to move to settle in a strategic space. They then hit a well and hard-placed shot that can surely give them points.

It would be best if you continually keep your opponent moving with the cross-cut shots. As you do these, keenly look for any gaps and use them to win the match.

Approach The Net

In doubles, approaching the net is not a tricky thing to do. In singles, you have to be so cautious and calculative about this move. You should be very aggressive if you decide to go for it.

Do not approach the net absentmindedly after placing any hit. The return hit should be great and deep. However, if you place a weak one and follow it, the opponent will easily pass the ball to either of your sides.

That’s if you give them enough time to do that. However, if you are tall, then you most likely have a wide wingspan. For you, it’s safe to move closer to the net because you have the reach advantage.

However, if you are short or small, you should always approach the net with care. Only make a move towards the net when you have the advantage (hard, deep hit).

The serve 

In Pickleball doubles, it’s okay to do a simple serve over the net and in. However, in singles, it’s all different. It would be best if you used the Pickleball serve as an offensive weapon.

As mentioned above, almost all the serves you make in the singles should be hard and deep. Ideally, it would be best if you made a hard and deep serve to your opponent’s weak side.

However, if you are yet to discover your opponent’s weak side, you can hit it hard down in the middle, as this will surely be a perfect placement.

After hitting your serve hard, you need to get in ready quickly, as this will give you the mobility you need for the game.

It’s best to remember that in singles, a hard serve is all that will save you. Otherwise, your opponent might hit a strong serve that will displace you and break your defense.

Passing Shot 

The “Approach the Net” strategy is also applicable here. As mentioned, you should never approach the net when not ready.

The reason behind this is your opponent can quickly strike a winning passing shot during this time. However, you can use this strategy to outplay your opponent.

Whenever your opponent approaches the net while in his weak position, you can cruise a winning passing shot past them.

To execute this flawlessly, you need to know how to use the full-court dimensions. Another thing you need to be good at is hitting a drive down the line. It should undoubtedly be out of the reach of their paddle.

Advanced Strategy 

The Soft Game

In almost all parts, we have been talking about a fast-paced and demanding game. However, a soft game can also give you a win in the singles, although it’s not an excellent strategy for the amateurs.

The advanced players know the right time to shift the gameplay from fast-paced and hard to slow-paced games.

They use it to their advantage to make the game slow and then strike a hard deep shot to the corner or lob.

It’s a strategy that keeps their opponents on their toes. However, by playing a fast-paced game, your moves are always so predictable at times.

Pickleball Equipment 

Like other games, knowing the rules make it enjoyable and easier to play. To play Pickleball well, you need to remember the equipment used and have them available whenever you want.

The great thing about Pickleball is that it’s not demanding when it comes to equipment. Have the net, balls, and paddles, and everything is good to go. In this section, you will get all the valuable information about the ideal Pickleball equipment.


Today, many popular manufacturers make paddles. Therefore, you have more than one hundred different paddles to choose from.

Paddles range in weight, material, and price. Before you choose a paddle, you should be specific about how you need to use it. The recommended retail price for paddles is between $13 -$145.

Moreover, the paddle weight is one of the most important things you need to consider. It’s the weight that determines your swing and also guarantees your arm’s health.

The range weight for paddles is usually between six to fourteen ounces. Keep in mind that some paddles will allow you to control the ball but lack the ball drive efficiently.

However, a heavy paddle might offer you the perfect drive but not control. Plus, the strain of a heavy peddle will undoubtedly cause fatigue.

Another thing you need to consider when choosing the paddle is the grip size. Picking a paddle with the right grip size will enable you to have better control and reduced strain.


Most people are aware of the tennis ball because of the popularity of the sport. In the racquet family, it is the largest. 

The tennis ball is usually furry and hollow. Despite the similarities between the two sports, Pickleball is nothing close to the tennis ball. 

Although they are round, the Pickleball ball is plastic and has holes all over its surface. Plus, it’s so lightweight, and this gives it an excellent drive for just a little push. 


To me, proper footwear is among the essential Pickleball gear. It’s the number one priority.

In the Pickleball single, you will make lots of movements. You have to make quick lateral movements, starts, and stops. Therefore, you need to have excellent and comfortable shoes that will allow you to make such movements. 

Many Pickleball players have been told to wear running shoes. However, it’s not a great idea. The running shoes are very comfortable but quite limiting: you cannot make lateral movements with them.


In summary, Pickleball singles are more offensive and fast-paced than Pickleball doubles. The game surely tests your fitness level by keeping you on the run constantly.

In this game, you also have to hit your serves deep and hard. Plus, it would be best if you learned to go for the quick wins.

Before playing Pickleball single, there is a crucial skill you need to learn: hard passing. It will help you beat your opponent.

All in all, Pickleball single is fun and will surely keep you in shape.

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