Pickleball Tips for Intermediate Players: Advance Your Game

If you are an intermediate pickleball player, you may have already mastered the basics and are now looking for ways to advance your game. Improving your skills requires discipline, practice, and a willingness to learn new things. It can be overwhelming to know where to start, but fear not, as we have compiled some useful tips to take your game to the next level. In this blog post, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to improve your pickleball game, including tips on strategy, technique, and mental toughness.

Pickleball Tips for Intermediate Players: Advance Your Game

If you’re an intermediate pickleball player looking to improve your game, there are a variety of tips that can help. First, make sure you’re using proper technique for shots like the serve, forehand, backhand, and dink. It’s also important to develop a strategy that takes advantage of your strengths and exploits your opponent’s weaknesses. Mental toughness is key, so practice staying focused and positive during every match, even when things aren’t going your way. Finally, consider playing with and against more skilled players to challenge yourself and learn new skills.

Pickleball Tips for Intermediate Players: Advance Your Game

If you’re an intermediate pickleball player looking to improve your game, there are a variety of tips that can help. In this post, we will outline some of the best ways to take your game to the next level, from honing your technique to developing a winning strategy.

1. Master Your Technique

One of the keys to improving your game is to master your technique. Make sure you’re using the proper form for shots like the serve, forehand, backhand, and dink.

Let’s start with the serve. Make sure you’re hitting the ball with the paddle face square to the target, and use your wrist to generate power. Aim for a low, soft serve that lands just inside the service court.

For forehands and backhands, focus on a balanced and relaxed stance that allows you to make quick adjustments. Maintain a neutral grip and keep your elbows close to your body. Make sure you’re using your entire body, including your legs, to generate power and avoid overusing your arm muscles.

In the delicate game of dinking, focus on using a light touch and a compact swing. Try to keep your paddle face nearly perpendicular to the ground and swing with a quick, snappy motion. Practice your dinking from both sides of the court, and try to vary the trajectory and speed of your shots.

2. Develop a Winning Strategy

Another key to advancing your game is to develop a winning strategy. Every player is different, so it’s important to find a playing style that suits your strengths and weaknesses.

One common strategy is to play aggressively, hitting hard shots and trying to force errors from your opponents. This can be effective against weaker players, but make sure you’re not sacrificing accuracy and control for power.

Another strategy is to play a more defensive-style game, focusing on maintaining consistency and waiting for your opponent to make mistakes. This approach requires patience and discipline and may not work against more aggressive players.

As an intermediate player, you should also focus on playing smarter, not harder. Pay attention to your opponent’s weaknesses, and adjust your shots and positioning accordingly. Try to keep the ball low and force your opponent to hit up, which creates more opportunities for you to attack.

3. Cultivate Mental Toughness

Mental toughness is a critical component of any sport, and pickleball is no exception. As an intermediate player, you may find yourself struggling with focus, confidence, and motivation.

One valuable tip is to practice mindfulness, which involves focusing your attention on the present moment without judgment. This can help you stay calm and centered during matches, as well as improve your overall mental health.

Visualization is another powerful tool for improving mental toughness. Take some time before matches to visualize yourself making successful shots and winning points. Try to envision yourself feeling confident and relaxed on the court.

You should also focus on developing a positive mindset. Try to avoid negative self-talk and focus on your strengths, rather than your weaknesses. Be kind to yourself, and remember that every player makes mistakes.

4. Challenge Yourself

Finally, one of the best ways to improve your game is to challenge yourself by playing against more skilled players. Look for opportunities to play with and against higher-rated players, whether in organized leagues or casual games. This will help expose you to new strategies and techniques, as well as teach you how to adapt to different styles of play.

You can also challenge yourself by practicing against a wall or using video analysis to identify areas for improvement. Set goals for yourself, such as increasing your accuracy on serves or improving your footwork, and track your progress over time.


Improving your pickleball game requires dedication, discipline, and a willingness to learn and adapt. By focusing on technique, strategy, mental toughness, and challenging yourself, you can take your game to the next level and reach your full potential. So go ahead, grab your paddle, and start practicing!

5. Stay Physical Fit

Pickleball may not look like a physically demanding sport, but it can take a toll on your body if you’re not in good shape. As an intermediate player, you should focus on maintaining your physical fitness to improve your game and avoid injuries.

Make sure you warm up properly before matches, including stretching and light cardio exercises. Focus on building strength and endurance through a combination of weightlifting and cardiovascular exercise, such as running or cycling.

Pay attention to your diet, making sure you’re fueling your body with healthy foods and enough water to stay hydrated. Avoid sugary and processed foods, and focus on getting plenty of lean protein, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

You should also make sure to take breaks and listen to your body. If you’re feeling fatigued or experiencing pain, take some time off to rest and recover.

6. Invest in Quality Gear

Pickleball may be a relatively inexpensive sport, but investing in quality gear can make a big difference in your game. As an intermediate player, you should consider upgrading your paddle, shoes, and other equipment to improve your performance.

Look for a paddle that suits your playing style, whether you prefer a heavier paddle for power or a lighter one for control. Consider the materials used in the paddle construction, such as carbon fiber or fiberglass, which can affect the weight and durability.

When choosing shoes, look for a pair that provides good support and traction on the court. Pickleball courts can be slippery, so make sure your shoes have a non-skid sole to prevent slips and falls.

You may also want to invest in other gear, such as a quality bag to carry your equipment or a wristband to absorb sweat and improve your grip.

7. Have Fun!

At the end of the day, pickleball is a game, and it’s important to have fun and enjoy yourself. As an intermediate player, you’re likely to face challenges and setbacks, but don’t let those discourage you.

Remember to celebrate your successes, no matter how small, and don’t be too hard on yourself when things don’t go as planned. Pickleball is a social sport, so take the opportunity to connect with other players and enjoy the camaraderie.

And don’t forget to take breaks and enjoy the scenery! Pickleball is often played outdoors, so take a moment to appreciate your surroundings and soak up some vitamin D.


Improving your pickleball game is a journey that requires hard work, dedication, and a willingness to learn and adapt. By focusing on technique, strategy, mental toughness, challenging yourself, staying physically fit, investing in quality gear, and having fun, you can take your game to the next level and enjoy a lifetime of playing pickleball.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your paddle and start practicing!


Still have questions about advancing your pickleball game? Check out our FAQ for answers to some common questions.

1. How often should I practice?

As an intermediate player, it’s important to practice regularly to see improvements in your game. Aim to practice at least two to three times a week, for about an hour each session.

2. Should I focus on one particular shot or all of them?

While it’s important to have a solid understanding of all shots in pickleball, you may find it helpful to focus on improving one particular shot at a time. Once you feel confident with one shot, move on to the next.

3. What’s the best way to stay focused during matches?

Mindfulness can be a helpful tool for staying focused during matches. Pay attention to your breath and stay present in the moment, rather than getting distracted by past mistakes or future potential outcomes.

4. Can I practice alone?

Yes, you can practice alone by hitting against a wall or using a ball machine. However, practicing with a partner can be more beneficial as you can practice shots and strategy together.

5. How can I get better at returning serves?

Returning serves takes practice and patience. Focus on keeping your eye on the ball and moving your feet to get in position for the shot. Vary your shots to keep your opponent guessing.

6. How do I know which playing style works best for me?

Experiment with different playing styles to find one that suits your strengths and weaknesses. Consider your physical abilities, such as speed and power, as well as your mental approach to the game.

7. How can I improve my abilities against stronger opponents?

Playing against stronger opponents is a great way to improve your game. Pay attention to their strategies and try to exploit their weaknesses. Stay patient and focus on maintaining consistency.

8. Can I play pickleball if I’m not in great shape?

Yes, pickleball can be played at any level of fitness. However, being in good physical shape will help you avoid injuries and improve your performance on the court.

9. How important is footwork in pickleball?

Footwork is critical to pickleball, as it allows you to move quickly and efficiently on the court. Practice drills to improve your footwork and enhance your overall game.

10. Should I focus on defense or offense?

As an intermediate player, you should focus on balancing defense and offense. This requires being strategic and adapting to your opponent’s style of play.

11. Can I play pickleball with friends and family?

Yes, pickleball is a fun and social game that can be played with friends and family of all ages and skill levels.

12. How do I know which equipment and gear to buy?

Research different brands and models of equipment and gear to find products that work for your playing style and budget. Look for product reviews and ask for recommendations from other players.

13. Where can I find local pickleball games and tournaments?

Check out local community centers and sports clubs, as well as online directories such as the USA Pickleball Association’s website, to find pickleball games and tournaments in your area.