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The Best Strategy: Get to the Kitchen!

On October 3rd, 2015, at the Trilogy at Redmond Ridge Pickleball Club, Glen Peterson and Ken Crocker conducted a clinic explaining techniques that 4.5 and 5.0 players use to get to the kitchen line.  We hope you enjoy this 15-minute video!

 Video Credit to Paul Stevens


  1. In tournament play, the primary goal of both serving and returning teams is to get to the kitchen line. Most points at the 5.0 level of tournament play are made when all four players at the kitchen line.  The likelihood of winning points from the baseline is low.
  2. Deep, high returns can allow the returning team the time needed to get to the kitchen line. Conversely, deep serves prevent the returning team from getting to the net easily.
  3. The 3rd shot dink is the most difficult and the most important shot in pickleball.  Hitting a 3rd shot dink which lands near the opposite kitchen line enables the serving team to approach the kitchen line. To hit an effective 3rd shot, move to be in position to hit the ball close to your body, stroke the ball gently with a feathered follow through and transfer your weight from back to front foot as you stroke. Many players make the mistake of trying to take power off their 3rd shots by hitting off their back foot or not following through. Practice this shot over and over again with your partner at the kitchen line.
  4. When approaching the kitchen line, stop and prepare to move in any direction just as your opponents are about to hit the ball.  A well placed ball is very difficult to reach if a player is moving forward as the ball is hit. In tennis, this stop is called the split step.
  5. When opponents are banging away from the baseline, watch that fast ball very closely and just punch it back. Often a drop volley just over the net is the most effective shot. Unless you are Ty Cobb or Babe Ruth, punch those fast balls, don’t swing.

Any questions?

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