Do you want to improve your game?  Of course you do.  We are adding this new section to the website  addressing various segments of the game with videos, drills and tips to help you improve your game, and hopefully make your experience in the APPL Leagues more enjoyable. 


Our first segments address some very fundamental play centering on the drop-shot, approaching the NVZ and communication.

All three are very interrelated.

This video is from with Pro player and certified instructor Mark Renneson.

The video is recommended for all doubles levels and address when to move to the NVZ (kitchen).

Key points in the video to watch for: when to move up, when to stay back and communicating with your partner.

Let's keep with the 3rd Shot Drop theme for this instructional segment: In this video, Mark discusses how to make a 3rd Shot Drop and why.  At the end of the video is a drill exercise you can do with a partner.  This should also be a part of your warm up.

Tip Discussion: What's your team strategy?


How you enter a game with your partner will dictate the success of your match.  You should always have a strategy for your game.  Following are the basics to a sound opening strategy: Communication with your Partner, Shots down the Middle, and Approaching the NVZ.

Communication: How many times have you watched a shot come back and just let it go...the first thing you probably did was look at your partner and they were looking at you wondering why neither went after the shot?


Communication helps decide who takes the shot, keeps you in position, and keeps your partner aware of your shot selection.  Every shot every hit and every movement on court should be communicated…every time.  This alone will help you win more rallies and reduce errors.

Go for the middle:  Let's reverse the above and see if your opponents are communicating.  If not, this is your chance to exploit their lack of strategy and communication.  So the three strategies for aiming for the middle are: 

  • Hoping your opponents are not communicating.

  • You have more room for error

  • The net is lower.

Remember, if your opponents are going to your middle of the court you need to decide which of you covers it, normally the middle is covered by the forehand...still you need to communicate that.

Come to the net (at the right time): When your team is serving, and after the opponent’s return, your next shot is typically a drop shot. Most players make the mistake of running to the net after their 3rd shot.


First you need to know if you should approach the net...(a review of the top video covers that).


If you decide to approach avoid running through the next shot, most errors occur at the point. You need to be ready to hit the shot that comes back. The only way you can have success is to stop and be in a ready position as soon as your shot passes the plane of the net (before the ball touches your opponent’s paddle).

We will post more drills, tips and videos in the coming weeks.  If there is a subject you want covered please let us know at

pasted image 0.png
Bringing Competitive Team Based League Pickleball Throughout Arizona