Pickleball tactics with a poor partner

Impetus

Semi-Pro
In my club it’s mainly open play and I win around 60-80% of my games on a typical evening. I play pretty disciplined when I have a good partner, but since I win most of the time they more and more often try to put me on the team with the weakness player. What happens next is the opposition team avoid playing me and target my partner. I dont’t know what to do when that happens. My reaktion is to speed up and go for winners. It’s clearly not a very good solution to try to hit winners from all over the court but playing the proper shot just make them target my partner and then we lose anyway.

What do you see as the solution?
 

travlerajm

Talk Tennis Guru
If this was tennis, you could just have your partner play 2” from the net to channel all the balls to you.

But since it’s pickleball and they have that stupid kitchen rule, you’re screwed.
 

Tshooter

G.O.A.T.
You need to play with greater risk. Hit your serves and returns harder and deeper. And aggressively poach.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
Have you seen the way that high level mixed doubs is played? Study that and try to incorporate some of that style of play
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Have you seen the way that high level mixed doubs is played? Study that and try to incorporate some of that style of play

That will not age well in open play … I give it 15 minutes, 5 if it’s a female partner.

It is one of the mysteries of the universe … you could put a weaker partner that is being targeted on the outside line … and opponents with apparent lack of accuracy can hit to that partner 99% without missing. :p

This happened … lol … I’m playing with a good partner but someone that didn’t come from tennis. We are at the kitchen, he’s on the right/deuce side. A lob goes over his head to the baseline … I yell switch and angle back for the lob. When I get to it about to hit it with a forehand he has also chased it down. Even worse he is left handed and we are both trying to hit forehands. Didn’t go well and he says “BBP don’t take my balls”. :unsure:
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
In my club it’s mainly open play and I win around 60-80% of my games on a typical evening. I play pretty disciplined when I have a good partner, but since I win most of the time they more and more often try to put me on the team with the weakness player. What happens next is the opposition team avoid playing me and target my partner. I dont’t know what to do when that happens. My reaktion is to speed up and go for winners. It’s clearly not a very good solution to try to hit winners from all over the court but playing the proper shot just make them target my partner and then we lose anyway.

What do you see as the solution?

Screwed … have fun … work on stuff when you get to hit the wiffle. I hit a 2nd shot drop 8-B the other day because I need the drop reps and all returns were going to my partner. I’ve learned to separate games into two categories … games with four relatively equal players, and the rest. After all my years of tennis I actually am enjoying the “social” games also … but I still try and get my competitive fix games.

Something weird I have seen in pickleball is I’ve not seen men’s leagues yet. I see co-ed leagues, and women's leagues … but not men’s leagues. That’s all I played for four decades of tennis and would like that in the mix. I have only played at two clubs so maybe it’s a thing somewhere else.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Screwed … have fun … work on stuff when you get to hit the wiffle. I hit a 2nd shot drop 8-B the other day because I need the drop reps and all returns were going to my partner. I’ve learned to separate games into two categories … games with four relatively equal players, and the rest. After all my years of tennis I actually am enjoying the “social” games also … but I still try and get my competitive fix games.

Something weird I have seen in pickleball is I’ve not seen men’s leagues yet. I see co-ed leagues, and women's leagues … but not men’s leagues. That’s all I played for four decades of tennis and would like that in the mix. I have only played at two clubs so maybe it’s a thing somewhere else.
Last Friday, I was randomly paired with a very short female and we lost 0-11. She just scooped every ball short and got smashed every time.
 

tennytive

Hall of Fame
This happened … lol … I’m playing with a good partner but someone that didn’t come from tennis. We are at the kitchen, he’s on the right/deuce side. A lob goes over his head to the baseline … I yell switch and angle back for the lob. When I get to it about to hit it with a forehand he has also chased it down. Even worse he is left handed and we are both trying to hit forehands. Didn’t go well and he says “BBP don’t take my balls”. :unsure:
Been there, done that. It's one of my pet peeves. You and I know the player who is lobbed over doesn't have as good an angle on the return, but some of the "less experienced" have no clue. Surprised your good player didn't know, but like you said, it happens. I've found myself angling back and in position to return only to see my partner getting back too late and in my way. Worse for me is when I get lobbed and my partner just stands there and looks at me like WTH?
The good news in my case is that most of the players I hit with know better and if we do get confused on who takes the lob, a brief "I take/you take" clears it up right away and we're good to go.
And by the way, BBP don't take my balls!! ;)
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Been there, done that. It's one of my pet peeves. You and I know the player who is lobbed over doesn't have as good an angle on the return, but some of the "less experienced" have no clue. Surprised your good player didn't know, but like you said, it happens. I've found myself angling back and in position to return only to see my partner getting back too late and in my way. Worse for me is when I get lobbed and my partner just stands there and looks at me like WTH?
The good news in my case is that most of the players I hit with know better and if we do get confused on who takes the lob, a brief "I take/you take" clears it up right away and we're good to go.
And by the way, BBP don't take my balls!! ;)

I promise in front of ttw gods as my witness I will not take your balls unless I hear “you take”.

I think a lot of the things that became automatic for us from tennis isn’t obvious to pickleball players. When we (wife) started playing together we had no idea how many pickleballers were staring at us thinking we moved unbelievably well together. Nope … just stuff tennis players do without even thinking about it. As soon as the ball goes over wife’s head she is switching. Where I get hosed is when she stretches beyond what should have been her reach :love: … I have committed to covering it … no one home where I vacated. I told her we need a strategic plan as we continue to get older … and all of it is dependent on “early commitment with no change of direction”. :-D
 

travlerajm

Talk Tennis Guru
Something weird I have seen in pickleball is I’ve not seen men’s leagues yet. I see co-ed leagues, and women's leagues … but not men’s leagues. That’s all I played for four decades of tennis and would like that in the mix. I have only played at two clubs so maybe it’s a thing somewhere else.
this is the real reason why pickleball growth is outpacing tennis.
 

Impetus

Semi-Pro
I think a lot of the things that became automatic for us from tennis isn’t obvious to pickleball players.
I have heard all kind of crazy things from non tennis/tabletennis players like don’t spin when you dink/reset/drop and if you do use spin don’t use topspin. I also heard the serve and return dont’t matter - just get it over the net and run to the kitchen.

@kr&#*%-“+&#%
 

travlerajm

Talk Tennis Guru
I have heard all kind of crazy things from non tennis/tabletennis players like don’t spin when you dink/reset/drop and if you do use spin don’t use topspin. I also heard the serve and return dont’t matter - just get it over the net and run to the kitchen.

@kr&#*%-“+&#%
The number 1 reason I hate pickleball is the same reason I hate playing baseline games to 11 in tennis with people who insist that “it has to go over twice” before the point starts.

Those same people whine when they insist on the over-twice rule and I proceed to moonball the feed and-or the return.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
I have heard all kind of crazy things from non tennis/tabletennis players like don’t spin when you dink/reset/drop and if you do use spin don’t use topspin. I also heard the serve and return dont’t matter - just get it over the net and run to the kitchen.

@kr&#*%-“+&#%

I’ve heard two pros say something that seems total nonsense to me … so maybe it’s the wiffle that is messing with the brain. :-D

Both James Ignatowich and Zane Navratil have said the following:

“Don’t hit backspin slice return of serves because since the spin is same direction it adds topspin to opponents topspin returns”

Wow … even worse they come from tennis. Federer must have dodged a bullet with all of his backhand slice returns.

There is this thing called the court surface that does a very good job of removing the backspin. Even if it didn’t … knock yourself out trying to hit massive topspin off a ball that barely bounces. In fact … just saying massive wiffle topspin should be met with laughter.

Oh where or where did the strings and bouncing rubber ball go … it has come to this. I’m booked three times this week and will soon have a paddle with a dragon on it. ;)
 
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Impetus

Semi-Pro
Both James Ignatowich and Zane Navratil have said the following:

“Don’t hit backspin slice return of serves because since the spin is same direction it adds topspin to opponents topspin returns”

Wow … even worse they come from tennis. Federer must have dodged a bullet with all of his backhand slice returns.
The funny thing is that it makes sense to my logical part of my brain that the spin goes the same way and it should be easier.

In reality I always found it very difficult to return underspin with topspin. Especially in table tennis.

Spin in general is difficult to read.
 

Tshooter

G.O.A.T.
I’ve heard two pros say something that seems total nonsense to me … so maybe it’s the wiffle that is messing with the brain. :-D

Both James Ignatowich and Zane Navratil have said the following:

“Don’t hit backspin slice return of serves because since the spin is same direction it adds topspin to opponents topspin returns”

Wow … even worse they come from tennis. Federer must have dodged a bullet with all of his backhand slice returns.

There is this thing called the court surface that does a very good job of removing the backspin. Even if it didn’t … knock yourself out trying to hit massive topspin off a ball that barely bounces. In fact … just saying massive wiffle topspin should be met with laughter.

Oh where or where did the strings and bouncing rubber ball go … it has come to this. I’m booked three times this week and will soon have a paddle with a dragon on it. ;)

And they are not alone. There is a current fad of PB content creators repeating this theory that you shouldn’t hit slice returns because you are “giving your opponent free topspin.” :rolleyes:
 
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In my club it’s mainly open play and I win around 60-80% of my games on a typical evening. I play pretty disciplined when I have a good partner, but since I win most of the time they more and more often try to put me on the team with the weakness player.
Try and become an organizer. Really! Most clubs love it when someone volunteers to help.

I drive an hour down the mountain to play in the Round Robin run by the nearby town's Pickleball Association. The RR's are grouped and organized by skill level. (This doesn't mean it works perfectly, but MOST of the people in the RR I play are near to 4.0; some are "only" 3.5.)

It's the members of the Association who step up and run the various RRs.

What do you see as the solution?

Another possibility is how the SOLE indoor club in that town runs their RRs. They use STRICT DUPR ratings for the sign-ups. (A buddy of mine had his DUPR drop to 3.98 ... and he is not allowed to enter the 4.0+ RR.)

- Dink
 
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