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Newcomers to the site should note the pickleball book "chapters" in the left column and the repository of expert articles and videos in the right column.

Chapter 3

The third chapter of the book A Pickleball Life contains links to posts about the groundstroke and return serve, including the techniques for both forehand and backhand strokes as well as strategies for the return. Click on the link below to show the full post.


The Forehand Ground Stroke     (Posted 12/8/2015)
> Coach Mo - Forehand Groundstroke

Basic Forehand Groundstroke Lesson     (Posted 12/7/2016)
> Beginner Pickleball Program (The Villages FL) - Forehand

Ambidextrous Forehand     (Posted 3/7/2016)
> Pickleball Channel - Ambidextrous Forehand


The Backhand Ground Stroke    (Posted 12/9/2015)
> Beginner Pickleball Program (The Villages FL) - Backhand
> Deb Harrison - Mastering the Backhand

> Mark Renneson – Third Shot Sports - Boosting your backhand

Backhand Ground Stroke - New Video     (Posted 2/4/2016)

A Two-handed Backhand     (Posted 6/11/2016)
> Mark Renneson – Third Shot Sports - Breaking Down McGrath's 2-handed backhand

Sarah on the Two-Handed Backhand     (Posted 8/4/2016)
> Sarah Ansboury - Pickleball and the Two-Handed Backhand

Forehand and Backhand

Groundstrokes with Sarah     (Posted 5/12/2016)
> Sarah Ansboury - Groundstrokes

Pickleball Technique Basics     (Posted 9/29/2016)
> Coach Mo - 10 Ways to Improve Your Pickleball Technique

Consistent Groundstrokes     (Posted 12/8/2016)
> Mark Renneson – Third Shot Sports - Better Groundstrokes
> All About Pickleball (Pickleball Rocks) - Pickleball Groundstrokes Instruction

How Golf Relates to Pickleball     (Posted 7/8/2017)
> Mark Renneson – Third Shot Sports - Golf vs Pickleball
> RV Picklers - These 5 Golf Lessons Will Improve Your Pickleball Game

The Half Volley     (Posted 8/27/2016)
> Deb Harrison - Half Volley Pick Up

Spin     (Posted 12/12/2015)
>  Deb Harrison - Return of Serve

What about Spin?     (Posted 8/8/2017)
> Sarah Ansboury & RV Picklers - Pickleball Spin…Too Much of a Good Thing?

Playing Against Spin     (Posted 8/9/2017)

Sarah's Slice Shots     (Posted 9/16/2016)
> Sarah Ansboury - Pickleball Slice

Sarah's Slice in Slo-Mo     (Posted 9/17/2016)
> Pickleball Channel - The Slice with Slow Motion


The Return of Serve - Summary #1     (Posted 12/1/2016)

The 10 Commandments about the Return of Serve
1. Keep the return in-bounds.
2. Hit the return deep.
3. Hit the return softly with some arc.
4. Hit the return down the middle.
5. Stay behind the baseline until the serve is struck.
6. Target the receiver's backhand.
7. Add speed and/or spin to the return to put the receiver on the defensive.
8. Vary the speed and direction of the return.
9. Dictate which player receives the return.
10. Practice returns...with a purpose.

Details on these principles are found in the following posts. Click on the link below to show the full post.

The Return of Serve     (Posted 12/18/2015)
> The Pickleball Guys - Return of Serve
> Pickleball Channel - Improve Your Game with the Soft Return
> Deb Harrison - Return of Serve

Pickleball Statistical Analysis - Return of Serve     (Posted 2/12/2016)

The Basic Overall Strategy of Doubles - Phase 1     (Posted 4/26/2016)
> Joe Baker - Doubles Pickleball - The Basic Overall Strategy

Is the "Formality" Phase Dead?     (Posted 5/19/2016)
> Mark Renneson – Third Shot Sports - Death of the Meaningless Return

Return the Serve Down the Middle, Right?     (Posted 10/3/2016)
> Mark Renneson – Third Shot Sports - Quick Tip: Don't Return Down the Middle!

The Return - Deep and High     (Posted 11/28/2016)
> Jeff Napier - Return Serves Deep
> Jeff Napier - High Return of Serve
Mark Renneson – Third Shot Sports - Returning Serve and Moving Like The Pros

Targeting: Where and Why - The Return of Serve     (Posted 9/11/2017)
> Pickleball Channel - Improve Your Return of Serve with this Easy Drill - Skills and Drills

Targeting: The Experts on Depth     (Posted 9/18/2017)
> Deb Harrison - Pickleball Tidbit: Depth
> Sarah Ansboury & RV Picklers - Pickleball Strategy: Keep Them Back
> Sarah Ansboury - Return of Serve
> Pballvideos - Deep Returns

Targeting: Practicing Serves and Returns of Serves     (Posted 9/19/2017)
> Keith Bing - Serve & Return Serve Drill: Hit the landing zone
> Sarah Ansboury - Practicing Pickleball Serves and Returns

Ground Stroke Drills     (Posted 12/11/2015)
> Norm Davis - Pickleball Backhand-Forehand

Return of Serve Goals     (Posted 11/29/2016)
> Sarah Ansboury - Return of Serve

A Topspin Drill     (Posted 8/10/2017)


  1. Does the return have to clear the no-volley zone? In other words, can I drop my return short into the NVZ?

    1. Yes, you return in the NVZ. There are no restrictions on the return (other than it has to to be in the opponents' court).