10 Common Mistakes Intermediate Pickleball Players Make

Pickleball game is easy to play but hard to master. Even after several years of playing, you may still make different mistakes, which are unknown to you. Unless you correct them, you can’t uplift your pickleball performance.

Common Mistakes Intermediate Pickleball Players Make

After several years of playing, some players think they know everything in and out of pickleball. This shows their unwillingness to correct their mistakes and explore new playing methods. 

In this post, we’ll outline some intermediate pickleball players mistakes and how to avoid these mistakes. Let’s get into it!

10 Mistakes Intermediate Players Make

10 Mistakes Intermediate Players Make

Making mistakes is common for pickleball paddles regardless of your skill levels. Even many players do mistakes to select the right pickleball paddles for intermediate players. Here are a few of them that mid-level(intermediate) players often do.

1. Backhand Shots

When playing backhand shots, you should never make the mistake of crossing over your feet.

Instead, just lunge. It isn’t a complicated step. Your anchor foot doesn’t even need to move.

2. Playing Tights

Playing tight means you’re focusing on playing safely, especially for high-level matches. However, players often don’t swing through the ball properly. This prevents them from making out the most of them according to their skills.

You’re not supposed to swing through the ball and be too timid. Instead, you can loosen up yourself and op around a little bit to play such shots confidently. Otherwise, your efforts will go in vain.

3. Body Thinking

It’s pretty tempting to use your opponent as your target. For example, you’re trying to go back and forth to trick your opponent and then suddenly hit the ball. But the problem is that you’re not moving your opponent at all.

Controlling over opponents is a big part of a pickleball game. Though you’re trying to act like an advanced player, this approach won’t help you achieve your objective.

4. Pace

The pace is a big part of the pickleball game. But the mistake is not respecting the pace and not trying to reset the pace.

When someone hits a hard shot at you, they’re trying to make you pop up the ball. That’s really the whole point of the drive or the flick or the roll.

You shouldn’t fall for the trap as it’s just to get you to pop up the ball. If the opponent hits a hard shot, you can try to hit it hard back if you can.

But most of the time, you have to reset by having soft hands and blocking the shot beautifully. It’s a great way of diffusing people’s power.

5. Lack of Serve Change

Lack of Serve Change

Some players are caught up making the same serve repeatedly. No doubt, consistency is a good thing to appreciate.

However, repeatedly playing, in the same manner can be a problem because they get better at hitting your serve. They can make better returns.

The better returns they make, the harder your third is going to be. So, don’t be afraid to change your server every now and then.

For example, you just have a regular old serve and hit it over regularly, trying doing a lob serve. But you’ll be shocked at how easily it messes them up

Instead, you can do a lob serve by changing up your positioning on the court. So try serving from the centerline and the sideline. That’ll help you to get little points.

6. Dinking

Some intermediate players send their balls up too high. When you want to advance your pickleball gameplay, you have to change your game style.

When the ball bounce is high, they should drive the ball over or sort of flick it. At the time of dinking the ball, you’re not just hitting the ball up high and then letting it bounce high. It’s a dead dinking.

You have to get another spin on the ball, so the ball comes in a perfect angle to flick it over.

7. Lack Of Spin

Lack Of Spin

As a beginner, you were probably told many times that spin is a bit overrated. However, when you become an intermediate player, you have to put more spin on the ball to get topspin and backspin.

It’s a solid rule of thumb to start with a backspin. It’ll help the ball to bounce lower and make a perfect balance. More efforts are needed when you want to play forehand topspin, and it’s tricky to recognize patterns.

Read More: 18 Pickleball Tips For Intermediate Players

8. Hitting Hard at the Baseline Player

Many players might have told you to hit back hard when a ball comes to you fast. But it’s a common mistake many players make.

You don’t need to hit the ball hard farthest away. It’s because they’ll have more time to react to the ball when you send the ball too far.

Instead, you should target the closest player near the net. He/ She will have minimal time to react to the ball, unlike the player standing in a distant place.

9. Coming to the Net Casually

It’s a good rule of thumb to come close to the net after hitting the ball. It’ll create pressure for your opponent, and he/she will have less time to react.

However, coming close to the net on time is crucial. Otherwise, your opponent will strike the ball fast before you reach the non-volley zone.

10. Returning Serve to the Middle of the Court

Returning Serve to the Middle of the Court

Most intermediate players were told to hit back the ball to the middle of the court. But when you’re playing with an advanced player or someone who doesn’t lose the serve easily, it isn’t going to help you that much.

Instead, you should focus on returning the ball to a weaker player or someone facing difficulty returning the ball. This will help you to take more control of the ball.


Everyone knows pickleball is an “openskilled” racquet game. After all, you have a lot of ways to explore and learn many things every day.

But different circumstances and court surfaces require playing differently to tackle your opponent and win the game.

So, how many intermediate pickleball players mistakes have you been making we’ve mentioned? Let us know in the comment section.