How Do You Hit A Pickleball Softly? 6 Simple Steps to Master

How Do You Hit A Pickleball Softly

Whether you’re a beginner just starting your pickleball journey or an experienced player looking to finesse your shots. Being able to hit softly is not only important for control and accuracy but also for outsmarting your opponents. But how do you hit a pickleball softly?

Mastering the art of soft pickleball shots requires a strategic approach. Focus on your game plan, court positioning, and precision in ball placement, all while keeping a keen eye on your paddle’s angle. Soft shots in pickleball encompass the art of Drop Shots, delicate dinking shots, and the finesse of well-timed volleys.

So, if you’re wondering how to achieve that perfect touch on the court, keep reading! We’ll dive into why hitting softly in pickleball matters, common mistakes to avoid, advanced techniques for soft shots, and tips for adapting to different situations.

How Do You Hit A Pickleball Softly – step-by-step guide?

Soft shots are an essential skill in pickleball, allowing you to control the pace of the game and keep your opponents off balance. To hit a pickleball softly, follow these step-by-step guidelines.

Step 1: The Ready Stance

Start with a balanced and relaxed stance. Keep your knees slightly bent, weight on the balls of your feet, and paddle held in both hands, ready for action. Stay light on your feet; you’re about to become a pickleball maestro!

Step 2: Positioning is Key

Proper positioning is the secret sauce to soft shots. Move closer to the net when you’re planning a soft shot. This reduces the angle and distance you need to hit the ball, making it easier to control.

Step 3: The Gentle Grip

Hold your paddle with a relaxed grip, just firm enough to keep control. A death grip won’t do you any favors. Think of it as cradling a fragile egg. This light touch will help you keep the ball’s speed in check.

Step 4: Smooth Swing

Now, for the magic part the swing. Aim for a gentle, controlled swing. Don’t go all Hulk Smash on the ball; instead, focus on a smooth, fluid motion. Keep your eye on the ball and make contact at waist height for optimal control.

Step 5: Angle of Attack

Adjust the angle of your pickleball paddle to face slightly upwards. This way, the ball will lift gently over the net, giving your opponent less time to react. It’s like sending a feather floating over the net.

Step 6: Follow Through

After your soft, sweet contact with the ball, allow your paddle to follow through naturally. This smooth finish helps maintain control and accuracy.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to master hitting soft shots in no time!

Why Is It Important To Hit Softly In Pickleball?

There are many reasons why it is important to hit softly in pickleball. If you can master the soft game, you will be a more effective player and have a better chance of winning.

  • Controlled Pace: Soft shots allow you to control the tempo of the game, dictating the rhythm and forcing your opponents to adjust their gameplay.
  • Strategic Placement: Soft shots enable you to place the ball precisely where your opponents are least prepared, making it challenging for them to return effectively.
  • Disruptive Strategy: Soft shots disrupt your opponents’ expectations, as they anticipate faster shots. This can lead to errors or put them off balance.
  • Conservation of Energy: Hitting softly conserves your energy during longer rallies, allowing you to stay agile and responsive on the court.
  • Net Positioning: Soft shots are effective near the net, forcing opponents to move closer to the non-volley zone, which can limit their options.
  • Adapting to Opponents: Soft shots give you the ability to adapt to different opponents’ playing styles, exploiting weaknesses and maintaining control.

These reasons underscore the significance of incorporating soft shots into your pickleball strategy.

Common Mistakes To Avoid

When it comes to hitting a pickleball softly, there are some common mistakes that pickleball players often make. By being aware of these mistakes and avoiding them, you can improve your soft shot technique and gain more control over the game.

Paddle Too Tightly

One mistake is gripping the paddle too tightly. This can result in a tense swing and a harder hit than intended. Instead, try to relax your grip and focus on using just enough force to guide the ball over the net gently.

Swinging Paddle

Many players make the error of swinging their paddle too forcefully. Remember that power is not necessary when aiming for softer shots. Focus on finesse rather than strength by using shorter swings and less arm movement.

Improper Footwork

Avoid improper footwork. Your body position plays a crucial role in generating soft shots. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and be light on your toes to maintain balance while executing gentle strokes.

Improper Timing

Hitting the ball too early or too late can disrupt the intended trajectory and spin, leading to inconsistent soft shots.

By understanding these common mistakes and making adjustments in your technique, you’ll be able to hit pickleball shots softly with greater accuracy! So next time you step onto the court, remember these tips.

Advanced Techniques For Soft Shots

To truly master the art of hitting a pickleball softly, it’s important to explore advanced techniques that can take your game to the next level. These techniques require precision and finesse, allowing you to control the speed and placement of your shots with ease.

Dinking Shot

One technique is known as the dinking shot. This involves lightly tapping the ball over the net, using minimal force. To execute this dink shot effectively, focus on maintaining a relaxed grip on your paddle and keeping your wrist loose. Aim for a soft touch that clears the net, giving your opponent little time to react.

Drop Shot

Another advanced technique is called the drop shot. This involves intentionally placing the ball close to or just over the net in order to catch your opponents off guard. To execute this shot successfully, use an abbreviated swing motion combined with precise timing. Gradually decrease your power while maintaining good control and accuracy.

Mastering these advanced techniques takes time and practice. Focus on developing proper form and technique through consistent training sessions with partners at varying skill levels.

How To Move Your Body For Soft Hitting

How you move your body while hitting a pickleball can greatly impact the softness of your shots. It’s important to have good body positioning and control to achieve the desired soft touch.

  • Balanced Stance: Begin with a balanced stance, feet shoulder-width apart, to ensure stability and optimal weight transfer during your shot.
  • Weight Transfer: As you prepare to strike the ball, shift your weight onto your front foot while maintaining a slight forward lean. Avoid leaning back or overextending forward, as it can affect accuracy.
  • Smooth Movements: Prioritize smooth and controlled movements over forceful swings. Maintain wrist flexibility and employ gentle wrist flicks to guide the paddle toward the ball for that desired soft touch.

By incorporating these tips into your gameplay, you’ll be able to improve both the consistency and accuracy of your softer shots in the pickleball game!


Mastering the art of hitting a pickleball softly is crucial for any player looking to enhance their game. By following the step-by-step guide outlined above, you can develop the skills necessary to execute soft shots effectively.

Hitting softly in pickleball offers numerous advantages, such as maintaining control and placing your shots strategically. It allows you to respond to different situations on the court with finesse and precision.

As you progress in your pickleball journey, consider incorporating advanced techniques into your soft shot repertoire. Techniques like dinking, drop shots, and spin shots can add depth and variety to your game.


Can I use a soft shot against power hitters?

Absolutely, soft shots can disrupt power hitters. They create opportunities by changing the pace of the game and forcing your opponent to adjust to your controlled play.

Can I hit a soft shot with a powerful grip?

Achieving soft shots with a powerful grip is challenging. A relaxed grip allows for better touch and control, crucial for soft shots with finesse.

Are soft shots suitable for beginners or just advanced players?

Soft shots are fundamental and beneficial for players of all levels. Beginners can start developing finesse early on, and advanced players refine this skill to gain a competitive edge.

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