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Pickleball Skills Rating

What skills do you have and what do you need to become a better pickleball player

Pickleball Skills Rating

What skills do you have and what do you need to become a better pickleball player

Here are some rough skills rating guidelines.  

The difference between skills ratings and player rankings is that ratings refer to your ability to play while rankings refer to how much you win.  

There is a link at the bottom, to USAPA self assessment skills sheets, if you would like to rate you own play.


New to the game.

  • have a general understanding of the rules 

  •  don’t have any experience on the court. 

  • might not have any other sports background


Slightly more advanced than a newbie.


  • hit the ball back and forth (but might miss some)

  • start rallying.



  • to serve over the net

  • more about the rules. 

  • a general understanding of scoring



  • rally the ball for a short period before a fault 

  • use basic strokes:

    • forehand

    • backhand

    • volley

  • serve the ball 

  • start a game 


  •  their position on the court

  • how it relates to other players

  • the rules of playing doubles



  • rally better

  • make almost every easy shot 

  • might still struggle to cover the entire court.




  • make good serves

  • return the balls quickly


  • all of the basic strokes

  • can use them when needed 

    • still might not have control of delivery direction or location

  • fundamentals of pickleball

  • ready to play tournaments.


  • new strokes and why to use them

    • lobs

    • dinks 

  • to understand the strategy because of the new shots choices



  • play decent pickleball. 

  • more easily control the balls they hit

  • return medium-paced shots

  • return fast-paced shots 

  • volley easily and mix up the hits they use during the game

  • delivers good serves (maybe without real depth)

  • keep a consistent rally

  • loose control over the ball

  • miss some shots


  • how to  execute the shots they’ve learned so far

  • how to use the no-volley zone to their advantage.

  • Starting to predict the opponent’s shots


  • The to make use of the backhand

  •  To be more aware of their partner

  • the strategy behind doubles play 

  • clearer understanding of the rules


Close to mastering the game. 


  • perfectly time and control shots

  • use many different shots

  • vary their gameplay enough to force their opponents to make mistakes. 

  • practicing the spin to throw off other players


  • how to judge a dink and know if they should go after it or not

  • how to  spot weaknesses in their opponents 

  • how using certain skills can work in their favor.

  • how their skills to work with their doubles partner


  • stacking


Fundamentals of pickleball are down pat.


  • use spin on certain hits to throw off your opponent

  •  spot your opponent’s weaknesses and adjust your skills accordingly

  • mix up shot selection, velocity, delivery location

  • serve with consistentcy and control

  • Work well with a partner: 

    • assessment  their skills

    • cooperation with their movement

    • anticipation of what will happen next


  •  where they need to be on the court 

  • have mastered: 

    • your footwork 

    • the three basic shots

You’ve mastered all types of pickleball shots. 


  • total control over the strength and depth of your shots.

  • anticipate opponents shots and can minimize errors by employing various shots

  • vary play and use spins and shots while using subterfuge 

  • understands what’s coming your way before your opponent gets the ball over the net 


  • while varys approach to force errors from  opponent 


  • to use speed 

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