Advanced Pickleball Doubles Strategy from Top Pro

We highly recommend listening to or watching our interview with Collin Johns. Many of our listeners have dubbed it the most strategically insightful pickleball interview they’ve ever listened to. Collin is truly a pickleball genius and he sees the game in a way that few do.

For those that don’t have an hour to spare, here is a quick excerpt that is sure to change the way you view doubles pickleball:


You should NOT be covering 50% of the court. The game was not designed to be played 50/50. Let’s take a righty-righty doubles pair (the most common) as an example.

  • The left-side player (righty with forehand in the middle, or Ben in this case) should cover more of the court.
  • It’s not about who is the better player, it’s about geometry and angles.
  • Scenario: cross-court dinks. The right-sider (forehand to the outside, Collin), should be shifted so that if the opponent chooses to speedup to him, he is waiting with his backhand cocked. Anything to his right side will go wide.
  • If the opponent goes middle, the left-sider is ready with their forehand. The system is designed to play into the left-sider’s forehand.
    “The whole idea is that it is designed to route to Ben’s forehand, whether that’s the first or second ball. In an ideal world, I hit a clean winner if they speedup at me, but a player with good hands will likely get a paddle on the ball, but the reply will end up going directly into the jaws of Ben’s forehand, which is where we want the ball to go, and then it’s goodnight.”

Sure, in rec play, it’s probably more cordial and fun for both players if they cover equal portions of the court. But as you advance to 4.0+ games, there’s significant advantage to adopting a system like Ben and Collin’s.

This is an excerpt from The Dink Newsletter, a twice weekly newsletter for pickleballers who want to improve their game and stay in the know. Subscribe here.

Collin Johns and his brother Ben are the top ranked pickleball doubles team in the world. Collin, a former professional tennis player on the ATP Tour, transitioned to tennis after his brother Ben convinced him that it was the sport of the future.

Since then, Ben and Collin have had unprecedented success as a doubles team on the Pro Pickleball Association Tour. They are widely regarded as the #1 team and innovators in the sport. They are paving the way for the future of pickleball philosophy and strategy.

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