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Pickleball Techniques You Can Use From Ping-Pong

Pickleball is a fast-paced, competitive sport that requires quick reflexes, precise shots, and a strategic approach. Many players come from different backgrounds, including ping-pong, and can benefit from applying some of the techniques and skills they learned in ping-pong to their pickleball game. In this article, we will discuss some ping-pong techniques that you can apply to your pickleball game.

1. Topspin

Topspin is a common technique used in ping-pong, and it can be applied to pickleball as well. When hitting the ball, you can use your wrist to add a slight topspin to the ball, which can make it more challenging for your opponent to return. This technique is particularly useful when hitting a ball that is low to the net.

To apply topspin to your pickleball shots, start by making contact with the ball slightly below its center. As you follow through with your shot, flick your wrist upward, which will create a topspin motion.

2. Slice

Slice is another common technique used in ping-pong that can be useful in pickleball. A slice shot involves hitting the ball with a downward motion, which causes it to spin backward and lower the ball’s trajectory. This technique can be particularly effective when hitting a ball that is high in the air or when trying to hit a drop shot.

To apply slice to your pickleball shots, start by making contact with the ball slightly above its center. As you follow through with your shot, slice your paddle downward and toward your body, which will create a spin on the ball.

3. Drop Shot

A drop shot is a technique used in both ping-pong and pickleball that involves hitting the ball with a soft touch, causing it to land close to the net and bounce low. This technique can be effective when your opponent is playing deep and far from the net, as it can force them to run up to the net and potentially hit a weak shot.

To hit a drop shot in pickleball, start by taking a shorter backswing and making contact with the ball close to the net. Use a soft touch to gently hit the ball over the net and land it close to the net on your opponent’s side of the court.

5. Spin Serve

A spin serve is a technique commonly used in ping-pong, and it can also be applied to pickleball. A spin serve involves hitting the ball with a spin motion, causing it to curve in one direction or the other as it crosses the net. This technique can be particularly effective when your opponent is not expecting the spin and struggles to return the serve.

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To hit a spin serve in pickleball, start by holding the ball in your non-paddle hand and spinning it to generate spin. As you toss the ball up to serve, use your paddle to hit the ball with a spin motion, causing it to curve in the direction you desire.

5. Backhand Flick

The backhand flick is a technique commonly used in ping-pong that can be effective in pickleball as well. The backhand flick involves using a quick wrist motion to hit the ball with power and speed. This technique can be particularly effective when hitting a ball that is close to your body or when trying to hit a fast-paced shot.

To use the backhand flick in pickleball, start by positioning your body and paddle to prepare for the shot. As the ball approaches, use a quick wrist flick to hit the ball with power and speed.

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differences and similarities between ping-pong and pickleball

When it comes to comparing ping-pong and pickleball, there are some notable differences and similarities that can affect how you approach each game. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Court size and layout: Ping-pong is typically played on a smaller table than pickleball is played on a court. Additionally, the layout of the court in each sport is different. In ping-pong, players stand on opposite ends of the table, while in pickleball, players stand on opposite sides of a net that runs through the center of the court.
  2. Equipment: The equipment used in each sport is also different. Ping-pong requires a table, net, paddles, and a ball, while pickleball requires a court, net, paddles, and a specialized ball.
  3. Scoring: In ping-pong, games are typically played to 11 points, while in pickleball, games are played to 11 or 15 points, depending on the rules of the game. Additionally, in pickleball, players can only score points on their own serve.

Despite these differences, there are also some similarities between the two sports that can make it easier to apply ping-pong techniques to pickleball. For example:

  1. Both sports require quick reflexes and precise shots: In both ping-pong and pickleball, players must be able to react quickly to the ball and make precise shots to win points.
  2. Both sports require strategy: In order to win, players must be able to outsmart their opponents and use different techniques to their advantage.
  3. Both sports can be played at a variety of skill levels: Both ping-pong and pickleball can be played recreationally or competitively, making them accessible to players of all skill levels.
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Overall, while there are some key differences between ping-pong and pickleball, there are also enough similarities that techniques from one sport can be applied to the other. By understanding these similarities and differences, players can improve their game and gain a deeper appreciation for both sports.

Common mistakes to avoid

When it comes to learning and implementing new techniques in pickleball, it’s important to not only know the correct way to execute them but also the common mistakes to avoid. Here are some of the most common mistakes that players make when attempting the ping-pong techniques discussed in this article:

  1. Overusing topspin: While topspin can be a great way to add variety and difficulty to your shots, overusing it can also make your shots predictable and easier for your opponent to anticipate. Make sure to vary your shots and not rely too heavily on topspin.
  2. Overcompensating with a slice: Similar to topspin, a slice can also be overused, leading to predictable shots. Additionally, overcompensating with a slice can cause your shots to be too low and not make it over the net. Make sure to use slice strategically and not overdo it.
  3. Hitting drop shots too hard: Drop shots can be an effective way to catch your opponent off guard and force them to run up to the net, but hitting them too hard can result in the ball bouncing too high and giving your opponent an easy opportunity to hit a winner. Use a softer touch when hitting drop shots.
  4. Inconsistent spin serves: While spin serves can be effective in throwing off your opponent, an inconsistent spin can also lead to errors and easy points for your opponent. Make sure to practice and master the spin serve before using it in a game.
  5. Poor footwork with backhand flicks: Backhand flicks require quick and precise footwork, as well as a quick wrist motion. Poor footwork can cause your shots to be off-balance and inaccurate. Make sure to practice your footwork and timing when attempting backhand flicks.
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By being aware of these common mistakes, you can avoid them and improve your game. Make sure to practice these techniques and focus on proper execution to take your pickleball game to the next level.


Pickleball players can benefit from applying ping-pong techniques to their game. Topspin, slice, drop shots, spin serves, and backhand flicks are all techniques that can help improve your pickleball game. By practicing these techniques, you can add more variety to your shots and surprise your opponents, making it more challenging for them to return your shots. It’s important to remember that while these techniques can be effective, they require practice and patience to master. By incorporating these techniques into your pickleball game and constantly improving your skills, you can become a more well-rounded and competitive player. So, try out these techniques in your next pickleball match and see how they can elevate your game to the next level.


Yes, many skills from ping pong can translate to pickleball. Both sports require quick reflexes, good hand-eye coordination, precise shots, and strategic thinking. Players who have experience in ping pong can apply their skills to pickleball and may have an advantage over players who are new to racket sports.

No, ping pong and pickleball are not the same thing. While they share some similarities, such as the use of a paddle and a ball, they are different sports with their own rules, equipment, and playing styles. Ping pong is played on a smaller table with a smaller ball and requires different techniques and strategies than pickleball.

Pickleball is different from ping pong in several ways. Firstly, pickleball is played on a larger court with a different set of lines and rules. Secondly, pickleball uses a larger ball and a paddle that is slightly larger and thicker than a ping pong paddle. Thirdly, pickleball involves more physical movement and requires players to cover more ground on the court than in ping pong. Finally, pickleball has its own unique set of rules and strategies that differ from those used in ping pong.

Dustin DeTorres

Dustin has been a Pickleball enthusiast for years and dedicated this blog to providing the best information out there about this fun game.