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How To Pick a Skill Level

Choosing a skill level is important

Choose the skill level that best fits your current level of play:

Happy Trails Pickleball Club- Skill level Definitions

2.0 Skill Level-Beginner

Has taken the beginners lessons on Monday at Town center or can demonstrate equivalent knowledge.

Moves around the court in a balanced and safe manner.

Gets some serves “in” perhaps not regularly.

Realizes aspects of keeping score, the rules, where to stand on the court during your team serving and in receipt of the serve.

Has some basic stroke skills.


2.5 Skill Level- Beginner

Demonstrate and able to do everything at level 2.0

Able to serve “in” more regularly

Knows the two bounce rule and demonstrates it most times.

Knows where to stand on the court during serve, receipt of serve and general play.

Is mastering keeping score.

Attempts to dink, but is not always effective at it.

Working on their form for ground strokes, accuracy is variable.

Can keep the ball in play longer.

Sometimes lobs with forehand with varying degree of success.

Makes longer lasting slow paced rallies.

Makes most easy volleys and uses some back hand, but needs more work on developing shot strokes.

Beginning to approach the non-volley zone to hit volleys.

Aware of the soft game.

Knowledge of the rules has improved.

Court coverage is weak but improving.


Happy Trails Pickleball Club- Skill level Definitions

           3.0 Skill Level- Intermediate

Demonstrates and able to do everything at level 2.5.

Knows the fundamentals rules and can keep score.

Regularly gets serves “in” to mid court or deeper.

More consistent on the serve and service return and when returning medium paced balls.

Demonstrates improved skills with all the basic shot strokes and shot placement, but lacks control when trying for direction, depth, power on their shots.

Dinks mostly in opponents kitchen and is dinking lower over the net.

Able to sustain dinking in the game.

Uses both forehand and backhand on returns and forehands on overhead returns.

Working at keeping the serve deep and return of serve deep.

Moves quickly toward the non-volley zone when opportunity is there.

Trying to make flatter returns where appropriate.

Aware of partner’s position on the court and moving together as a team.

Developing more power and or softness in their shots.


Happy Trails Pickleball Club- Skill level Definitions

          3.5 Skill Level- Advanced  

Demonstrates and able to do everything in level 3.0

Demonstrates a broad knowledge of the rules of the game.

Gets a high majority of serves in deep and returns deep serve.

Often hits to the weak side of the opponent.

Demonstrates improved stroke dependability with directional control on most medium paced balls and some faster paced balls.

Demonstrates improved control when trying for direction, depth and power on their shots.

Demonstrates strategies of playing during game

Actively works with partners in communications, covering courts and moving to the net.

With varying consistency executes: lobs, forehand/ back hand ground strokes, overheads, net volleys and sustained dinking.

Some use of drop shots to get to the net.

Beginning to anticipate opponent’s shots.

Specifically places shots rather than just hitting shots anywhere.

Selective mixing up soft shots and power shots to create an advantage,

Fewer balls out of bounds or in the net.

Has a moderate number of unforced errors per game.

Demonstrates ability to intentionally play in offensive mode.

Working on developing a variety with their shots.

Exhibits some aggressive net play.

Learning about importance of strategy and teamwork in doubles.


Happy Trails Pickleball Club- Skill level Definitions

           4.0 Skill Level- Advanced

Demonstrates and able to do everything at level 3.5.

Primarily plays in an offensive mode rather than reactively.

Occasionally can force errors when serving.

Controls and places serves and returns of serves to best advantage.

Consistent and dependable strokes, including directional control and depth on both forehand and backhand shots.

Put advanced playing strategy into the game, particularly in dinking.

Consistently varies shots for competitive advantage, uses power shots selectively.

Reliable serves, lobs overhead, approach shots and volley and can use spin shots with some success.

Communicates and moves well with partner and easily switches court positions.

Very comfortable playing at the non-volley zone. Works with partner to control the line, keeping opponents back and driving them off the line.

Can block hard volleys directed at them.

Has good footwork and moves laterally, backward and forward with ease.

Hits overhead shots consistently, often as put-aways.

Ability to change a hard shot to a soft shot, to change the pace of the game.

Demonstrates third shot strategy drop shots, lobs and faced paces ground strokes.

Consistently executes effective drop shots that are not easily returned for advantage.

Can effectively poach.

Hits a low number of unforced errors per game.

Regularly demonstrates anticipation of play

Aggressive net play and teamwork in double is evident.

Fully understands the rules of the game and can play by them.


Happy Trails Pickleball Club- Skill level Definitions

           4.5 - 5.0 Skill Level- Advanced

Demonstrates and able to do everything at level 4.0.

Can regularly convert a hard shot to a soft shot.

Exhibits patience in play at a superior level.

Shows noticeably increased skills, a higher level of strategy, quickness of hands and movement, judicious use of power, superior placement of shots, superb anticipation of play, sustained volleying skills, superior put-aways and with consistency.

Makes very few unforced errors.


Differences between 4.5 and 5.0 are subjective, but generally, each of the above listed points is even more pronounced at the 5.0 level



09:23:35 31-05-2023

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