Poll: How do you fe...
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Poll results: Do you like playing down?
Voter(s): 3
Poll is closed Jan 08, 2021
Yes.  -  votes: 1 / 33.3%
Not really, but I do it from time to time.  -  votes: 2 / 66.7%
No. I try to avoid it as much as possible.  -  votes: 0 / 0%

Poll: How do you feel about playing down?

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Rhode Island Jim
Posts: 3
New Member
Joined: 12 months ago

Individual choice which often depends on the personality and attitude of the higher skilled player.  I play down frequently.  I enjoy being involved in bringing joy to people as they discover pickleball.  I don't criticize others who don't enjoy the experience of playing down.  If the higher skilled player is disappointed it often shows, and the lower skilled player ends up feeling badly.  Both players have a miserable experience.  

This morning I played at a venue where everyone was 3.5-4.0 except one woman who may have been a 3.0 (or lower).  I was able to play with her a couple of times.  She was a nervous wreck as you can imagine.  My goal when playing with her was to make her laugh and not worry.  One technique I find works well when a player is overwhelmed is to tell them every ball is for them to take.  I act as a back up for the balls they can't reach. By telling my lower skilled partner to take whatever they can reach they have less things to worry about, and I almost always see an improvement in their play.


Jerry in Georgia
Posts: 6
Active Member
Joined: 12 months ago

Interesting question. Coming from a long tennis background I always made an effort to play down even though most people I played with frowned upon it. So naturally I try to do the same in pickleball. 
Having said that when finding myself playing with a lower player against two others that play every ball they can to the weaker player it gets frustrating. In a tournament it’s totally understandable but rec play it’s not. The weaker player usually comes away not learning anything except don’t play against those better players because they will just beat up on you.

1 Reply
Joined: 10 months ago

New Member
Posts: 2

@jester911c If you know the other players well, you can taunt/kid them a little. Sometimes that will goad them into hitting more balls to you. 

Otherwise, not much you can do. Even if you and your partner agree for you to take 60-70% of the court, they can get shy about which balls to hit. But, you shouldn't have to do that - it's rec ball and everyone should spread it around. A couple local guys will always pick on the weaker player, so I just won't play with them.

Posts: 7
Active Member
Joined: 12 months ago

I enjoy helping beginners learn the game while having fun doing it. I use the time to focus on being a good partner to the beginner, and making really good serves, returns, and shots when the opportunity presents itself. It is a way for me to work practice into playing.

Posts: 2
New Member
Joined: 12 months ago

I really do not mind playing down for several games but then I need to move back to the correct court. While I do work on shots playing down for extended period of time messes with my concentration. Then I move back and need to refocus which takes sometime. However, we all started somewhere and need to help others learn

Oscar Jimenez
Posts: 9
Active Member
Joined: 12 months ago

I step on the court

and its on like donkey kon

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