Pickleball is evolving at a crazy pace.

Strategies and tactics that were once commonly accepted as effective have been debunked in favor of new ways to play that are now proven to work better.

And, because pickleball is so new, this will continue to happen for some time.

The old will have to make way for the new that’s just how it goes.

It’s a very exciting time to be involved in pickleball that’s for sure.

There is one technique above all that in my view has totally revolutionized the game. Now that it’s here, it’s here to stay, because it’s just so effective and there’s no reason to think that that will ever change.

What is it?

It’s topspin.

It’s so effective that it has changed virtually every part of the game.

It’s used from the back court, the mid court, and from up at the non-volley zone line to put tremendous pressure on your opponents all while minimizing your risk because it gives you an increased margin for error.

There’s no other shot that has these benefits.

We’ll break down how all this works in today’s blog.

Let’s get into the why and how of the huge benefits available to you with the use of topspin.

You’re going to want to know this to up your game.

Benefit #1 – Both Offensive & Defensive

Number one is that it’s extremely offensive while minimizing your risk of missing long or into the net so you could make an argument that in some ways it’s both offensive and defensive at the same time.

No other shot really has this benefit.

It’s very offensive in the sense that the fast forward rotation you put on the ball gets multiplied after it hits the ground meaning that it will hit and kick towards your opponent.

This is very good for you and not so good for them.

The shot presses them, and it feels heavier on the receiving end.

This heaviness the recipient feels makes it all that much tougher to send the ball back well unless you really read the spin well and timed it well.

It’s not impossible to do certainly, but it is more difficult, and anything you can do to make things more difficult on your opponent, well, you’ll want to do that.

It will lead to weaker shots coming back your way that you can pounce on and punish.

Also, by varying the number of topspin you send from shot to shot, you can further complicate things for your opponent by constantly making them recalibrate and keeping them from getting into a rhythm.

You can hit medium spin on one shot, then more heavy spin on the next one, and go back and forth between the two and really give your opponent a headache on always having to account for the changing amount of spin that you’re putting on the ball.

Benefit #2 – Swing Fast & Aggressively While Still Clearing The Net

There’s no other way to swing as fast, hit as high over the net, and still get the ball down into the court in time other than with topspin.

You will still get the benefit of quite a bit of speed on your shot thanks to the fact that it bends down into the court while it’s in flight.

One of the best things you can do to help you win points is get your opponent hitting from low contact points.

This is where the bend down into the court during flight really comes in handy because it can help you achieve these low contact points on your opponent.

It’s one of the best ways to take a ball, even one that you contacted relatively low, and get it low on your opponent while still swinging fast.

That’s much harder to do with a flat shot or a slice shot and in a lot of cases simply not possible.

You will have to take a lot of pace off the shot to get it low on them whereas with the topspin you can still hit it fast even when your opponents are up in the court such as mid court or even up at the non-volley zone.

The dip or bend down is a tremendous feature that you can use regularly with great effect to get the ball low on their side.

As long as you have enough space to get under the ball so that you can swing up and get that rotation on it, and hit it a little lower clearing the net, especially if you’re going cross court, then you can get good bend downward and still make them hit from a relatively low contact point even when they’re closer up in the court.

Benefit #3 – Allows You To Hit Wicked Angles

Refer to time marker 4:35 to see the examples described below.

Look at these two shots that I’m seeking to angle off the court. Meaning I’m aiming closer to the sideline and shorter in the court to really press my opponent laterally.

This one I hit flat meaning with no spin or relatively little spin.

And this one I hit with top spin as much as I could reasonably muster with this shot.

I get the topspin shot to land shorter in the court with roughly the same net clearance.

There’s no way for me to get this flat shot as short in the court unless I take pace off the shot.

Thanks to the spin, I can get it up and over the net and have it start bending down as soon as it clears the net or preferably even slightly before it crosses the net.

With the flat one I have to hit very tight to the net and get no help from a bend down in flight other than from gravity.

It’s simply too tough to land this one as short as one that’s hit with topspin.

If you must worry about net clearance on any shot because you don’t have a very high contact, then using topspin is a really good idea to help you get it up and over the net as fast as possible and then bending down into the court as fast as possible after net clearance has occurred.

As long as you can get under the ball enough before contact to come up the back of it then, you’re good to go.

Here are some great shots that you can use with topspin from different areas of the court and stages of the point that are very effective.


You can start using topspin on your drops.

You’ll get some nice net clearance, and that ball will start to drop quickly after its peak.

In addition to that, that ball won’t sit up after the bounce for easy attacks should your opponent choose to let it bounce.

Opponents will tend to take this out of the air to prevent it from pressing them after the bounce and try to send it back to your feet as you come in.

If they do choose to step back, they will mostly do the same thing and try to put it at your feet because the ball is pressing them somewhat due to the spin so it’s going to be hard to attack.

It’s the smartest and safest shot for them and you simply complete your transition to the non-volley zone line with the subsequent shot.

Topspin drops also called “roll drops” are generally safer to come in behind than flat drops for all the reasons we’ve previously mentioned, which is why you see high level players using roll drops as much as possible in the modern game.


You can also use topspin drives either as a more neutralizing shot when you’re deep in the court or more offensively when you get a short ball.

On the short ball, when your contact is low, you’ll need some more topspin, and when it’s high you can use less topspin and drive through it a bit more for added speed.


Topspin dinks are extremely effective as well to press and push your opponent around with offensive dinking, as you look for your opportunity to attack with a flick attack which is also a topspin shot.


And let’s not forget topspin serves which are also very effective for all the reasons we discussed earlier.


Once you get topspin going in your game, you’ll find all sorts of opportunities to be able to use it from all different areas of the court.

Hopefully by now you can see how topspin has infiltrated the game.

It’s here and it’s here to stay.

Players are just going to get better and better at using it as a dominant pickleball shot to control the court and apply pressure.

To get started with using topspin in your game you’ll want to go to this video.

What do you think about topspin?

Do you use it?

Is it often used against you?

We’d love to hear about your experiences.

Please let us know in the comments of the YouTube video at the top of this post.