The Lob Shot In Pickleball: Love it or Leave it?

May 24, 2018

Picture of a woman in a purple shirt playing outdoor pickleball with a GAMMA portable pickleball net for a blog post about the lob shot in pickleball.

The dink and drop shot are two commonly discussed shots. However, in today’s blog, we’re focusing on one, in particular, the lob shot in pickleball.

The lob shot comes with mixed emotions.  Some pickleball players love it and believe that it’s an effective shot to add to your repertoire while others say they can live without it.

Regardless of which side of the fence you stand on when it comes to this topic, we’re giving you the 411 on this shot and offering tips on how to perfect your lob and how to effectively return it.

The Lob Shot In Pickleball: Love it or Leave it?

What and why do players use the lob shot?

A lob shot is when the ball is hit from the baseline high into the air and lands in the opponent’s backcourt. The lob is generally used when the players are at the net in order to throw their opponent off guard, get them out of position, slow the pace of the point, and buy you time to get back into the kitchen ready to return their shot.

How to hit a lob shot

The lob can be a defensive and offensive move depending on the instance and the way that you carry out this shot.

A defensive lob shot is all about a low-to-high movement. This means that you’ll want to move your paddle from low-to-high at hip height in order to carry the ball up into the air and over the net.

If you want to execute an offensive lob shot, you’ll still want to move your paddle from low-to-high; however, rather than carrying the ball with your paddle face, you’ll want to brush the ball to add topspin.

How to return a lob shot

The first step (pun intended) in returning a lob shot is making sure you get to the ball as quickly as possible. This means that you have to focus on your footwork and make sure that your feet are in the “ready position” at all times so you can make quick steps to get to the ball without any issues.

Next, you’ll want to play it smart. Generally speaking, when your opponent hits a lob shot, they’ve given themselves the momentary “upper hand.”

Rather than trying to make the big play and risk losing the point, play it smart and do your best to regain your composure, make the play and get the ball back over the net and get back into position.

Finally, depending on your height, the overhead smash shot is another option that you can utilize to return a lob shot. This shot is simple. Extend your paddle over your head as far as you can and aim for the feet of your opponent. You’ll want to make sure that when you contact the ball, your paddle is in front of you and as high over your head as possible.

From there, you’ll shift your body weight from the back foot to the front foot as soon as you make contact with the ball and flick your wrist in a downward position.

That’s the what, why, and how of the lob shot in pickleball but before you go, we want to know, when it comes to the lob shot; do you love it or leave it?