Winning Pickleball™
Expert Video Lessons
by Mark Friedenberg

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Expert Video Lessons by Mark Friedenberg

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Mark Friedenberg book cover

About The Book

Mark Friedenberg Pickleball Biography


You can purchase your book at any of the following:

Excerpts from the Book

Minimize Your Errors

It was only after losing the championship round of a singles match that I fully understood the game of pickleball. You see, I thought that I was good. However, my opponent tracked down and returned everything I hit. He played "in your face" pickleball, and forced me into making several errors. Yes, he did have several winning shots, but I made most of his points! I did learn an important lesson:

Keeping the ball in play will force your opponent into committing errors or winning the point

This is not "rocket science!" Here are some statistics:

  1. Three of every four rallies (75%) are lost because of errors.
  2. One of every four rallies (25%) is won by winning shots.

Physical Errors

Physical errors are ones in which you:

  1. Hit the ball into the net.
  2. Hit the ball out of bounds.
  3. Hit an object on or off the court.
  4. Whiff – attempt to strike the ball but completely miss.

Here are some notes on physical errors:

  1. Most errors are from serves, service returns, and 3rd shots. The rest of the errors are from overheads hit into the net or out of bounds, dinking into the net or poor shot selection.
  2. Don't take yourself out of a rally. Keep the ball in play and force your opponent to either make a mistake or earn the point. Minimizing your errors will improve your chances of winning rallies!
  3. Don't attempt to "ace" the serve. There are very few aces in pickleball and there is no such thing as the perfect serve! Why take a chance? Don’t lose the opportunity to score points by serving the ball into the net or out of bounds.
  4. Hit the ball into "safe" areas. In doubles, hit down the middle, where the net height is two inches lower in the center than at the ends. The middle also presents a confusion factor to the opponents. In singles, hit the ball away from your opponent.
  5. Don’t try to "kill" the ball. This game is not about power, but about shot placement and minimizing errors. If you return one more shot back into your opponent’s court, it could be the difference between winning and losing the point.
  6. Don’t play "Santa Claus" and give away points! Make your opponents earn their points. The easiest way to destroy your game is to make mistakes. Think about what you are doing, and don't give away points.

Mental Errors

Mental errors are errors in which you give the point away because you were not thinking!

Common mental errors are:

  1. Changing your mind; Deciding at the last second to change your shot type or placement. It is the most common mental error and typically results in hitting the ball into the net, out of bounds, or up for a put-away. Rely on your first choice, and always go with your best shot!
  2. Not observing the double bounce rule (also known as the two bounce rule).
  3. Foot-Faults – Illegally stepping into the NVZ or even touching any of the NVZ lines.
  4. Serving Faults – Illegally stepping on the baseline when serving the ball, or striking the ball on the serve, when your feet are positioned outside the sideline or centerline.
  5. Touching the net or net poles with your paddle, body, or clothing.
  6. Catching or touching the ball before it lands out of bounds (in tournament play).
  7. Forgetting your opponent is left-handed.

Remember, "Good things can happen, when you keep the ball in play. Bad things will happen, when you hit the ball into the net or out of bounds!"

Patience, Grasshopper

Being aggressive is good, but being overly aggressive may cause you to commit too many errors. You don’t want to give away points. If my partners are too aggressive, I will tell them, "Patience, Grasshopper" and to "work the point." Be patient and keep the ball in play, until you see a chance for a put-away or a shot to create a winning rally. We all want to create the winning rally and win points, but as we all know, mistakes will kill you. It only takes a few mistakes to lose in a game to 11. Show some patience and work the point.

Follow the Ball in on the Service Return

On the service return, you need an approach shot that allows you to move to the net. If you don’t move in properly on the service return, your opponents will either hit a passing shot down the sideline or a shot down the centerline for a winner. Follow the ball in on your service return. If you hit the ball straight across the net, follow the ball in straight towards your opponent. If you hit the ball diagonally across the net, follow the ball in diagonally towards your opponent. Your opponent cannot pass you, if you are directly aligned with him. In addition, the movement towards your opponent may be distractive, resulting in an opponent mistake. Keep your paddle up when moving to the net!

About Mark Friedenberg book back cover

About The Videos

NOTICE: As of June 1, 2019, the Winning Pickleball videos will be closed down.

Mark Friedenberg in pickleball action

Breadth and Depth

  •  Losing your serves all too often?
  •  What's the best "third shot" (the answer may surprise you)?
  •  How to exit a dink rally with a winner?
  •  Keep your ___ up, keep your ___ down?
  •  The Twelve Commandments of pickleball?
  •  Best tournament match warm up routine to deal with nervous energy?
  •  What's the "caveman walk" and why is it bad?

That's the tip of the iceberg. These questions and many more are answered in the instructional Clinic2013 videos offered on the Videos page. Friedenberg doesn't just tell you about shot technique and selection and game strategies, he demonstrates them. He also covers position on court and readiness to handle opponents' best shots.

Preview A Video

Visit our Videos page to preview one of the instructional videos of the Clinic2013 series. If you like what you see, open a free account at our "Sign In" page. Then return to the "Videos" page to purchase streaming viewing privileges for Friedenberg's complete Clinc2013 video series.

Slo-Mo and Freeze Frame

Pickleball is a fast action game! A number of the instructional videos show shot technique in slow motion several times in succession with and without freeze-frames so you can carefully examine body position and motion, posture, arm motion, footwork, balance, and paddle position approaching the ball and at point of contact with the ball, and follow-through.

Study the Videos!

View the videos over and over. After trying the lessons on the court, you will then realize how well -- or not so well -- you are playing for best results; for example the motion of the arm and stability of the wrist for forehand strokes. And when you view that video again, you will realize there are other tips you missed in the first viewing; for example, the best angle of the paddle when executing a top spin forehand shot. And step by step, you absorb what Friedenberg advises and incorporate his advice in your game.