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The Lob

In pickleball, a lob is a shot where the ball is hit high and deep into the opponent's court, with the intention of forcing them to move back and potentially setting up an advantageous position for the lobbing team. The lob is a versatile shot that can be used defensively to reset the point or offensively to create opportunities for an attacking play.

Here are some key points about the lob in pickleball:

the lob

Defensive Lob: 

  • When a team is under pressure or out of position, a defensive lob can be employed to give them time to reset and regain control of the point. 

  • A well-executed defensive lob will arc high over the net, giving the lobbing team time to recover and reposition.

Offensive Lob: 

  • The offensive lob is used to exploit openings in the opponent's court. It can be an effective strategy to catch opponents off guard, especially if they are positioned close to the net. 

  • An accurately placed offensive lob can force the opponents to move back quickly, creating opportunities for the lobbing team to follow up with an aggressive shot.


  • To execute a successful lob, players generally use an open-faced paddle to generate upward lift on the ball. 

  • The shot involves a gentle swing, and the key is to make contact with the ball slightly underneath, imparting topspin to create the necessary arc. 

  • The lob should clear the net by a significant margin to ensure it lands deep in the opponent's court.


  • Like many strategies in doubles play, effective communication is crucial when using lobs. 

  • The player executing the lob should communicate their intentions to their partner, especially if the lob is part of a coordinated play.


  • Mastering the lob requires practice to develop the right touch and precision. 

  • Players should practice controlling the height and depth of their lobs to make them a valuable part of their arsenal.

Lobs can be a valuable tool in pickleball, adding variety to a team's shot selection and keeping opponents guessing. However, like any shot, the success of the lob depends on factors such as timing, positioning, and communication between teammates.

The most important things to do while using the lob:

  • Hit lobs high and deep over the opponent's head (never hit them too short as the opposing team will gain an easy point)

  • Hit lobs with topspin to make them deceiving of going out, but actually landing close to the baseline 

  • Hit lobs directly over the opponent in front of you to give the opposing team the least amount of time to recover (cross-court provides more time for the opposing team) 

  • Use lobs sparingly, and rarely use them from the baseline while on the offensive.

Are you interested in learning more about this pickleball shot? Or taking lessons to help you improve + master it? Click the link below to schedule time for your personalized lesson with our certified pickleball instructors!

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