Poaching is a smart strategy for throwing your opponents off their game. While it can help you win more points when executed successfully, you may want to poach sparingly since it can backfire if communication or coverage errors occur. If you plan to add poaching to your arsenal, it’s helpful to learn the best times to poach. Some scenarios to look for include:
- Your opponent hits up on the ball, sending a high ball to your side.
- The ball flies toward the middle of your court, giving you a chance to hit an aggressive forehand shot.
- Your partner hits a deep shot to your opponent that results in a floating return.
It’s important to let your partner know when you plan to poach, so he or she can be ready to cover the open court created by your movement. To communicate with your partner without revealing your intentions to your opponent, you may want to use hand signals, such as those listed below:
- Fist: You plan to play from your side of the court.
- Hand flat: You plan to poach and play from your partner’s side of the court.
Watch the video to learn more about poaching from Art of Pickleball Coach Jerry Jaffee.