Mastering the Diagonal: A Guide to Cross Court Pickleball

Cross court shots are a fundamental weapon in any pickleball player’s arsenal. But beyond a basic understanding, strategically utilizing cross court shots can elevate your game and leave your opponents scrambling.

This guide dives deep into the world of cross court pickleball, exploring its benefits, techniques, and tactical applications.

Why Go Cross Court?

A Guide to Cross Court Pickleball

There are several advantages to incorporating cross court shots into your game:

Stretching the Opponent: A well-placed cross court shot forces your opponent to cover more ground, putting them off balance and creating opportunities for you to exploit.

Opening Up the Angle: Cross court shots create sharper angles, making them harder for your opponent to return cleanly. This can lead to forced errors or weak returns that you can easily put away.

Disrupting the Opponent’s Positioning: By constantly hitting cross court, you disrupt your opponent’s pre-positioning, making it harder for them to anticipate your next shot.

Also Check: Your Complete Guide to Pickleball Courts: From Dimensions to DIY Setup

Mastering the Cross Court Shot

Mastering the Cross Court Shot

Executing a good cross court shot requires proper technique:

Footwork: Shift your weight to your non-dominant leg as you swing. This helps generate power and control.

Grip: Maintain a firm but relaxed grip on the paddle for optimal swing control.

Paddle Angle: Angle your paddle slightly closed at impact to create the desired cross court trajectory.

Swing Path: Maintain a smooth and controlled swing path, avoiding any jerky motions.

Also Check: Portable Pickleball Court

Cross Court Tactics

Now that you’ve grasped the technical aspects, let’s explore how to use cross court shots strategically:

The Dink Duel: In dink battles, alternating cross court dinks keeps your opponent moving and creates opportunities for an angled winner.

The Forced Backhand: Target your opponent’s weaker backhand with deep cross court shots, drawing errors or weak returns.

The Set Up Shot: Use a soft cross court shot to pull your opponent towards one side of the court, opening up the opposite side for an aggressive volley.

Learn Pickelball: Pickleball Shots Summary

Practice Makes Perfect

Pickleball Shots
How to Play Pickleball by Yourself

Sharpen your cross court skills with these drills:

Solo Cross Court Drill: While playing pickleball by yourself, feed yourself dinks and volleys, focusing on consistent cross court placement.

Partner Cross Court Drill: Face a partner and alternate hitting cross court dinks and drives, focusing on accuracy and depth.


By incorporating cross court shots into your game, you’ll become a more versatile and unpredictable player. Remember, practice is key! With dedication and these tips, you’ll be mastering the diagonal on the pickleball court in no time.