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How the offensive lob can earn you more pickleball points — Tips from pro Catherine Parenteau

By Catherine Parenteau

on Jun 20, 2024


Pickleball professional Catherine Parenteau stands on an indoor pickleball court opposite the net from a drilling partner. She executes an offensive lob, swinging her follow through high to the air.

When most people think of offense in pickleball, they picture high-speed hands battles and powerful putaway shots. 

But the truth is, sometimes strategic dinks and well-timed offensive lobs can be more successful. 

In a new Selkirk Pickleball TV episode, pickleball professional Catherine Parenteau shares tips for when to execute the offensive lob and how to do it. 

What is an offensive lob? 

An offensive lob is a high-lofted ball that sails over your opponent’s head. It is executed from the kitchen line and often takes your opponents by surprise, forcing them off the kitchen line. 

The motion of an offensive lob is the same as that used when dinking the ball. You should push with your shoulder to swing your paddle from low to high. 

However, when dinking, your follow-through will end up pointing at your target. Your follow-through on an offensive lob will be pointed more toward the ceiling or sky. 

When to use the offensive lob

There are several instances in which the offensive lob is a good choice. 

If your opponent likes to take a lot of balls out of the air, consider a lob when they are positioned at the kitchen line with their weight slightly leaning forward. It will be difficult for them to shift their weight from their leaning position quickly enough to return a well-placed lob. 

Additionally, a lob can be a great choice to break up lengthy rallies. If you and your opponents are dinking for an extended period of time, a lob may be just the tool to give you and your partner the offensive advantage. 

Tips for executing the offensive lob

When lobbing, there are a few considerations to make: 

  • Keep your weight and paddle forward. If you lean backward or swing your paddle back farther than you do while dinking, you can signal to your opponent that you are going to lob the ball, giving them enough time to get into position to receive it. 
  • Follow through. When lobbing the ball, it’s important to follow through higher than you would on a dink. While a dink follow-through ends pointed at your target, a lob follow-through should end pointed toward the sky. 
  • Aim well. Try to aim your lob over your opponent’s non-dominant shoulder. Doing so ensures they have a harder time taking the ball out of the air. 

Practicing your lob

Begin at the kitchen line opposite the net from your drilling partner. The two of you should begin an extended dink rally, moving each other around half of the court. 

When your partner is off balance or looking toward the ground, execute an offensive lob. Remember to keep your weight forward and extend your follow through a little higher than normal. 

Take note of what was successful. Did your ball arc high enough? Was your partner able to slam it back down? 

Download the Selkirk Pickleball TV app HERE to watch the complete episode and many other Selkirk TV original shows, podcasts, lesson series from the pros, and much more. 

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