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Targeting a weakness in your opponent - Singles tips from pro Catherine Parenteau on SelkirkTV

By Catherine Parenteau

on Sep 18, 2023

Pickleball players seeking to enhance their singles game have a lot to learn from Selkirk Sport pro Catherine Parenteau. Her recent YouTube instructional video series on SelkirkTV offers a deep dive into one of her favorite singles drills, which concentrates on both exploiting an opponent's weakness and refining footwork. Let's break down the key takeaways:

1. Target the Weakness

The essence of Catherine’s drill is simple: zero in on an opponent's weaker shot and exploit it. In the video, for demonstration purposes, Catherine chooses Selena's forehand as the weaker shot. Throughout the drill, despite Selena moving Catherine side to side, Catherine's consistent focus is on returning every shot to Selena's forehand. This strategy can be a game-changer as it forces your opponent to constantly play to their weakness, increasing the likelihood of errors.

2. Footwork is Fundamental

Footwork isn't just about moving swiftly on the court; it’s about moving intelligently. As Catherine moves to strike the ball, her stance becomes crucial. When she has time, she sets her feet for a closed stance shot. But when the ball is further away, she adopts an open stance, which places pressure on the outside foot, allowing her to quickly pivot back to a ready position. This method minimizes extra steps and conserves energy.

Whether she's hitting a backhand or a forehand, Catherine emphasizes the importance of choosing the correct stance based on the ball's position. A misplaced stance can delay your return to the middle and can give your opponent a strategic advantage.

3. Varying the Target

After focusing on Selena's forehand, Catherine shifts the target to Selena's backhand. Such variation keeps the opponent on their toes and allows you to adapt based on your opponent's movements and strategies.

4. Incorporating Drops, Drives, Rolls, and Groundstrokes

When Selena moves to the net, Catherine demonstrates a combination of shots. She employs both drops and drives, as well as rolls and groundstrokes. Each of these shots has its own strategic advantage, and by alternating between them, Catherine ensures she keeps her opponent guessing.

5. Adapting to the Net Player

As the drill continues, Catherine adjusts her focus to Selena's backhand while she's at the net. This further underlines the need for flexibility in strategy, taking into account not just the opponent's weaknesses but also their court position.

Keep up with previous episodes 

Follow the 7-video installment to learn everything you need to know to dominate the singles game. Check out the previous episodes below: 

  • Episode 1: When to use your two-handed backhand
  • Episode 2: Unlock winning groundstrokes 

Download the Selkirk 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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