Pickleball with Alex Trakhman - Rancho La Puerta
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Pickleball with Alex Trakhman

Week of October 19, 2024

Normally I’ll start all my classes with a quick introduction and 5 minute worm up and then I’ll focus on breaking down each point into small components and working separately on each of them incorporating fun games. Since I am planning to have six 45 minute sessions with each level, I would like to do following:

Serves and Returns
There are two types of legal serves in pickleball – volley serves and drop serves. We’re going to focus on the former though, since it’s the original serve and far more prevalent than the drop serve.

Groundstrokes are the bread and butter of pickleball shots. Aside from being used all the time, they’re also the building blocks to many other shots. In this section, we’ll cover drills for both forehand and backhand groundstrokes.

Soft. Soft. Soft. It’s so important for dinking, which is arguably the most important shot in the game of pickleball. So how do you go soft with your shots? You practice them. This strategy involves hitting a soft shot over the net that drops in front of your opponent, making it difficult for them to return the ball.

Third Shot Drops
The third shot drop is a game-changer shot – and if you ever want to advance in pickleball, you have to master this shot. This shot is played after the return of serve and aims to drop the ball softly over the net, putting your opponents on the defensive. Not to be confused with a third shot drive, this ball is meant to die on the bounce.

The goal of the shot is to get the ball to land in the kitchen, just over the net, and force your opponents to hit up, allowing you to move up to the net and take control of the point.

Volley shot has a special zone where it’s prohibited. Whether it’s a soft block, hard block, lob volley, or punch volley, there’s a drill to help you build your volley prowess.

At its core, a volley simply means hitting a ball before it bounces, but this can come in many shapes and sizes. Regardless of what manner of volley is used, it’s a must-have skill in both singles and doubles, and if you can control your volley shot, you increase the likelihood of controlling a rally.

In doubles though, volleys become particularly valuable for running the net and deciding what time is controlling the rally. By volleying, you can intercept your opponent’s shots and hit winners that they cannot return.

1hr 45 min Coached Play mixing all levels


Alex Trakhman is a PPR-certified instructor and player passionate about helping others improve their game. Alex found pickleball in 2018 after a lifetime of competitive tennis and quickly fell in love with the game. In addition, he is a committed to helping players of all skill levels achieve their goals. Known for his dynamic style of play that includes a full arsenal of tactics, Alex is also able to create a relaxing and fun environment while improving his students game, develop new skills and reach their full potentials. Alex enjoys teaching private lessons, small groups, and larger clinics for players of all levels. Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate player, Alex is committed to helping you advance your game and build a solid foundation in pickleball.

“Changing lives – one game at the time”