What Is the Most Aggressive Shot in Pickleball?

 Overhead Shot Featured Image: Most Aggressive Shot in Pickleball

There are thirteen different basic shots in a game of pickleball. Each shot has its advantages and disadvantages, and some are a bit more aggressive than others. 

When you’re feeling competitive, though, a small amount of intensity can go a long way. Of course, aggressive techniques will only work when applied properly. To use these shots to their full potential, you will want to know them so you can practice them beforehand. So, out of all thirteen options, which shot is the most aggressive? 

The answer to this question may vary depending on the situation and the person performing said shot. We’ve managed to narrow it down to three and have listed them in ascending order. 

3rd Place: The Lob 

The Lob: Most Aggressive Shot in Pickleball

The Lob is a shot that requires quick thinking and a fair amount of upper-arm strength. While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the most aggressive shot in pickleball, it’s still worth mentioning, as it’s a strategy that’s as intense as it is effective. 

As your opponent serves the ball over the net, swing your paddle upwards as hard as you can. When done correctly, this shot will require the opposing team to re-adjust and do some fast thinking as the ball soars far over their heads. 

The Lob Infographic


  • If your opponent has been hitting the ball at a pace that’s a bit too quick for your comfort, The Lob will slow things down again. 
  • The technique is fairly simple. Beginners should have an easy time learning this one. 
  • Sending the ball high in the air will prove difficult for your opponent to return it. Their next shot options will be limited, and they will be more likely to miss or swing into the net. 


  • If the ball does not go high enough, it can give your opponent the perfect chance to do an Overhead Smash. 
  • If you hit the ball too hard, it can go off the field. 
  • Using the Lob too many times in a match will lose its effectiveness, as opponents will eventually learn to adjust. 

2nd Place: The Backhand Punch  

The Backhand Punch: Most Aggressive Shot in Pickleball

This shot looks pretty straightforward, but in reality, it requires a fair amount of precision. If you’re a beginner, you will want to practice this one before using it in a real game, because poor execution will look clumsy. Nevertheless, the effort will be worth it, because when applied properly, the Backhand Punch can be a strategic and aggressive move. 

To execute the Backhand Punch, you will put your paddle in a backhand position. When the ball comes in your direction, preferably from a high dink, move your fist as if you are punching the air. This shot will have the ball flying towards your opponent with a great amount of force and little time to react – not to mention how impressive this move can look when executed properly. 


  • The Backhand Punch is quick and straight to the point. Most opponents will not anticipate this move. 
  • By likening your wrist’s movement to a punch, you will have an easier time exerting force into this shot. 
  • The ball goes a shorter distance, thus giving your opponent a shorter window of time to react. 


  • This shot requires a bit of preparation. You will need to re-adjust your grip on the paddle, so this one is not ideal for fast-paced scenarios. 
  • Because the Backhand Punch doesn’t send the ball particularly high, you might unintentionally punch the ball straight into the net. 
  • You will have to balance precision and force to make this an effective shot, which can be rather difficult for beginners. 

1st Place: The Overhead Smash 

The Overhead Smash: Most Aggressive Shot in Pickleball

The name of this shot speaks for itself. The is the most aggressive shot in pickleball. By smashing the ball straight down to the ground, this shot is hard for the opposing team to return. 

Knowing the correct time to apply this technique is key. It requires your opponent to serve the ball rather high in the air; otherwise, if their serve is too low, you won’t be able to properly carry out this shot. However, when the correct opportunity arises, the Overhead Smash can be the most effective and most aggressive shot in pickleball. 

Once you get the opportunity to employ this technique – you’re fairly close to the net, and you’re served the ball at the perfect height – simply swing your paddle downwards as hard as you can. As the ball hurtles towards the ground, your opponent will have less time to react. However, be careful not to slam the ball into the net. 


  • The combination of force and gravity will be in your favor with this notably aggressive shot. 
  • Slamming the ball downward gives your opponent less time to adjust. They will be more likely to miss the ball or even hit the net if they do return it. 
  • You don’t need to have a particularly good aim to execute this shot. 


  • It relies on your opposing team serving the ball in a particular way. If they tend to serve too high or too low, you will not be able to carry out an effective Overhead Smash. 
  • This technique is somewhat predictable, so you may not catch your opponents off-guard with this one. 
  • If you are on the shorter side, pulling off this shot might be a bit more difficult. 


Most pickleball players will agree that an aggressive shot can give you the upper hand in a tight match. When to apply these techniques and which ones work best for your skill level, however, are equally important if you intend to utilize them successfully. 

It’s safe to say the Overhead Smash is the most aggressive shot in pickleball of the three featured shots. Though its success relies on precise timing and physical strength, successful execution of the Overhead Smash can make or break a game. With this in mind, though, the Lob and the Drive are also important techniques to have in your back pocket, as the #1 choice may not always be an option.

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Brianna Goulet

Brianna loves to get outdoors for everything creative and fun. She has a passion for all things Pickleball and is an avid player. It is her goal to share everything you need to know about Pickleball so you can get out there and play with confidence!

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