Pickleball Shake and Bake – Pro Strategies to Execute and Defend

Pickleball is a sport that looks like tennis, plays like tennis, and even sounds like tennis. It’s no wonder why so many athletes transition from tennis to pickleball. One major difference, though, is that in pickleball, you can use power strokes to gain an advantage over your opponent. This is where the phrase “Pickleball shake and bake” emerges.

So what exactly is this pickleball strategy? It’s when a player hits the ball with a controlled level of topspin, after which the ball bounces high enough for the opponent to hit an overhead shot (bake). Also known as a flop shot, or crush and rush shot in pickleball, the shake-and-bake strategy is not used to score points directly but to set up opportunities for your partner to score points.

If executed correctly, this strategy can be used as a weapon against a strong player or team. If you really want to enhance your pickleball skill level by learning this top strategic shot, keep on reading to know more.

Shake and Bake; A strategic Pickleball Shot:

The strategy is all about controlling the center of the court. If you can control the center of the court, then you are in a great position to win the point.

The pickleball shake and bake strategy have two parts. The first part is to hit a drop shot that lands in the middle of the non-volley zone line (NVL). This will be a very short drop shot, probably just a few inches off the ground on your side of the NVL.

The second part of the pickleball strategy is to hit a lob over your opponent’s head that lands near their baseline. You want to hit this lob right after your drop shot hits so it doesn’t give your opponent time to get back into position after they run up for your drop shot.

shake and bake strategy in pickleball

You can likewise try this scenario when playing doubles. Just make certain you recognize where your partner is before you do it!

In this article, I’ll talk in detail about the pickleball shake and bake shot execution and defense.

How to Execute Shake and Bake Shot During Gameplay

It is one of the most difficult and rewarding shots in the game of pickleball. You can seriously weaken your partner with this shot if they are not ready for it. So always make sure you know if they are ready or not before trying to shake and bake them.

In simple words, shake and bake is when a pickleball player hits an underhand serve and then follows the ball to the non-volley zone line and hits a lob or volley. The idea is to catch your opponents off guard. They’ll think you’re going to hit the ball in front of you, so they’ll be in position (presumably on the baseline) to return it. If they aren’t ready, though, they might whiff completely.

Now, as long as your partner knows you’re doing this, they should be fine with returning it. If they don’t know, they could try to kill the shot and when it comes back over the net, which is going to hit the other team in the wrong position giving you a chance to score against your opponents

How to defend against shake and bake in pickleball

When you play pickleball, the shake-and-bake shot is one of the most difficult shots to defend. Whether you are playing singles or doubles, defending this shot well is essential to maintaining a strong defensive position.

The following pointers can help you defend the shake and bake like a pro:

👉 How it Works:

Important of all, it is crucial to understand what a pickleball shake-and-bake shot is. It is a shot that is designed to get your opponent out of position and leave them unable to cover ground effectively. With this in mind, it is important to understand how it works and how to defend it.

👉 How it’s done

To execute the shake-and-bake, the player must first serve from behind the baseline with his paddle raised above head height. After serving, he moves forward and hits a backhand with his paddle facing sideways.

The ball will then ricochet off of your opponent’s court and land directly into your opponent’s court. This can be done by using either your forehand or backhand depending on where you want the ball to go.

As soon as you see that the ball has bounced off of your opponent’s side of the court and landed on yours, quickly run over and hit it back at him with your paddle facing sideways.

👉 How to defend bake and shake shot like a pro:

So what should you do when someone attempts this trick on you? First of all, don’t startle. Don’t let yourself get dashed into making an immediate decision that could weaken your team later.

There are two ways I recommend defending against this shot:

The first and most important thing to remember about defending the shake and bake is to never, ever come out of the kitchen, under any circumstance.

If a player attempts this trick shot, it means the court has opened up for a reason. Perhaps they have just hit a powerful serve that has their opponent on their heels or they need to recover from a weak or botched shot.

In either scenario, if you are in the kitchen, you can use your paddle’s reach to dink on top of them and take advantage of an open court.

The only time you should leave the kitchen area is if you see your opponent lining up for a power shot. Then you must drop back and be ready for that instead, but don’t give up more court space than necessary.

In the second approach, I recommend moving to the center of the court as soon as your opponent serves underhand. Then be ready for anything — including a shake and bake shot. This approach gives you flexibility, but it also leaves you open for an easy cross-court dink if your opponents aren’t trying a shake and bake shot.


After the whole above discussion of the topic, it must be clear that the shake-and-bake isn’t just a shot. It’s a strategy where the player will aim for one side of the court, only to have their opponent move to that side, and then suddenly hit it to the other side. This can be done multiple times in a row and can throw off even some of the best players.

However, it’s important to remember that the pickleball shake and bake shot is a very advanced technique. You need to have mastered all other shots in your arsenal before attempting this one successfully.

James Robert


TrizonSports is a blog that is all about pickleball. Here I share my experience with pickleball gears. I’ve spent years using these hundreds of different products. Now I’m writing reviews that will help you find the perfect duffel bag, racket, or paddle for your game. I know how important it is for things like this stuff to last a long time, so I’ll only recommend items that meet high standards of quality and durability. Now you can get better at pickleball today with my detailed and free-of-cost advice. Do you want to know what the best products are? I can help.

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