Sometimes four people will get together to play pickleball. Three of them are high intermediate players. One is a beginner or lower intermediate. This can be a dreadful situation for the one good player who is on the same side as the lesser player.
What happens is the lesser player will consistently ‘pop the ball.’ That means this player will return the ball high. When that happens, the opponents will smash it back, generally at the higher level player next to the ball popper. I have seen experienced players just turn around to protect their bodies in resignation rather than even try to return the smashed balls.
What can be amusing about this is often the popper doesn’t even realize that they are doing anything wrong. They wonder why their partner isn’t managing to return anything. Why isn’t their partner even trying?
So what do you do if you realize you are the popper? Keep your shots long and low. You probably won’t have the skill to drop balls from the back court into the kitchen. For best results you should come to the kitchen as soon you can, and direct your shots toward the opponents’ baseline. Keep them low and hard and ideally not directly to the opponents. It’s not the best strategy for an experienced player, but it is the best for the popper.