Most pickleballers come to a time in their development in which lobs seem like a good idea. The typical pickleballer at this stage will lob many times per game, always expecting grand results, but getting very poor results. If this player’s partner is slightly more advanced, s/he’s probably thinking “Sheesh!” knowing they can’t come to the kitchen and play a game where there’s a hope of winning. Yes, a lob can work when you have both opponents at the non-volley line, and if your lob is high enough to get over their heads, yet not so high that they have time to run back to return those lobs. But how often does that happen? The fact is, lobs as an offensive move generally don’t work, except in two situations:
You may be playing with beginners who can’t easily return anything that’s high. The common expression is ‘too much time to think,’ as they swing and entirely miss the ball.
The other case is in high-level play, where a soft, kitchen dinking rally has been going on, and suddenly, someone hits the ball high and deep. Sometimes the players can jump high enough to smash this back. Sometimes they can turn around, run backward beyond the range of the lob, continue to turn around, facing forward again, and then return the lob. But if you get the height and depth right, you can win the rally.
A place where lobs often work well is in defense. Especially in response to a lob. It gives you time to get back into position. If your lob goes deep into the opponent’s court, they have few options for returning it offensively.