Pickleball Tips for New Players – spin-it

Pickleball Tips for New Players

If you’re new to pickleball, learning how to play and improve your game can seem overwhelming. There seems to be a dizzying number of rules, strategies and techniques to learn from scratch, but in truth, playing pickleball is quite simple. All you need to start is a basic understanding of the fundamentals of the game. 

Below, we’ve provided some helpful and easy-to-follow pickleball tips for newbie pickleball players who want to feel more confident and get better at the game. Read them through, practice whenever you can, and you’ll soon find yourself more comfortable and relaxed on the court. 

Six Pickleball Tips for Beginners

Warmup Before Every Game 

As with any sport, it’s essential to warm up before you play pickleball. Doing so helps you physically and mentally prepare for play. Warmups help reduce the risk of injury and loosen your joints, helping keep you limber on the court. They also increase your blood circulation, which boosts oxygen delivery to your muscles. 

When warming up, focus on doing dynamic stretches. These involve continuous movement, as opposed to static stretches that have you holding a position for seconds or minutes. Here are some examples of dynamic stretches you can incorporate into your warmup: 

  • Arm Circles: Raise your arms to the side with your palms parallel to the floor and move them in small circles. Slowly widen the circles. Then, do the same thing backward, rotating your arms in widening circles. 
  • Trunk Twists: Stand with your feet slightly apart and rotate your torso to the left as far as it can go without causing pain. Keep your arms in front. Then, rotate to the right. Do torso twists for eight to 10 repetitions. 
  • High Knees: Stand with your feet slightly apart. Slowly raise your right knee to chest level while engaging your core. Lower your right leg. Repeat with the left knee.

Get the Right Gear 

Many paddles are available, made from different core materials and with varying thicknesses, weights and grip sizes. Since you’re a beginner, you don’t have to shell out a fortune for a fancy paddle. You should start with a lightweight paddle that’s easy to grip and maneuver. As your skills improve, you might want to upgrade to a more advanced paddle with added features. 

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Quality Clothes and Shoes

The right shoes and clothes make a huge difference in your performance. After all, you wouldn’t wear bowling shoes to play football. 

Some beginners make the mistake of wearing running shoes when playing pickleball, but doing so could result in injury. Running shoes are designed for forward motion, making them unsuitable for pickleball, which requires a lot of lateral movements. It’s best to wear tennis, court or pickleball shoes, as these provide the stability, support and traction you need to play the game comfortably and safely. 

As for clothes, always factor in your playing environment when choosing what to wear. If you’re playing outdoors, opt for athletic apparel with sun protection. However, whether you’re playing indoors or outdoors, you’ll need clothing that doesn’t restrict your moment and is breathable and moisture-wicking. Comfortable clothes that keep you cool and dry will help you focus on the game instead of worrying about sweat stains and restricted movement. 

Focus on Your Footwork 

Beginners tend to focus too much on the paddle, forgetting that pickleball is a game that requires agility and balance as well as accuracy and power when making shots. With good footwork, you can react quickly to incoming shots, get to the ball efficiently, and engage your lower body so that you can drive into the ball with more power. 

Some drills you can do to improve your footwork are:

  • Shuffle Step: Move from side to side while staying light on your feet. Gradually increase the speed and distance of your side shuffles.
  • Crossover Step: Practice moving laterally by crossing one foot over the other. This helps with quick changes of direction.
  • Grapevine: Move laterally while briskly stepping one foot in front of the other, creating a grapevine pattern. This improves coordination and footwork.

Keep an Eye on Your Opponent 

It’s essential to be able to read your opponent's movements and anticipate their shots. Doing so will give you a significant advantage, allowing you to respond quickly and effectively.

Watch their body language, paying close attention to their grip, stance, and swing. With practice, you'll learn to identify patterns in their movements and pickleball techniques, as well as predict their shots more accurately.

Communicate With Your Partner 

Communication is key when playing with a doubles partner. Make sure to talk before the game to discuss your strategy, positioning, and strengths. During the game, communicate about who will take which shots so you can avoid collisions and ensure both you and your partner are actively participating. After the game, discuss what worked, what didn't, and any adjustments you can make for the next game.

Words aren't the only way to communicate on the court. Develop a set of non-verbal signals with your partner to make sure you're on the same page. A simple nod or point can indicate where you want them to be or who will take a shot, and it allows you to strategize without alerting your opponents to your plans.

Discover Pickleball Apparel Crafted for Style and Performance

Pickleball is a fantastic sport that's easy to learn but offers a rewarding challenge for players of all skill levels. By following our pickleball tips and getting some practice in, you'll be well on your way to dominating the court in no time.

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