Tips for the Emerging Sport: Pickleball!

Above you can see teams of two playing Pickleball on a court. Notice the low net, whiffle ball and enlarged ping pong like paddles being used.

Pickleball is an emerging racquet sport catching the attention of seniors as a fun, low impact sport. So what the heck is Pickleball and does it have anything to do with pickles? This sport is the perfect hodgepodge of ping pong, badminton and tennis, taking elements of each and creating a sport that is attainable for a range of ages. As for pickles, no green veggies will be on the court, however can I suggest a giant pickle holding a paddle as the mascot? The game is said to be named after the founders family dog Pickles, who enjoyed playing with the whiffle ball used for the game as they played in the yard with friends. Some say the original name of the game was called “Pickle’s Ball” but when the name was registered it was shortened to Pickleball.

Why Pickleball may be the perfect sport for you:

Do you like tennis but running all over a large court is a too intense? Pickleball may be just right for you. The courts are only a quarter of the size plus, if you play doubles you are only responsible for half of that!

Do you like the lightness of Pingpong paddles but wished they were a little bigger? Try Pickleball!

Do you like the idea of playing on a small court and having a partner on your team to play along side with just like badminton? Try Pickleball!

Do you like the thrill of a little friendly competition? Do you like social sports where you can make friends? You guessed it…try Pickleball!

It really is no wonder Pickleball is becoming a fast growing sport, you have physical, mental and social benefits all rolled into one heck of a fun game.

Important Tips for Beginners:

Tip #1Know the Rules– Many points are lost from simply not being familiar enough with the rules. Watching a game or two in person or online to become familiar with it before playing can boost confidence and help reduce errors.

Tip#2 Keep Moving– Standing still is your enemy, keep light on your feet to be ready for when the ball comes to your side of the court.

Tip #3 Keep Back, Stay Middle– Try to stay near the non-volley line as much as possible. You have the best odds if you hit the ball staying back in this position.

Tip #4 Keep Paddle High– Try to keep your paddle high at chest level, this way you are in the best position to react to your opponents hard shots.

Tip #5 Eye on the Ball– Just like tennis, ping pong and many other sports, it is vital to keep your eye on the ball!

Tip#6 Comfortable Attire– Make sure your shoes are comfortable and supportive and wear breathable clothes that allow you to move with ease. You cannot focus on the game if you are tugging at uncomfortable clothing that is too tight, too loose, too hot, bunches or rides up, or have sore feet from unsupportive shoes.

Tip#7 Just Breathe- A common unconscious mistake players make is holding their breath. When we focus intensely on something studies show we hold our breath. Many players forget to breathe steadily, hold their breath and start to feel unfocused or dizzy. Practice breathing out as you hit the ball until it becomes habit.

Have fun pickling it up this season!