Pickleball began in the 1960s as a children’s game. Today, the sport is popular with players of all ages.
The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) reported a 650% increase in players in six years. The game is a combination of tennis, racquetball, and ping pong. It takes place on a court with a specific net and lines.
Players use special paddles to hit a small plastic Wiffle ball over the net to score points. Doubles play is most common.
Pickleball has quirky rules, but they’re easy to learn. The object of the match is to win by scoring more points than your opponent.
Want to master the game? Practice often, and follow the tips below to play pickleball like a pro.
Warm-Up Before You Play
There’s a good reason every pro athlete warms up before a game. Stretching and movement prepare muscles for the workout.
Try to gradually increase your heart rate to loosen your joints and increase blood flow. Warming up prepares your body for exertion. It also prevents injuries.
Stay Alert and Ready
If you want to play like a pro, you must always be ready. Keeping your eyes on the ball is the best way to focus.
Watch where the ball goes. Anticipate your next move. Don’t let your opponents or surroundings distract you from play.
Use Smart Serves
Always serve to your opposition’s weak spot. Serve to your opponents backhand as a test. If the backhand return is strong, serve to their forehand.
Serve in the middle. Take advantage of the fact that the net is 2 inches lower in the center.
Aim your serve close to the center white line. When a ball lands close to the dividing white line, it confuses your opponents. Both players may hesitate or hit the ball at the same time.
Serve so you and your partner have time to move to the non-volley zone. That way, you can both challenge the return.
Learn How to Dink
The dink shot is an essential element of Pickleball. It’s a shot hit so the ball lands at your opponent’s feet or non-volley zone (AKA kitchen). The rules forbid volleys in the kitchen area that extends 7 feet from the net.
When your opponent can’t hit a volley, he’s forced to hit the ball up after the bounce to clear the net. It’s hard to hit the ball hard and keep it in the court.
Get in Sync with Your Partner
Good communication is vital. Use signals or gestures to communicate with your partner. It’s easier to tackle the ball when you and your partner sync your movements.
Practice and play together often to learn each other’s body language. Acknowledge and support each other’s strengths and weaknesses. A unified team is always stronger.
Go Play Pickleball Like a Pro
Follow these tips to play Pickleball like a pro. If you practice hard, you’ll be first to reach 11 points and win.
Reserve a court today to start using these tips right away.