Pickleball is a popular sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. It’s a fast-paced game that requires quick reflexes, good hand-eye coordination, and strategic thinking. If you’re a former tennis player looking to take on a new challenge, pickleball may be the perfect sport for you. It’s important for beginners to focus on the basics and develop a strong foundation in order to improve their pickleball skills. In this article, we’ll provide tips and advice on how to improve your pickleball game as a beginner, with a focus on the key differences between tennis and pickleball.
Focus On Proper Grip & Stance
A good grip and stance will help with control and power when hitting the ball. The most common grip used in pickleball is the “Eastern grip,” where the paddle is held with the fingers wrapped around the handle and the thumb on top. Beginners should also focus on maintaining a low center of gravity and keeping their knees slightly bent to help them move quickly and efficiently around the court.
Learn Basic Shots
The beginner should learn the forehand and backhand groundstroke, the serve and return of serve, and the dink shot. The forehand and backhand groundstroke are the most basic shots in pickleball, and they will give the beginner the ability to hit the ball consistently and with power. The dink shot is a soft shot that is used to keep the ball low and slow, and it’s a great shot for beginners to master.
Pickleball is a fast-paced sport that requires good footwork. The beginner should work on moving quickly and efficiently around the court. This includes practicing footwork drills such as lunges, shuffles, and side steps. Beginners should also focus on moving their feet to the ball, rather than reaching for the ball with their paddle.
Pay Attention To Positioning
Proper court positioning can make a big difference in pickleball. The beginner should learn where to stand on the court to be in the best position to hit the ball. This includes positioning themselves near the center of the court when playing doubles, and positioning themselves closer to the net when playing singles.
Play With Experienced Players
Playing with more experienced players will give the beginner an opportunity to see and learn different shots and strategies. This can be done by joining a local pickleball club, finding a local public pickleball court or attending a pickleball clinic.
Learn How To Play Doubles
Doubles play is different than singles play, and the beginner should learn the strategies and techniques specific to doubles play. This includes learning how to cover the court, how to communicate with your partner, and how to play different shots such as the poach and the drop shot.
Pickleball Videos For Beginners
Here are a few links to pickleball instructional videos that beginners may find helpful:
- Pickleball Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/pickleballchannel
- Pickleball Tutor: https://www.youtube.com/user/PickleballTutor
- Pickleball Coach: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-TcxzZfTjZ_YbYJN4Fc9Xg
- Pickleball Paddle Reviews: https://www.youtube.com/user/pickleballpaddle
- ProLite Pickleball: https://www.youtube.com/user/prolitepickleball
These channels include a variety of videos on different topics such as the basics of the game, strategies, drills, and different shots. They also have videos specific to doubles play, serving and returning serves, and footwork.
It’s important to note that it’s not enough to just watch the videos, the beginner should practice and apply the techniques and strategies they learn. Consistent practice and repetition will help the beginner to develop muscle memory and improve their pickleball skills. It’s also important for the beginner to not get discouraged if they make mistakes or don’t see improvement right away. Improving at pickleball takes time and dedication.
In addition to practice and repetition, the beginner should also focus on their physical fitness. Pickleball is a sport that requires a lot of running, so it’s important for the beginner to have good cardiovascular endurance. This can be achieved by incorporating cardio exercises such as running, cycling, or swimming into their workout routine.
Pickleball Books For Beginners
Another resource that can be helpful for a beginner looking to improve their pickleball skills is the book “Mastering the Game of Pickleball: A Beginner’s Guide to Learning Rules, Strategies and Fundamentals” by Keyshia Marie.
This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the game of pickleball, including rules, strategies, and fundamental techniques. It can be a great reference guide for beginners looking to improve their pickleball skills. You can purchase Mastering The Game Of Pickleball: A Beginner’s Guide To Learning Rules, Strategies And Fundamentals on Amazon.
Lastly, the beginner should also focus on their mental game. Pickleball is a sport that requires quick thinking and decision making. The beginner should learn how to stay focused and mentally tough during a match. This can be achieved by incorporating mental training exercises such as visualization and meditation into their training routine.
Pickleball is a fun and challenging sport that requires quick reflexes, good hand-eye coordination, and strategic thinking. As a former tennis player, you already have a good foundation for the sport, but it’s important to adapt your skills to the smaller court size and faster pace of pickleball. A beginner who is looking to improve at pickleball requires a focus on the basics, consistent practice and repetition, physical fitness, and mental toughness. By following these tips and practicing regularly, you’ll be well on your way to improving your pickleball game as a beginner.