Pickleball Tips for Beginners

25 Simple Pickleball Tips for Beginners

pickleball tips for beginners

In this post, we’re going to talk about 25 simple pickleball tips for beginners. These pickleball tips are designed to be elementary and basic for a reason. Our goal is to help someone who is a new player, get more enjoyment out of the game. If you can make small improvements from your first session to your second and your second to your third, you're more likely to come back for a 4th and 5th time. If you’re not getting better, even slightly, the game will lose its appeal quickly. We don't want that to happen. These 25 pickleball tips for beginners will enable you to make tangible progress and allow you to continue to enjoy the game as you get better!

One of the most common mistakes made by new players is an overuse of power. It's easy to feel as if you're standing on a large ping pong table or an extra small tennis court. It can give you a false sense of control and make you think you're the Incredible Hulk. You're not, and even if you were, pickleball is not a game where you can overpower your opponent day in and day out. New pickleball players may have a hard time realizing this fact. The sooner you realize that the strongest players are not necessarily the best players, you'll begin to see the light. I can tell you first hand that the first time I played, I saw very quickly that younger players who used power, were not the best players. The best players were typically twice my age and had a level of control I just couldn't match...at least early on.

pickleball tips for beginners

Here are our simple pickleball tips for beginners to help you get more enjoyment out of your first few times playing.

  • Always stretch before your first match.
  • When in between games, keep loose by stretching or jumping rope.
  • ​Wear proper shoes to eliminate injuries.  For more on the best shoes, click here.
  • ​Hit your serve deep.  For more pickleball strategies on serving click here.
  • ​No need for fancy serves, no spin necessary.
  • ​Faulting on serves is a controllable mistake. Simple, deep serves eliminate unnecessary errors.
  • ​Don't attempt to skim your serve over the net. Accurate and consistent serves are best, even if they arc high.
  • ​When returning a serve, hit it deep back to the server.  For more pickleball strategies on return of serve click here.
  • ​Hit to your opponent's backhand whenever possible.
  • ​Set yourself up for a forehand shot as often as possible.
  • ​Play it safe, consistency leads to unforced errors by the other team.
  • ​When volleying gets frantic, just keep the point alive.
  • ​Hit to open areas or gaps between your opponents.
  • ​Get to the net as fast as possible.
  • ​Keep your opponents away from the kitchen for as long as possible.
  • ​When running forward to smash, keep your momentum from carrying you into the kitchen. Perfect the jump stop.
  • ​Don't be fooled into playing with power. At it's core, Pickleball is a finesse game.
  • ​When hitting a shot from low to high, hit soft.
  • ​When hitting a shot from high to low, hit hard.
  • ​Always stand in the “ready position” - knees slightly bent, feet shoulder width apart and paddle in between your knees. See any tennis pro for an example.
  • ​When hitting with power (smashing), aim for the opponents feet or an open area of the court.
  • ​As a beginner, don't lob. It's a high risk - low reward shot. For more on when to lob and when not to, click here.
  • ​Instead of a lob shot, try soft shots that arc the highest on your side of the net and land softly in the kitchen.
  • ​Use the kitchen as a third teammate. Balls MUST land in the kitchen before your opponent can approach the net, which can effectively slow your opponent down, and keep them from overpowering you.  For more on the rules and how to play, click here.
  • Landing drop shots in the kitchen can dictate the pace of the match. The more balls you land in the kitchen, the more you control the match.

We hope you enjoyed our 25 Simple Picklball Tips for Beginners!  For more pickleball tips from us, click here!

For more info on helpful pickleball tips, check out the USAPA's site here.​  You'll also find a lot of helpful info at pickleball pro Gale Leach's blog.  These are two great resources to explore pickleball tips for beginners!

For our complete list of the best pickleball paddles for beginners, click here!

If you're new to the sport and would like some help on improving your game, please leave a comment in the comments section below!  We'd love to hear from you!

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