If you're new to pickleball, welcome to one of the fastest-growing sports in the world! While it may seem simple, there's a lot to discover about this fun and exciting game. To help you get started, here are the Top 10 things beginners should know about pickleball:
1. Pickleball Basics:
Pickleball combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong. It's played with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes on a smaller court. There are different balls for outdoor and indoor play, so be sure you're using the correct ball.
2. Court Dimensions: A pickleball court is 20 feet wide by 44 feet long, divided into service boxes and a non-volley zone, also known as "the kitchen."
3. Serving Rules: Unlike tennis, you serve underhand and must let the ball bounce once before returning it over the net.
4. Scoring: Games are typically played to 11 points (win by 2). Check with your local pickleball club to find out how they handle scoring.
5. Paddle Selection: Choose the right paddle. Beginners often start with a mid-weight composite paddle for better control and power.There is a wide selection of options out there and there's no need to spend a lot of money. Find one that feels comfortable and use it until you're ready to upgrade.
6. Take Lessons: There are so many clubs and local organizations offering lessons, usually for a nominal fee. The couple of hours you spend learning the terminology, rules, and how to play will set the groundwork for a great experience as you continue to learn and improve your game.
7. Dinking Technique: The "dink" is a soft, controlled shot close to the net. Mastering this shot is key to success.
8. Stay Out of the Kitchen: Be aware of the non-volley zone. You can't volley (hit the ball in the air) from within this area unless the ball bounces there first.
9. Practice, Practice (and Practice Some More): Pickleball is about enjoyment and learning. Take lessons, practice, and embrace the friendly community that makes up this sport.
10. Ask Away: Don't be afraid to ask questions. Whether you're testing new paddles, playing for the first time, or trying to master the scoring system, there will always be someone happy to help you figure it all out.
BONUS TIP: Have fun!
Pickleball is easy to learn, can be played at all skill levels, is great exercise, and is very social. Start with a positive attitude, be open to learning a new skill, and enjoy the journey. Before you know it, you'll be playing in your first tournament!
Whether you're young or young at heart, pickleball is a game that anyone can enjoy. So grab a paddle, head to the court, and remember that practice makes perfect. As you delve deeper into pickleball, you'll discover new strategies, make great friends, and have a fantastic time on the court. Welcome to the pickleball family!