Picking Up Pickleball in Four Easy Steps

February 10, 2023

Photo by Brendan Sapp on Unsplash

Pickleball is exploding in popularity all over the country, and you may be one those who has caught the fever. Whether you’re looking for an outlet for your competitive streak or just a more active way to socialize, you can join the community of passionate picklers in a few easy steps!

Learn the Game

Learning how to play Pickleball is the obvious first step. It’s a step that’s both easy and entertaining! Your pickleball journey will likely start as a spectator; watching others play is an easy way to pick up the general rules and scoring, and it’s almost as much fun as playing!

You can visit USApickleball.com to learn all the details of pickleball’s rules. Once you know a dink from a double hit and have the proper respect for the sanctity of the kitchen, you’ll be ready to get out on the court yourself.

Get the Gear

When you’re just trying out the sport, you may rely on borrowed or even rented equipment. Once you’re sure that pickleball is for you, you’re going to want your own gear. To get started, you first need the proper playing environment: a court marked out with the correct lines and a regulation net. If you’ve found a place in your area where pickleball is played, the net and court are already available.  Some pickleball players simply use public or club tennis courts, with the net adjusted to comply with pickleball specifications.

The individual gear you’ll need as a player is simple and easily purchased online. You’ll want an assortment of pickleballs, which come in both indoor and outdoor varieties. Next, comfortable athletic clothing and shoes are a must. Finally, your single most essential gear will be the all-important paddles. Good brands, such as Paddletek pickleball paddles, come in a variety of designs; ideally you should try out a few styles to find the best “weapon” for you.

Join the Club

If there’s one thing that makes finding a new pastime even better, it’s sharing it with likeminded people. Pickleball has become so popular in recent years that you may have already seen announcements of clubs and tournaments in your area. Thousands of local associations are listed on the website www.places2play.org.

You may also decide to become a member of USA Pickleball, which will give you the opportunity to play in their official tournaments. USA Pickleball is also a great resource for finding existing clubs and places to play this growing sport. If you decide to form a brand new pickleball club yourself, USA Pickleball is the authority you’ll want to rely on to make sure everything about your league reflects national standards.

Up Your Game

Pickleball is great fun no matter how experienced or skilled you are. If you’re the competitive type, however, you won’t be satisfied with being stuck at the beginner level forever. Once you feel confident that you have the basics down, you may find yourself hungry for tips to boost your game to the next level.

Playing regularly will help you achieve a certain amount of fluency, but getting noticeable improvement will require a little more than that. As with everything else these days, pickleball advice can be found in abundance online. When it comes to a fast-paced sport, however, there’s no substitute for real-world sweat and applied effort. Practice drills, in addition to a solid fitness routine, will gradually make all your moves on the pickleball court more reliable, efficient and effective.

Finally, don’t dismiss the possibility of getting a little professional help. Whether it’s a weekend bootcamp or ongoing paid coaching, you may want to consider taking on expert advice if you’re serious about competing.  A good coach can help you move beyond just the physical side of the game to incorporate better strategy as well.

With the current blossoming of pickleball’s popularity, you certainly won’t be alone when you start your pickleball pursuit. With easily learned basics and relatively simple equipment, you’ll be dinking with a host of new friends in no time!

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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