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Beginner pickleball tips that no one tells you

Beginner pickleball tips that no one tells you


By Jaclyn Brandt

On: 03/21/2024

beginner pickleball

tips

strategy

As you learn the official rules of pickleball, you will also want to learn court etiquette and other unspoken rules of the pickleball court. Here are some of our pickleball tips that no one tells you.
As you learn the official rules of pickleball, you will also want to learn court etiquette and other unspoken rules of the pickleball court. Here are some of our pickleball tips that no one tells you.

When you are a beginner pickleball player, there are a lot of tips that regulars don’t tell you. As you learn the official rules of pickleball, you will also want to learn court etiquette and other unspoken rules of the pickleball court. Here are some of our pickleball tips that no one tells you:

Stay in the ready position

So many beginner pickleball players constantly miss shots because they are not ready when the ball comes to them. When you are not hitting a ball, including before the serve, you should be in a position that keeps you ready for the ball. The ready position includes:

  • Keeping your knees bent, with your feet shoulder-width apart.

  • Learn forward, staying on the balls of your feet.

  • Keeping your paddle up near your face.

    • Somewhere between the 10 o’clock and 12 o’clock position.

The pickleball ready stance or position will help you be ready for any ball that comes your way.

Learn what an “out” ball looks like

One of the biggest mistakes that beginner pickleball players make is hitting balls coming their direction that would have otherwise been out.

If a ball is coming your direction and is above your shoulders, there is a good chance it will land out of bounds. Make it a point of practicing not hitting balls that could land out of bounds — even if some of them land in-bounds, it will teach you to recognize what you should be hitting and what you should not.

You don’t always need to rush to the kitchen line

During the serve and serve return, you will always want to stay at the baseline (whether you are the server or returner) because both of those shots need to bounce once before being hit. But what do you do after this? A lot of players will rush up to the non-volley line/kitchen line, but this is not something you should always do.

Before you rush to the kitchen line, you should:

  • Move up a little, but slowly so you can see how the next few shots unfold.

  • Look at your partner’s third shot to see what it looks like.

  • If your partner’s drops are good, you can move up slowly.

  • If your partner’s third shot is hit to your opponent’s baseline, you should stay back momentarily until you have a chance to move forward.

Keep your dinks down

When you are a learning to play beginner pickleball, you may find that your dinks keep popping up in an arc. This gives your opponent an opportunity to drive it back to you — with a greater chance of winning the point.

There are many videos out there about how to keep your dinks from popping up — and no matter which tip works for, it’s something that will dramatically improve your game, so something you should be constantly working on.

Watch this video on How to Stop Popping the Ball Up in Pickleball.

Avoid unforced errors

Avoiding errors is always easier said than done. But if you can work on your basic skills: dinking, forehand, backhand, serving, etc. without trying to be too flashy, you have a better chance of winning each rally than if you try to do too much.

For instance, if you try to put spin on your serve or hit it too hard (especially as a beginner), you are more likely to hit it out of bounds. If you work on a consistent serve, even if it’s easy to return, you have a greater chance to hit your serve in-bounds every time.

When you are first starting out, work on keeping the ball in bounds and let the other team make the mistakes.

Work on one thing every time you play

Although pickleball is a seemingly simple sport, there are actually quite a few aspects you will need to learn when you get started. One of the best things you can do is work on one aspect each time you play.

Whether it’s your server, your third shot return, not hitting out balls, staying in the ready position, learning to keep your dinks from popping up, or something else, it will help you not become overwhelmed with everything you need to learn.

Pickleball secrets

Pickleball players who have been around the game for a while (eventually) learn these unspoken rules of pickleball, after time and experience. But if you can begin playing with these tips in mind, you already have more knowledge than most other beginner pickleball players.

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