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6 tips to avoid pickleball injuries

6 tips to avoid pickleball injuries


By Jaclyn Brandt

On: 03/25/2024

injuries

tips

What are the common pickleball injuries and how do you prevent them from happening? Here are some tips to prevent pickleball injuries.
What are the common pickleball injuries and how do you prevent them from happening? Here are some tips to prevent pickleball injuries.

When learning to play pickleball, you may hear horror stories about pickleball injuries from other players. What are the common pickleball injuries and how do you prevent them from happening? Here are some tips to prevent pickleball injuries.

Stretch

This one may seem obvious but stretching is one of the best ways to prevent getting injured during pickleball. You will want to work on your hips, knees, neck, arms, shoulders, back, and more.

It’s also a great idea to do a short stretch after you play as well.

Here are some great stretches to try before your next pickleball game.

Warm up

When you get to to the pickleball court (and after your stretch), find a partner (or 2 or 3) to begin warming up. You can do simple dink drills back and forth, and then move on to some other lessons if you have time, including:

  • Dinking

  • Serves and returns

  • Baseline groundstrokes

  • Forehand shots

  • Backhand shots

  • Third shot drives and drops

Here are some warm-up drills you can work on.

Start with classes

With pickleball’s growing popularity, it’s becoming easier to find open courts and open play, which can cause you to develop habits that may not be the best for your body. If you start with classes, you can begin to develop good habits and learn how to play pickleball from a professional.

Classes can help you break bad habits that can eventually lead to injuries when you reach a higher level of play.

If you are no longer a pickleball beginner, taking classes can also help you break bad habits that may lead to injuries.

Use the right gear

It’s important to use the right pickleball gear to help prevent injuries. Gear that is made for other sports is formulated specifically for other sports, not for pickleball.

For instance: running shoes have rigid sides because when you run, you are moving forward. But in pickleball, you move side-to-side, and so having rigid sides on your shoes could cause you to trip over your own feet.

Wearing gear that is made for pickleball, or similar sports, can reduce your chance of injury. As the popularity of pickleball grows, more and more gear is being created that is made specifically for pickleball — which makes it easier to find what you need in all price ranges.

Don’t do too much too fast

Pickleball has the tendency to be addicting, and so when you first start playing you may want to play as much as possible. But if you are just starting out, even if you are already an athlete (but especially if you are not), you should ease into how many hours each week you play.

Your body will want to learn the game, so take it slow in the very beginning. If you want to play seven days a week, start out one or two days a week at first and then start to build it up so you can eventually play more and more.

Listen to your body

Once you are a regular player and have acclimated to the game, you should still not play more than your body can handle. If you feel an injury, no matter how slight, or something doesn’t feel right, listen to your body.

Take it easy on your game, see a doctor, or play less until things feel better. If you play with an injury, it could cause an even worse injury that could take you off the court permanently. Pickleball is addictive, but remind yourself that a short amount of downtime is worth it to be healthy and able to play in the future.

How to prevent pickleball injuries

There are many ways to prevent pickleball injuries, but it’s up to you to do everything you can to avoid situations that may cause those injuries. Make sure you stretch and warm up, don’t do too much too fast, and wear the right equipment. But if you do one thing, listen to what your body is telling you.

If you are like many pickleball players, you want to be able to play as much as you can and as long as possible. If you follow these tips, you can hopefully avoid injury and stay out on the pickleball court.

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