Pickleball is a unique game that most people often confuse with tennis. Most people need to have their posture right when playing the game. Some of us have not learned about pickleball rules; our only goal is to get the ball across the net. We keep moving around the court, hoping to hit the ball right at the opponent.
However, pickleball is much more than hitting the ball across the net. There are certain rules and strategies that you should apply to become a successful pickleball player. If you want to transform your skills from beginner to professional, this article is for you. We are discussing how to play pickleball and become a better player. Let your competitive juices flow!
Step-by-Step Guide to Play Pickleball!
Pickleball is fun; many people enjoy it in their leisure time. Often, beginners need to learn how to navigate the game and enhance their skills. However, if you are in the mood to let your creative juices flow, it is best to upgrade your skills. Here’s a video guide on how to play pickleball
Moreover., the following step-by-step will help you become the best at pickleball:
Step # 1: Position Yourself Correctly
Mostly, pickleball games have two people on each team, which requires you to switch your strategy. Even though there are mostly two people on each team, you can also have a single-player game. When serving the ball, it is essential always to have an underhand to deliver energy seamlessly.
Stand outside the court, slightly outside the boundary, to hit the ball with the right momentum. It is best to hit the ball diagonally and aim at the opponent across from you. Remember, the player serving the ball gets the point initially.
Step # 2: Let the Ball Bounce
One important detail that players forget is that the ball needs to bounce once on each side before you can hit it. It is the golden rule that you need to keep in mind to gain a point. Once the ball bounces once on each side, you can hit it out of the air. However, getting into the right position and hitting it strategically for better energy transfer would be best.
Step # 3: No Point for Non-Volley Zone Hits
One of the biggest rules to remember is to be strategic and mindful of your position. There are many mistakes a player can make when playing pickleball. One of the biggest mistakes is hitting the ball in the air while in the kitchen zone. The kitchen zone or non-volley zone is near the net, and you don’t get the point if you hit the ball in this zone. Hence, let the ball bounce and position yourself correctly before hitting.
Step # 4: Serving Team Scores Points
Another key rule is that the serving team scores points every time the opposing team makes a mistake. If you hit the ball in the non-volley zone or execute a weaker shot, the opponent team wins a point. Hence, it is essential to be attentive and let the ball bounce before hitting it. Remember, only the serving team scores a point; hence, it is essential to be careful and mindful when hitting the ball from the air.
Step # 5: The Score Method
Usually, beginners need to learn how to declare a win or evaluate each team’s score. The scoring method is quite personal to the group or court you are associated with. Generally, a team that is first to reach 11 points is declared the winner.
A tiebreaker match is quite intense and interesting if both teams have the same score. Some pickleball matches have a higher winning score depending on the time and competitive spirit. If more than two teams participate, the winning score can be lower so everyone gets a chance.
Some Effective Pickleball Tips to Withstand High Competition
While pickleball is a game you master with practice, a few tips can help you acquire professional skills faster. It is not only important to hit the ball over the net every time, but also to pay attention to different factors. If you want to keep your competitive juice flowing, you must pay attention to the following tips:
1. Work on Your Serve
Pickleball is a highly engaging game that helps you sharpen your reflexes. However, it is not only essential for you to have good reflexes but also to have great serving skills. Serving is the only pickleball part where you gain points; you better do it right.
Doing it with a soft hand rather than hitting the ball from a height would be best. Keep your hand below your waist and try to serve deep. One of the main goals of serving deeply is to get your opponent’s team in a defensive mode.
When the opponent team’s eye is hooked on the ball, they can land in the non-volley zone without realizing it. On the other hand, posting your wrist to add spin is the best thing you can do to catch the opponent off guard. It can cause them to make unforced errors that will benefit you greatly.
2. Throw Dink Shots Here and There
Not most players hit dink shots, but it is one of the best strategies most professionals use. When the opposing team has the upper hand, you should use a few strategies to slow down the game and gain leverage. Dink shots are the best way to slow down the game and make your opponent lose their winning spirit. It is best to practice dink shots beforehand to use them when best.
Dink shots are when you aim the ball to bounce in the kitchen or non-volley area. The opponent must wait for the ball to bounce before they can hit it right in the air. It can make the bounce weaker, making the shot less powerful. Dink shots can lead the opponents to lose a point and allow you to gain solid footing.
3. Communicate with your Partner
A pickleball game requires good skill, but compatibility with your partner is also important. Often, a team loses points when both players aim for the same shot missing it. You must communicate with your partner and let them know you aim for the ball. On the other hand, it is also essential to praise your partner by saying praise-worthy words. You can also decide your position in the middle of the game to make the most out of your partnership. Besides mid-game communication, you can also keep code words such as saying “mine” when aiming for the ball. It helps you coordinate and perform better, keeping up the good energy.
4. Don’t Be Predictable
There are a lot of things that can make the opponent team have a winning advantage over you. One of the things that most players don’t realize is that being predictable can make them lose before they know it. Hence, mixing up your shots to challenge the opponent is essential. You can mix up the shots by adding backspin and topspin, soft and hard shots.
On the other hand, throwing in a high lob occasionally can also make the opponent miss the hit. Strategically make the shots high and low to make the opponent uncomfortable. It creates anticipation and anxiety within the opponent, weakening their performance.
5. Don’t Ignore Footwork
Players learn all the important rules when learning how to play pickleball but ignore their footwork. The main reason why most players miss a shot is due to weaker footwork. It is best to keep moving and positioning your body to hit the shot powerfully and confidently.
One of the best ways to improve your footwork is to keep your legs parallel. It helps in improving the center of balance and hitting with unmatchable power. On the other hand, it is best to avoid putting pressure on your heels to avoid losing balance.
Put pressure on the balls of your feet as it helps you move quickly due to high flexibility. Lastly, it is essential to coordinate with your partner on every shot and move together. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and one foot in the front to maintain stance and stability.
Learning how to play pickleball as a beginner is always challenging. However, learning a few rules will help you gain a competitive advantage over your opponent’s team. Apart from learning the game, it is also important to incorporate some tips to become a better player. Using the strategies, we mentioned will make you gain professional skills quickly!