Want to find common pickleball mistakes so you can avoid them in your games?
I will share some pretty ordinary blunders that both beginner and intermediate players make so you look out for them in the future.
Without further ado, let’s break them out.
Beginner Pickleball Mistakes
The main mistake that usually players make is that they hurry up after hitting the serve.
The players move further on the court and fail or make it difficult for themselves to return the shot thrown at them by their opponents.
Avoid moving further and stable your position on the court.
Just like this, some other common mistakes that players often make are:
1. Backing Up from the Non-volley Zone Line
Don’t ever back up from the non-volley zone line because it can affect your performance in the game.
For instance, if a player throws dink shots at you, it would be difficult to return to your initial position if you move backwards.
Better yet, just don’t move and stick your feet in that same place on the court.
Make sure you’re only moving your body to hit the ball and not your feet.
But sometimes in certain circumstances, for example, when the opponent throws deeper dinks at you, one has to move side to side or even back up to hit the ball.
The key point to remember is to step backwards and make space for yourself to create the shot in this situation.
Also, in the case of a pop-up, making space and taking time for yourself has no problem.
2. Backing Away from the Ball
One issue that is also common amongst beginner pickleball players is that they tend to back away from the ball when it’s coming toward them from over the net.
It is considered a mistake because when you step away, there is a solid chance you will send a high shot resulting in a smash from your opponent and ultimately losing a point.
Whenever the ball comes over the net, move forward instead of backward to have more chances of hitting the shot. The ideal situation will be to not move your position.
3. Hitting to the Adversary’s Forehand
Why make the game easier for your opponent?
If you hit towards their forehand, they will recover the shot without much difficulty.
Instead, hit it to their strike and make it harder for them to retrieve.
Beginner or not, if you play pickleball, you will know the importance of strike shots and how they benefit one’s game.
4. Hurrying Up when you Serve
Usually, after somebody serves, players tend to hurry up past the benchmark.
The problem is that the arrival serve cannot be volleyed because of the two fold skip rule.
So, when you hurry up past the gauge, your opponent will hit a return serve so great that you will feel its effect in your game.
This mistake should be avoided especially if you are playing against cutting-edge players.
5. Choosing the Wrong Paddle
Another common pickleball mistake that players make is choosing the wrong paddle, a paddle that won’t compliment their serve in the game.
The best way to avoid this is to try and practice with all sorts of essential pickleball paddles, and you will eventually find your ideal paddle which suits your hand.
You can also figure out if the paddle is good enough to play and you don’t get any arm, wrist, or elbow weariness.
Make sure the paddle is light enough for you to gain control of it and hit any shot with ease, and also it is cheap and not made of wood.
6. Bad Footwork
Another problem that occurs commonly in pickleball is the poor movement of the foot. It is known that pickleball is a game of motion, and when your move isn’t even up to par, your performance will ultimately crumble.
The biggest and most common example will be a lack of split-step or having no idea when to do it.
If you are unaware of the split step, I will let you know what it is and when to use it.
A split-step is a light hop onto the ball of your feet, which creates a stable position to change direction easily and quickly to hit the ball.
Make this move when you see your opponent is ready to serve the shot.
7. Playing Tight
Another common Pickleball mistake is when players play tight. Playing tight means playing safe and they tend to do it, especially in important games.
If you play tight, you stop yourself from swinging and hitting the shots thrown at you. This also raises tension in one’s mind and body which can cause trouble.
I want you to focus on the right and essential aspects of the game rather than unnecessarily tightening your body up.
8. Low Drop Shots
I have often noticed many pickleball players making the common mistake of playing low-drop shots. You can understand it as in between a drip and drive. Due to this, the opponent conveniently answers this low drop shot and wins a point.
9. Don’t Trap in the Hard Shots
Most players make hard shots at you just for getting good returning a pop-up of the ball. Although you can hit it hard, you prefer soft hands and try blocking the hard shots as much as possible.
To learn more you can read our detailed guide on how to block power shots in Pickleball.
10. Opponent’s Mobility Due to Drinking
You may not have made this pickleball mistake. But, some pickle ballers keep dinking the shots in the same direction and keep their opponents from moving.
So it’s one of the biggest mistakes because in pickleball you have to force your opponent to move to get better control over them.
11. Not Recognizing the Opponent’s Pattern of Playing
It would be good if you early keep an eye on the pattern of your opponent’s playing method. For instance, if you notice that they consistently play forehand shots at you, you should monitor it and start playing accordingly.
Final Thoughts On Common Pickleball Mistakes
As a player myself I have made these common pickleball mistakes but practice my way out of them too. Pickleball is no piece of cake, but it is easier than most sports to learn, and anyone can join it. So, it won’t be difficult for you to overcome these problems if you focus and practice. Good luck!
I am Michael Wanner, an experienced and educated expert in the field of pickleball. I hold a degree in Sports Science from Cleveland State University, Ohio, USA. My expertise lies in the technical aspects of pickleball and how to play it effectively. I have spent many years playing and coaching pickleball and have a wealth of knowledge to share with my readers. I am a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their pickleball skills and strategies.