Pickleball is a fun and exciting sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. However, even experienced players can make mistakes that can cost them points or even games. In this article, we’ll go over 7 of the most common pickleball mistakes and give you tips from the pros on how to avoid them.
MISTAKE #1: Holding the Paddle Too Tightly
One of the most common mistakes that beginners make is holding the paddle too tightly. This can cause a number of problems, including decreased control and power. To avoid this mistake, try relaxing your grip and holding the paddle more loosely. You should also focus on using your wrist to generate power, rather than relying on arm strength.
Tips for Improving Your Paddle Grip and Control
|Relax your grip:||Instead of gripping the paddle tightly, try to hold it more loosely. This will help you maintain better control and generate more power in your shots.|
|Focus on using your wrist:||Instead of relying on your arm strength, use your wrist to generate power. This will help you make more precise shots and reduce the strain on your arm muscles.|
|Practice with different grips:||Experiment with different grips to find one that feels comfortable and allows you to maintain good control over the paddle.|
|Take breaks:||If you feel your grip tightening during a game, take a short break to shake out your hand and loosen your grip before continuing.|
MISTAKE #2: Not Using Your Non-Dominant Hand
Another common mistake is not using your non-dominant hand. Your non-dominant hand plays an important role in stabilizing the paddle and helping you maintain control over your shots. Make sure to keep your non-dominant hand on the paddle at all times and use it to guide your shots.
Tips for using your non-dominant hand
Try incorporating it into your gameplay during practice sessions. Start by focusing on holding the paddle with both hands, with your non-dominant hand playing a supporting role. Gradually increase the use of your non-dominant hand in shots and maneuvers until it becomes second nature. You can also try drills specifically designed to improve your non-dominant hand skills. Additionally, make sure to stay mindful during gameplay and consciously use your non-dominant hand to stabilize the paddle and improve control over your shots. With practice and dedication, using your non-dominant hand will become a natural part of your gameplay and help you avoid this common pickleball mistake.
MISTAKE #3: Standing Too Close to the Net
Standing too close to the net is a mistake that can lead to missed shots and lost points. When you’re at the net, you should aim to stand about an arm’s length away from it. This will give you enough space to react to incoming shots and make plays.
Tips for Maintaining a Safe Distance from the Net
By keeping these tips in mind and practicing regularly, you can improve your positioning and avoid standing too close to the net in pickleball.
|Practice maintaining a safe distance:||During your training sessions, practice standing at a safe distance from the net. Make it a habit to check your position frequently during a game.|
|Be aware of your opponent’s shots:||Stay alert and watch for your opponent’s shots. If they’re hitting a lot of drop shots or lobs, you may need to adjust your position accordingly.|
|Communicate with your partner:||If you’re playing doubles, make sure to communicate with your partner and coordinate your movements. This can help you avoid collisions and keep a safe distance from the net.|
|Develop your footwork:||Work on your footwork and practice moving quickly around the court. This can help you quickly adjust your position and avoid standing too close to the net.|
MISTAKE #4: Not Moving Your Feet
Pickleball is a fast-paced sport that requires quick reflexes and agility. Not moving your feet is a mistake that can leave you flat-footed and unable to make plays. Make sure to stay light on your feet and be ready to move at all times.
Tips to Improve Footwork and Court Coverage
You should practice footwork drills to improve your speed and agility. Additionally, always stay alert and focused on the game, so you are ready to move quickly and make plays. It’s also helpful to position yourself in the right spot on the court, anticipating where the ball is likely to go, so you can be in a position to make a play. Finally, practice good court coverage with your partner, so you are both in the right position to make plays and move efficiently.
Not Keeping Your Eye on the Ball Keeping your eye on the ball is crucial in pickleball. Not doing so can lead to missed shots and lost points. Make sure to watch the ball closely and focus on hitting it in the direction you want it to go.
How to avoid it?
It is important to stay focused and attentive throughout the game. Here are a few tips to help you improve your focus and avoid this mistake:
- Stay relaxed: Tension and stress can lead to a lack of focus. Take a deep breath and try to stay relaxed and calm during the game.
- Anticipate the ball: Try to anticipate where the ball is going to be before it arrives. This will help you position yourself correctly and make a better shot.
- Use your peripheral vision: Don’t just focus on the ball, use your peripheral vision to keep track of your opponent and the rest of the court.
- Practice eye exercises: There are a number of eye exercises you can do to improve your eye-hand coordination and focus. Try practicing some of these exercises to improve your vision and reduce eye strain.
By following these tips and practicing regularly, you can avoid the mistake of not keeping your eye on the ball and improve your performance on the court.
MISTAKE #6: Overreaching for Shots
Overreaching for shots is a mistake that can lead to injury and missed shots. When reaching for shots, make sure to keep your balance and avoid leaning too far forward. If you can’t reach a shot, let it go and focus on getting into position for the next one.
Tips to Avoid Overreaching for Shots
You should focus on positioning yourself properly on the court. It’s important to anticipate where the ball is going and move into position to make the shot, rather than trying to reach for a ball that’s too far away.
Additionally, you should work on maintaining good balance while making shots. This means keeping your feet shoulder-width apart, bending your knees slightly, and keeping your weight evenly distributed on both feet. This will help you avoid leaning too far forward and losing balance while making shots.
Finally, remember that it’s better to let a shot go if you can’t reach it than to risk injury or miss the shot altogether. By focusing on good positioning, balance, and shot selection, you can avoid overreaching for shots and improve your overall game.
MISTAKE #7: Not Communicating with Your Partner
Pickleball is a doubles sport, which means that communication with your partner is key. Not communicating can lead to confusion and missed opportunities. Make sure to talk to your partner and let them know where you are on the court and what shots you plan to make.
Tips for Effective Communication with Your Partner
- Establish a communication system: Before you start playing, agree with your partner on a communication system that works for both of you. This can be verbal cues, hand signals, or a combination of both.
- Stay aware of your partner’s position: Keep an eye on your partner’s position on the court and communicate with them if they need to move or change positions.
- Be clear and concise: When communicating with your partner, be clear and concise about your intentions. Use simple language and avoid confusing terminology.
- Listen to your partner: Communication is a two-way street, so make sure to listen to your partner’s cues as well. If they’re signaling for you to move, respond appropriately.
- Practice together: To improve your communication skills, practice playing with your partner regularly. This will help you build trust and develop a better understanding of each other’s playing style.
pro tips to help you improve your pickleball game
- Relax your grip: Hold the paddle more loosely and use your wrist to generate power instead of relying on your arm strength.
- Incorporate your non-dominant hand into your gameplay: Start by using it as a supporting role and gradually increase its use in shots and maneuvers until it becomes second nature.
- Maintain a safe distance from the net: Stand about an arm’s length away from the net, be aware of your opponent’s shots, communicate with your partner, and develop your footwork.
- Improve your footwork and court coverage: Practice footwork drills, anticipate where the ball is likely to go, and position yourself in the right spot on the court.
- Keep your eye on the ball: Anticipate the ball, use your peripheral vision, stay relaxed, and practice eye exercises.
- Avoid overreaching for shots: Keep your balance, avoid leaning too far forward, and focus on getting into position for the next shot.
By avoiding these 7 common pickleball mistakes, you can improve your game and increase your chances of winning. Remember to relax your grip, use your non-dominant hand, stand at the right distance from the net, move your feet, keep your eye on the ball, avoid overreaching for shots, and communicate with your partner. With practice and dedication, you can become a skilled and successful pickleball player.