Pickleball Fundamentals for Beginners: 7 Helpful Tips

Third Shot Blog

By Third Shot Blog

Pickleball, a delightful blend of simplicity and skill, revolves around the fundamental goal of keeping the ball over the net and within the court’s boundaries more effectively than your opponents. To master this engaging sport, certain essential principles must be embraced on the pickleball court. Let’s explore these key pickleball fundamentals:

Agile Footwork & Bent Knees

Although seemingly straightforward, maintaining agile footwork and bent knees is often underestimated and overlooked. Consciously reminding yourself to move your feet and bend your knees can significantly impact your shot execution, leading to surprising improvements in your game.

Focus on the Pickleball & Frontal Strikes

A vital aspect of hitting the pickleball accurately is staying attentive to its movement. Keep your eyes on the ball as it connects with your paddle, disregarding all distractions like opposing players, spectators, or future shots. Executing shots in front of your body enhances your ability to watch the pickleball closely.

“Pickleball Ready” with Raised Paddle

In the fast-paced game of pickleball, readiness is key. Always have your paddle up in front of your body, ensuring you can react swiftly to a fast-moving pickleball. Reducing reaction time by being prepared can make a crucial difference during intense rallies.

Moreover, never let your guard down, assuming the rally is won after a good shot. Anticipate that the pickleball may return and be prepared for it.

A pickleball player prepares for a return of serve on a suburban pickleball court during summer.

Embrace Patience

Patience is a virtue in pickleball. Many players overlook this critical skill, and their haste can cost them points. Avoid rushing the game; instead, choose attackable pickleballs that are at or above the net height. Refrain from engaging with unattackable pickleballs below the net.

Aim for Low Shots (Over the Net)

Keeping the pickleball low while ensuring it clears the net prevents opponents from taking aggressive offensive shots. Be mindful of your paddle angles and shot pace to achieve this balance—maintaining low shots while still keeping the pickleball above the net level.

Communicate Effectively

Communication is the backbone of successful pickleball partnerships. Constantly communicate during rallies and between shots to coordinate strategies and make decisions. Determine who takes middle shots, who handles lobs, and when to let certain shots go out of bounds. Encourage each other with motivating words like “Go partner!” to foster a positive and cooperative environment.

Let Out Balls Go

Sometimes the hardest shot in pickleball is the one you should avoid—the out balls. Train yourself to identify out balls and resist the temptation to hit them. By dodging these shots, you deny your opponents easy points, maintaining the upper hand in the game.

Mastering these essential pickleball fundamentals will undoubtedly elevate your game and bring greater enjoyment to this delightful sport.