Pickleball Fundamentals


Pickleball can be a simple game—keep the pickleball over the net and between the lines of the court one more time than your opponents. And, to accomplish this there are some basic fundamentals that are an absolute must on the pickleball court. These pickleball fundamentals include:

1. Move Your Feet & Bend Your Knees – This sounds simple, but it is more difficult and more neglected than you think. Consciously tell yourself to move your feet and bend your knees. You’d be surprised with the difference in your shot execution!

2. Watch the Pickleball & Hit the Pickleball Out in Front – How can you hit the pickleball if you are not watching it? Watch the pickleball hit your paddle and ignore everything else—the opposing players, spectators, your partner, your next shot, etc. And, to help you watch the pickleball, be sure that you are hitting the pickleball out in front of your body.

3. Be in “Pickleball Ready” with Your Pickleball Paddle Up – The game of pickleball can happen so fast. To give yourself the best chance to react to a fast-moving pickleball, your paddle should be up in front of your body. This will cut down on your reaction time, as it is one less thing to do.

Also, always anticipate that the pickleball will come back! Do not let your guard down because you think you hit a good shot. Expect the pickleball to come back.

4. Stay Patient – Patience is so important in the sport of pickleball. Exercising patience as a player on the pickleball court is a skill that too many players do not have. Many times, the player who first speeds up the pickleball will lose the point, as the counterattack by his or her opponents is better than the initial speed up. So, be patient! Only attack attackable pickleballs at or above the top of the pickleball net, rather than unattackable pickleballs below the net.

5. Keep the Pickleball Low (While Still Over the Net) – A low pickleball will prevent your opponents from being able to go on the offensive with an aggressive shot. So, pay attention to your paddle angles and the pace of your shots in order to keep the pickleball low, but above, the pickleball net.

6. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate – You and your partner should communicate during a rally and between shots. For instance, communicating who takes pickleballs that land in the middle, who is running down the lob, and whether or not to let certain shots go by that will be landing out of bounds. And, don’t forget to communicate strategy and some words of encouragement—like “Go partner!”— between points.

7. Let the Out Balls Go – One of the hardest shots in pickleball is the one that you shouldn’t hit—the out balls! Be on the lookout for out balls! Duck and dodge those out balls, so you do not help your opponents stay in the point.

Master these fundamentals and you will be on your way to better pickleball!

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