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Top 5 Pickleball Mistakes to Avoid in 2024

Strategy & Technique Stacie Townsend 12-12-2023

Although the sport of pickleball was invented over 50 years ago in 1965, the sport, the strategies, the shots, etc. are all constantly evolving. As a result, to stay ahead on the pickleball court it is important to constantly evolve yourself as a player. 

As we prepare to step into a new calendar year, we reflect on the common pitfalls of 2023 in an effort to avoid the same mistakes in 2024 on the pickleball court. This article unveils the top 5 pickleball mistakes to sidestep in the coming year, in an effort to help you elevate your performance on the court. 

Avoid these top 5 pickleball mistakes to up your game in 2024:

  1. Easy Serves: The serve in pickleball is not just a “point starter.” Rather, it is a shot that can give you an advantage from the start of the rally. So, adopt the mindset and pickleball strategy to be aggressive on your serves in order to keep your opponents on their toes. 
  2. Big Backswings: Avoid trying to do “too much” on the pickleball court. Bigger is not always better, and this is true of your pickleball game. In other words, simplify your strokes and avoid unnecessary, elaborate backswings. The goal should be to take short backswings. The more you limit your backswing, the faster reaction time you will have, the more consistent your shots will become, and the more you will be able to disguise your shots on the pickleball court.
  3. Moving and Hitting at the Same Time: Master the split step for better positioning and more effective shots on the pickleball court. In other words, split step prior to hitting the pickleball in order to avoid moving your feet and hitting the pickleball at the same time. Moving and hitting at the same time will cause unnecessary unforced errors, as you will be prone to overrunning the pickleball, missing your contact point, overhitting the pickleball, and other avoidable errors.
  4. Underutilizing the Lob: One of the most underutilized shots on the pickleball court is the lob—and, to be more specific, the offensive lob. The offensive lob is a critical shot that can help push your opponents back in the court to give you more space to win a rally. Embrace offensive lobs strategically for a powerful weapon on the pickleball court.
  5. Stagnation: Too often, we get complacent with where we are at—including where our pickleball game is at. Pickleball is a relatively young sport that is constantly evolving, so it is important to constantly evolve yourself. In other words, in 2024, do not stagnate or become complacent. Rather, find something to work on. For instance, work on your ability to vary speeds and to disguise your different speeds and shots by having the same pre-motion and body language on every shot. Work on your footwork, which will improve every shot on the pickleball court. Work on new strategies, such as “the fade,” the “bait ball,” the “shake and bake,” etc. Stay ahead by actively adding new dimensions to your pickleball play.

From rethinking serves to unleashing the power of offensive lobs, simplifying strokes, perfecting your split step, and embracing a continuous learning mindset, these strategies aim to guide pickleball enthusiasts toward a more successful and rewarding gameplay experience in 2024. Upgrade your skills and outsmart opponents by steering clear of these common pickleball mistakes in 2024.

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