How to Be Good at Pickleball | Tips

Pickleball has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. It’s a fun and fast-paced sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. If you’re looking to improve your pickleball game, there are several tips and strategies that you can employ to become a better player. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best ways to be good at pickleball and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the sport.

How to be good at pickleball 

Understanding the Basics of Pickleball

Pickleball is a sport that is similar to tennis, badminton, and ping pong. The game is played on a court that is 20 feet wide and 44 feet long. The net is hung at a height of 36 inches on each end and 34 inches in the middle. The court is divided into four sections, with the two sections closest to the net being called the "kitchen."

The game can be played with either two or four players. If played with two players, it is called singles, and if played with four players, it is called doubles. Each player has a paddle that they use to hit a small plastic ball (the pickleball) over the net and onto the opponent's side of the court.

The game begins with the serve, which is hit underhanded from behind the baseline. The serve must clear the net and land within the opponent's service court. If the serve lands outside of the service court or touches the net, it is considered a fault.

Once the serve is made, the game is played similarly to tennis, with each player or team hitting the ball back and forth until one side fails to return the ball or hits it out of bounds. Points are only scored by the serving side, and the game is typically played to 11 points, with a two-point advantage required to win.

The game of pickleball is known for its fast-paced action and requires quick reflexes and good hand-eye coordination. It also involves a lot of movement around the court, so it's important to have good footwork and be able to move quickly and efficiently.

Tips for Being Good at Pickleball

Now that you understand the basics of pickleball, let’s explore some tips for being good at the sport.

Tip 1: Focus on Your Footwork

One of the most important aspects of pickleball is footwork. Good footwork allows you to move quickly and efficiently around the court, enabling you to reach shots that you might not have otherwise been able to get to. Practice moving your feet quickly and efficiently, and always try to stay on the balls of your feet to be ready to move in any direction.

Tip 2: Practice Your Serve

The serve is one of the most important shots in pickleball, as it’s the shot that starts every point. Practice your serve regularly to improve your accuracy and consistency. Experiment with different types of serves, such as the lob serve, the drive serve, and the spin serve, to see which works best for you.

Tip 3: Communicate with Your Partner

If you’re playing doubles, communication with your partner is crucial. Make sure that you and your partner have a clear understanding of who is responsible for which shots, and be vocal about where you’re positioning yourself on the court. Good communication can prevent confusion and errors that could cost you points.

Tip 4: Vary Your Shots 

Don’t be predictable with your shots. Mix up your shots by hitting the ball hard, soft, and with different spins. This can keep your opponents guessing and make it more difficult for them to anticipate your shots.

Tip 5: Work on Your Volley

The volley is a shot that’s hit before the ball bounces on the ground. Good volley skills can allow you to put more pressure on your opponents and end points quickly. Practice your volleys regularly to improve your technique and consistency.

Tip 6: Learn the Spin Serve

A spin serve can be an effective tool for surprising your opponents and winning points. To execute a spin serve, toss the ball high in the air and hit it with a spin motion. The spin on the ball can cause it to bounce unpredictably and make it difficult for your opponents to return.

Tip 7: Anticipate Your Opponent's Shots

To be a good pickleball player, you need to be able to anticipate your opponent's shots. Watch your opponent's body language and the position of their paddle to get an idea of where they might hit the ball. This can give you a split second advantage to move into position and prepare for their shot.

Tip 8: Master the Third Shot Drop

The third shot drop is a shot that's used to set up a more offensive shot. To execute a third shot drop, hit the ball high and softly so that it lands just over the net and drops into the opponent's kitchen (the area closest to the net). This shot can be difficult to execute, but if done well, it can give you the upper hand in the point.

Tip 9: Be Patient

Pickleball is a game of strategy, and it's important to be patient and wait for the right shot. Don't try to force a shot or rush the point. Take your time, wait for your opponent to make a mistake or hit a weak shot, and then take advantage of the opportunity.

Tip 10: Practice, Practice, Practice

The key to being good at pickleball (or any sport, for that matter) is to practice regularly. Make time to play pickleball as often as you can, whether it's with friends, at a local club, or in a league. The more you play, the more comfortable you'll become with the sport and the better you'll get.

In addition to these tips, it's important to remember that being good at pickleball also requires good sportsmanship and a positive attitude. Remember to have fun, be respectful to your opponents, and enjoy the game. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Now, let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions about pickleball.

What Equipment Do I Need to Play Pickleball?

To play pickleball, you’ll need a pickleball paddle, a pickleball, and a pickleball court. You can purchase these items online or at your local sporting goods store.

What Are the Rules of Pickleball?

The rules of pickleball are similar to those of tennis. Points are scored when a player or team fails to return the ball or hits it out of bounds. The game is typically played to 11 points, and you must win by two points.

Is Pickleball a Good Workout?

Yes, pickleball can be a great workout. It combines elements of cardio and strength training, as well as balance and coordination.

What Are the Health Benefits of Playing Pickleball?

Playing pickleball can have several health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, increased muscle strength and endurance, and better hand-eye coordination. It can also be a great way to improve your balance and flexibility.

How Do I Find Pickleball Courts Near Me?

You can find pickleball courts near you by using online directories or apps, such as the USA Pickleball Association’s court finder tool. You can also check with your local parks and recreation department or community center to see if they offer pickleball courts.

Can Pickleball Be Played Indoors?

Yes, pickleball can be played indoors or outdoors. Indoor courts are typically played on a gymnasium floor, while outdoor courts are typically made of concrete or asphalt.

Is Pickleball a Social Sport?

Yes, pickleball can be a social sport. Many players enjoy the social aspect of the game and the opportunity to meet new people and make friends.

How Can I Improve My Pickleball Skills?

To improve your pickleball skills, practice regularly and focus on the areas where you need the most improvement. Work on your footwork, serve, volley, and communication with your partner. Consider taking lessons from a qualified instructor or attending clinics and workshops to learn new techniques and strategies.

What Are Some Common Mistakes to Avoid in Pickleball?

Common mistakes in pickleball include standing too far back from the net, not moving your feet enough, being too predictable with your shots, and not communicating effectively with your partner. Work on avoiding these mistakes to improve your game.

Can I Play Pickleball If I’m Not Very Athletic?

Yes, pickleball can be played by people of all ages and skill levels. It’s a great way to get exercise and have fun, even if you’re not particularly athletic. Start by playing at a beginner level and gradually work your way up as you improve your skills.


Pickleball is a great sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. By following these tips and strategies and learning more about the sport, you can improve your pickleball skills and become a better player. Whether you’re playing for fun or competition, pickleball is a great way to get exercise, socialize, and have fun.

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