Beginner Pickleball: Tips and Tricks for Beginner Pickleball Players Who Want to Master the Game

Are you trying to become better at pickleball? Mastering a few beginner pickleball tips and tricks will improve how you play. Besides, you’ll become more confident when playing against an experienced player. 

This guide will teach you strategies to improve your serves and offer tricks to get you to the intermediary level. So, buckle up; let’s learn how to prepare for your next play with these eleven tips and tricks!

  1. Respect the Net

Most beginner pickleball players aim for shots too close to the net and must pay attention to the margin of error. Unfortunately, this approach often leads to hitting the net, which violates a crucial pickleball rule — respect the net. 

When a pickleball loses speed, it drops straight down. Therefore, aim slightly higher over the net. Aiming higher keeps you on point, but hitting the net ends the point immediately. So, whether executing a dink, a drive, or a drop shot, always hit the ball higher to keep yourself in the game.  

beginner pickleball
  1. Serve Properly

Did you know you could win off a point from your serves? Although there are a lot of rules about serving in pickleball, this trick involves how powerful your serve should be. 

As a beginner, you may find yourself grappling with whether to make aggressive or more conservative serves. To address this dilemma, it is essential to consider your opponent. 

A powerful serve is worthwhile when playing against players who struggle to return them effectively. However, if your opponent is more experienced, consider conservative serves. 

Assess your opponent’s response early in the game and adjust your serving strategy. If they struggle with hard serves, continue employing them. Conversely, if your opponent handles powerful serves well, switch to conservative ones since they prioritize consistency. 

  1. Serve Deep 

Once you’ve known when to make powerful or slow serves, the next trick you need to learn is to serve deep. A deep serve involves hitting the ball behind the baseline but within the court. When properly executed, a deep serve will make it hard for your opponent to make a strong return. Deep serves reduce your opponent’s response time since they must go to the baseline to hit the ball.

If your opponent is back at the baseline and has low mobility, do a drop shot into the kitchen. The player will have trouble moving from the baseline to the kitchen fast enough to hit the ball. So, use your serves to get ahead in the game.  

Once you make a deep serve, return to the kitchen line. Now, you have an advantage over your opponent. Your opponent is deep.  

  1. Switch shots as an Attack Strategy

Another trick for beginner pickleball to add to your list is switching shots from one opponent to another. It’s an effective strategy when you are playing in teams. 

Here’s how it works: if you’re in a rally with player A, their partner is probably standing there. If player A sends you a slower shot, it’s a great chance to aim your next shot directly at their partner. So, you start with cross-court shots and make a sudden accelerated shot toward player B, giving them less time to react.

  1. Be Patient  

Pickleball is a game of strategy that demands patience. As a beginner player, you may be tempted to go for big shots, but pickleball requires you to make intelligent decisions. Besides, playing conservatively is the way to go. 

So, consider increasing your patience and waiting for your opponents to make mistakes. You must learn to remain patient early in your pickleball journey. However, some instances require you to seize the right opportunities. For example, when you are in the kitchen and receive a slow ball, that’s a cue to attack. Capitalize on such opportunities to win against experienced players. 

  1. Attack the Right Balls

Another crucial trick is to know and attack the right balls. Pickleball is a game that demands you remain calm and execute your moves strategically. However, many players either wrongfully make strong shots or miss opportunities to attack.

First, understand that you don’t have to hit hard shots to keep the rallying going. Hit the ball where your opponent won’t easily reach. For instance, if your opponent is in the kitchen, shoot the ball in the baseline but within the court. Conversely, aim for the kitchen if they are in the baseline area. 

Secondly, anticipate your opponents’ moves. If your partner is farther back, your opponent will likely shoot the ball at the back. In this situation, make a smart move called the poach, which involves crossing over and intercepting the ball. Using strategic moves control the game and win more points. 

  1. Expect Speedups

If you want to win a pickleball game, anticipate powerful shots, drop shots, deep serves, etc., because your opponent is in it to win, too. This mental hack involves expecting your partner to make a faster shot even if they’re hitting soft dinks. That way, you can respond in time. 

So, how do you mentally prepare yourself for speedups? Stand with your paddle at eye level (not above eye level) and pay close attention to your opponent’s paddle movements. You have enough time to react if you see them preparing for a faster shot. Give this strategy a try in your next play.

  1. Learn from your Mistakes

Watching videos of people playing pickleball and reading rules are part of knowing pickleball. However, for beginner pickleball players, playing pickleball is crucial since it helps you understand its intricacies. 

Besides, for a game where opponents win by making fewer errors, there are several ways you could mess up. For instance, did you know that your serve can’t land in the kitchen area, or you can’t volley in the kitchen? Understanding pickleball rules will require spending more time on the court. 

So be open to making and learning from your mistakes early on. These errors will improve your knowledge of the game – where to stand, how to defend, where to serve, tricks your opponents could use, how to move, etc.  

  1. Breathe, Balance, Believe

Breathe, balance, and belief are crucial mantras beginner pickleball players should learn. When players get so excited, they hold their breath or take attack shots without a strategy. Lack of confidence also cramps your muscles, preventing you from running well across the court. 

However, practice staying calm and confident throughout the game. When you feel tense, take a breath and widen your stance. Then, kick your leg or swing your arms to remind yourself to relax. Besides, playing often and enhancing your pickleball skills will build your confidence.

  1. Get the Right Clothes and Shoes

Wearing appropriate clothes and shoes for the game will significantly improve your game. You don’t want to heat up like a sauna on the court because your fabric is trapping a pool of sweat.

Opt for sports wear such as tanks, polos, tennis skirts, and athletic shorts and pants. Consider the clothing’s fabric since pickleball is an intense game. For instance, polyester is sweat-wrinkling and breathable, making it perfect for pickleball.

Lastly, wear the right shoes on the court! Tennis shoes are ideal because of their excellent grip on the court.

  1. Don’t Rush  

There must be more than watching videos of pro pickleball players to make you a pro. Pro pickleballers make shots and attacks that may look easy, but you must practice to improve the game. Learning advanced moves before understanding the basics of pickleball doesn’t translate well in a beginner’s court. 

While you see terrific moves and tricks at the pro level, remember that precision, control, and timing take practice. Besides, some advanced moves require experience and proper form, and executing them with little experience may cause injuries. So, learn basic drills and pickleball rules before advancing your skills.  

  1. Stretch Before a Game  

Whether it is reaching for the ball or making powerful shots, pickleball is a game that depends on your flexibility and mobility. Stretching before a game will significantly improve your performance and resilience.

Some examples of stretching exercises to do before the pickleball game include: 

●     Jumping jacks- Jumping jacks or star jumps increase your blood flow and endurance throughout the game. Jump with your legs wide open and your hands moving overhead to make a clap. Then, return to a position where your feet are together with your hands on the sides.

●     Butt kicks- Butt kicks target your leg muscles (quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves) and knees. Lift each heel toward your glute as you stand, then return to standing.  

●     Knee lifts- Stand in position, lift your right knee toward your chest, and place it back down. Perform the same movements with your left knee. These movements will enhance your knee mobility.

●     Shadowing- Mimick motions you make in the game to prepare yourself mentally and physically.  

●     Jumping ropes: If you don’t enjoy skipping ropes, you can jog on the spot while moving your arms in circles from front to back and vice versa.

Elevate your game with Pickleball Pit

Pickleball is a game that is perfect for beginners since it’s easy to learn. You’ll become a better player by staying calm and patient, learning from your mistakes, and making smart moves.

At Pickleball Pit, we provide a hub of information about pickleball and how to improve your game. We offer a place for all Pickleball lovers to learn and connect.

Hungry for more pickleball tips? Follow us for more information.

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