My experience playing Pickelball

Hi Pickleballers,

I’m fairly new to this game but it is easy to see that Pickleball is quickly evolving.  It is getting faster, more powerful and more precise.  Just watch what happens if you hit a return of serve into the middle of the court against a good 4.0 or above player. You will likely find yourself facing a fast, dipping topspin drive that is upon you before you’ve gotten to the non-volley zone leaving you in a vulnerable position.

Even though I have only been playing pickleball for a very short time, I’ve been fortunate to play with and against some excellent players. I’ve noticed that a common trait most of them portray is calmness. This allows them to make better choices. We often have more time than we think we do. Rash decisions and stabbing at balls will cause popups and misses. Move quickly into position, then take your time.

If you want to improve, practice.  There is no aspect of the game that we can’t get better at.  Look for a partner(s) who likes to practice. You can find hundreds of drills online that you can incorporate into your routines to keep things fresh.  If you can’t find a partner to practice with, locate a wall to hit against or set up targets on the court and try to hit them from different positions.  I made a practice wall out of a three foot by six foot board and an old painter’s easel. Also, when you get the chance, play with or against someone better than you. Don’t get too wrapped up in your errors, they will happen, instead pay attention to what the better players around you are doing.

Most importantly, have fun. You just lost 11-0? So what? Everyone who plays this crazy addictive game has and likely will again. Smile, you are on a pickleball court swinging a wiffleball. This is like being a kid again. What could be better?

Wayne Kerr

Picante Pickleball contributor