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4 Tips to Read Before Starting to Play Pickleball

4 Tips to Read Before Starting to Play Pickleball

This post was written by guest blogger Lisa Meyers.

Pickleball, a fun and exciting game, has really swept the nation. With an easy entry point for beginners, you can get started in no time. Here are four important things to consider before starting to play.
  1. Find a good Pickleball Clinic or Instructor: If you have access to a good instructor or instructional program near you it is a great idea to take a few lessons to learn the nuances of the game. Many people come from other racquet sports and think that their experience will enable them to play pickleball. To some extent it will, but learning to play correctly is very important if a player wants to grow with the sport and excel. It’s hard to break bad habits so learn the right way from the beginning.
  2. Invest in a sturdy court shoe. There are many styles that offer both comfort and stability. A court shoe is important because it has a wide, stable base and a heel cup to stabilize the ankle. Some court shoes also have stiff frames on the side for added stability. Court shoes are designed for side-to-side motion, unlike running shoes which are designed for forward motion.

  3. Wear proper eye protection. Proper eye protection will protect the pickleball player from harmful UV rays (both UV-A and UV-B) and will also help prevent pickleball-related eye injuries caused by an overzealous and/or directionally challenged opponent. If you’re playing outside in sunglasses, choose ones designed for sport that fit more snugly and are less likely to break on impact.

  4. Select an appropriate paddle. There are so many choices out there that selecting a paddle can be overwhelming. Here are a few things to consider when purchasing a paddle:

Cost: Paddles can range from $29 -$315. Typically, the cheapest paddles are wooden, and the most expensive are graphite. If your budget allows for it, try to avoid purchasing a wooden pickleball paddle as they are clumsy and offer much poorer performance than the graphite and composite types. Always consider a paddle that you can grow into vs. grow out of.
Grip size: Measure the distance from the bottom lateral crease on your palm (the middle of the three), up to the tip of your ring finger. This measurement will be somewhere between 4 and 5 inches and should be the perfect circumference for your pickleball grip. If your paddle grip is too small you can buy an over grip to wrap on top and make it bigger.
Weight is one of the most important specs to consider when shopping for a pickleball paddle. The heaviness of your paddle influences how hard the ball can be hit, paddle speed through the air, control and placement, and fatigue of the shoulder, elbow and wrist. Paddles will weigh between 7 – 8.5 ounces. Anything in the 7 – 7.6 oz range is considered lightweight, 7.6 – 8.2 oz is considered midweight, and anything greater than 8.2 oz is considered heavyweight.

If possible, try to demo the paddle before buying to make sure it’s right for you. 

Ready to get started? Click here to find places to play near you!

Lisa Meyers is a certified Level 1 Pickleball Instructor. She is currently an instructor at Palm Beach Gardens Tennis and Pickleball Center in PBG Florida. Lisa has been teaching for over 5 years and loves sharing the game with both new and improving players.  She loves the fact that pickleball gets people exercising and creates instant friendships with others who love the sport. If you're in the PBG area and would like to connect with Lisa, you can reach her at LJMeyers64@hotmail.com or 908 472 8094.

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