pickleball tips for beginners

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12 Essential Tips for Beginner Pickleball Players

7 min read

pickleball tips for beginners

Pickleball has taken the sports world by storm, captivating both seasoned athletes and beginners looking for a fun and engaging activity. As a beginner pickleball player, it's essential to understand the foundational tips that can help you excel in this exciting sport.


While every journey into the incredible world of pickleball will be unique, we think these essential tips are an excellent foundation for you to get started. Once you have your footing (no pun intended), you can start to uncover more advanced tips for boosting your game.


Let’s not waste another moment and get right into our list!


Tips for Beginner Pickleball Players


Tip #1 - Relax Your Grip:

When it comes to pickleball, one thing you gotta remember is to keep a chill grip on your paddle. Seriously, don't go all tense and white-knuckled on it!


You'll gain more control and maneuverability on the court by keeping a relaxed grip. Focus on finding a grip that feels just right. You want it to be comfortable, allowing you to swing that paddle naturally and effortlessly. When you loosen that grip, your shots will start hitting their mark with pinpoint accuracy. It's all about that sweet spot.


Tip #2 - Don't Stand in One Space:

Maintaining a dynamic court presence can enhance your defensive skills and help you discover openings to execute strategic shots. Continuously staying in motion and remaining adaptable allows you to promptly adjust your position in response to the evolving game dynamics.


This active court presence will improve your defensive capabilities and provide you with opportunities to execute well-placed shots. Keep your feet moving and be ready to adjust your position as the game unfolds.


Tip #3 - Technique Over Power:

To excel in pickleball, it's crucial to prioritize technique over sheer power. While the temptation to swing forcefully may arise, honing your form and technique will yield superior results in the long haul.


Cultivate a smooth and controlled swing, paying attention to your body positioning, footwork, and paddle angle. Dedicate focused practice sessions to refine your shots, aiming for consistent contact with the paddle's sweet spot. Through this dedicated approach, your shot accuracy, consistency, and overall gameplay will improve.


Tip #4 - Communicate with Your Partner:

For those playing doubles pickleball, effective communication with your partner is crucial to success on the court. Develop clear signals and establish a system to communicate shot selections, strategies, and positioning. Good communication fosters teamwork, avoids confusion, and maximizes your chances of outplaying your opponents.


Keep an open line of communication with your partner throughout the game, discussing tactics, calling shots, and providing encouragement. Working together as a cohesive unit will enhance your overall performance and achieve better results.


Tip #5 - Practice, Practice, Practice:

Regular practice is essential for improving your pickleball skills. Make time for focused practice sessions to work on different aspects of your game, such as serves, volleys, dinks, and returns.


Incorporate drills and exercises that target specific techniques or areas for improvement. Try practicing with players of different skill levels to gain insights and challenge yourself.


Use online tutorials, instructional videos, and local clinics to expand your knowledge and skills. The more you practice, the faster you progress and gain confidence in your abilities.


Tip #6 - Dress to Play:

While pickleball doesn't require elaborate attire, wearing comfortable and appropriate clothing can enhance your playing experience. Opt for breathable fabrics that allow for ease of movement and temperature regulation.


Consider wearing moisture-wicking materials that keep you cool and dry during intense gameplay. Choose shorts or athletic pants that don't restrict your movement and provide comfort. For women, sports bras with adequate support are essential. Select proper footwear that provides cushioning, support, and good traction on the court. Wearing the appropriate attire will allow you to focus on the game without distractions and move confidently.


Tip #7 - Warm Up/Cool Down:

Before diving into a pickleball match, it's essential to warm up your body to prevent injuries and prepare for physical activity. Engage in light cardio exercises, such as jogging or jumping jacks, to increase your heart rate and loosen up your muscles. Incorporate dynamic stretches that target the major muscle groups involved in pickleball, such as your shoulders, arms, legs, and core.


Focus on warm-up exercises that mimic your movements during the game, such as quick side-to-side shuffles and shoulder rotations. After the game, don't forget to cool down with static stretches to improve flexibility and aid in recovery. Cooling down allows your heart rate and breathing to return to normal gradually and prevents muscle soreness.


Tip #8 - Invest in Quality Pickleball Gear:

For beginners, it's wise to invest in high-quality pickleball gear. Start with a paddle that matches your style and skill level. Consider important factors like weight, grip size, and material while choosing your paddle. The weight affects power and control, while the grip size ensures a comfortable hold. Paddles made from graphite or composite materials offer durability and performance. Good gear enhances control, durability, and overall performance on the court. 


Additionally, get comfortable pickleball shoes with ample support and traction to prevent slips and falls. Look for shoes with non-marking soles designed for indoor and outdoor pickleball courts.


Tip #9 - Learn to Add Spin:

Adding spin to your shots can significantly enhance your game and create opportunities for deception and control. Experiment with different types of spin, such as topspin, backspin, and sidespin, to learn how they affect the trajectory and bounce of the ball.


For example, topspin can help you generate more bounce, while backspin can make the ball stay low and difficult to return. Practice these techniques during drills and friendly matches to develop a well-rounded arsenal of shots. Focus on generating spin by adjusting the angle of your paddle and brushing the ball during contact. With practice, you can add spin strategically to your shots, making them more challenging for your opponents.


Tip #10 - Develop 3 Different Serves:

Becoming proficient in various serves is a valuable skill in pickleball. Work on developing at least three different serves to keep your opponent’s guessing and off-balance. Experiment with serves such as the underhand lob, drive serve, or low-power soft serve. Each serve offers unique advantages and can be effective in different situations.


  • The underhand lob is a sneaky defensive serve that catches opponents off guard.
  • The drive serve packs a powerful offensive punch.
  • The low-power soft serve allows for precise control and placement.


Incorporating a repertoire of different serves into your game allows you to dictate the pace and direction of play, giving you a competitive edge over your opponents.


Tip #11 - Hydrate Often:

Staying hydrated is vital for maintaining peak performance during pickleball matches. Keep a water bottle courtside and take regular sips to replenish lost fluids. Hydrating before, during, and after your games will help prevent fatigue, cramping, and other potential performance-limiting issues.


Make it a habit to prioritize proper hydration for optimal gameplay. You may want to consider incorporating sports drinks or electrolyte-rich beverages to replenish lost electrolytes during extended play sessions or matches in hot weather.


Tip #12 - Have Fun!

Above all, remember that pickleball is meant to be an enjoyable experience. Embrace the learning process, celebrate small victories, and maintain a positive mindset. Enjoy the camaraderie with fellow players and relish the friendly competition.


The more fun you have, the more motivated you'll be to continue improving your skills. Celebrate your progress, and don't be too hard on yourself when mistakes happen. Approach each game with a sense of excitement and joy, and you'll find that your enthusiasm translates into improved performance on the court.


Bonus Tip: Start with a Great Paddle


Choosing the right pickleball paddle is crucial for beginners. Consider weight, grip size, and material to find a paddle that suits your preferences and skill level. The right paddle will feel comfortable in your hand, offer control and power, and contribute to an enjoyable playing experience.


We suggest checking out the honeycomb HexCore P-One Elongated pickleball paddle. The carbon fiber mix of materials and easy-grip handle make this an essential paddle for beginners to enjoy. You’ll be able to quickly learn different techniques and skills with a reliable solution to your next game.




As a beginner pickleball player, incorporating these 12 essential tips into your game will set you on the path to improvement and enjoyment. If you still feel overwhelmed, just remember that at the end of the day, it is all about getting some exercise, hanging out with friends, and developing a fun new skill. Good luck, and have fun!