Pickleball, often described as a blend of tennis, badminton, and table tennis, is gaining popularity worldwide due to its simplicity and accessibility. However, while the game may seem easy to learn, there are nuances that can elude beginners. To help you successfully navigate the waters of pickleball, we've compiled a list of five common mistakes that new players often make, along with detailed tips on how to correct them.

  1. Choosing the Right Paddle: When starting out in pickleball, choosing the right paddle may seem inconsequential, but it's actually a crucial element for your progression in the game. Pickleball paddles vary in weight, size, and materials, and finding the one that best suits your playing style can make all the difference. Lighter paddles are generally more maneuverable, while heavier paddles offer more power. Experiment with different paddles to determine which one works best for you, and don't hesitate to invest in a higher-quality paddle when the opportunity arises.

  2. Avoiding Crossing the Baseline After Serving: A common mistake beginners make in pickleball is crossing the baseline after serving. While it may be tempting to move closer to the net to gain an advantage, it's important to stay behind the baseline until the ball is in play. Crossing the baseline prematurely risks committing a foot fault, resulting in the loss of the point. To avoid this error, focus on maintaining a stable and balanced position behind the baseline until the ball is in play.

  3. Steering Clear of 'No Man's Land': Another common mistake among beginners is lingering in what's known as 'no man's land'—the area between the baseline and the net. By staying in this zone, you expose yourself to difficult-to-handle shots and unfavorable shot angles. To improve your game, focus on moving forward after serving and returning serve to occupy a dominant position near the net. By moving closer to the net, you'll reduce your opponent's shot angle and increase your chances of scoring points.

  4. Using Power Wisely: Many pickleball beginners tend to adopt an 'all or nothing' approach by hitting the ball as hard as possible on every occasion. However, this strategy can often backfire, especially at higher levels of play. Instead of seeking raw power, focus on precision and placement with your shots. By using controlled and well-placed shots, you'll be able to maintain pressure on your opponents and score points more effectively.

  5. Avoiding Net Errors: A common issue among many beginners is hitting the ball into the net when at the net line. Instead of attempting a powerful smash that risks ending up in the net, try taking a more subtle approach by pushing the ball in the direction you want it to go. By using a controlled pushing technique, you'll increase your chances of clearing the net and scoring points.

By avoiding these five common mistakes and following the provided tips, you'll be well on your way to improving your pickleball game and reaching new heights on the court. Whether you're an absolute beginner or an experienced player, there's always room for improvement in the exciting world of pickleball. So grab your paddle, lace up your sneakers, and get ready to take on the challenge!