Common Pickleball Mistakes New Players Make

Pickleball has definitely gained traction in the US over the last few years, so there are quite a few new players on the courts. Just like with every new skill, you may be making a few mistakes as you practice. Our team at Pickleball Court supply has created a list of common mistakes new pickleball players make. Focus on eliminating these pickleball mistakes from your game and you'll be a much more effective pickleball player!

1. Hitting to the opponent’s forehand

One of the foundational concepts to learn in pickleball is to let your opponent make the mistakes. Many games are won just by your opponent doing all the work for you. However, don’t make it easy for them by hitting to their forehand. Instead, make it hard by hitting their backhand. Most pickleball players are weaker with their backhand than their forehand. This doesn’t mean that everyone is, though, so you'll need to handle each game differently. There are a few important shots that you’ll want to practice. They are the serve, the third shot drop, and the cross-court dink. Focus on hitting to the opponent’s backhand on these shots and it will improve your pickleball game significantly.

2. Focusing on power vs. placement 

Hitting the ball as hard as possible can be a fun part of pickleball. Unfortunately, this strategy doesn’t always work very well. By their nature, power shots are unruly and unpredictable. One of the things that can make them effective against an opponent is how fast and random they are. When your opponent is winding up a huge swing at you, it can be a bit jarring figuring out where the ball is going to go. This can be an advantage, but also a disadvantage. Power shots such as the third-shot drive can easily go into the net or out the baseline. Also, the third-shot drives may not work on advanced pickleball players. At this point in their game, they have seen and blocked so many power shots that it just doesn’t work on them anymore. If you hit a third shot drive at an advanced player, they will simply block it into the kitchen and there’s nothing that you can do about it. I’m not saying that power isn’t useful. Quite the contrary. What I’m saying is that it’s not used all the time, and it should never be replaced with proper placement. Instead, try using third-shot drives and other power shots as a tool and not a shot to strive for consistently. Try to remember, a shot with a normal pace that is well placed can be more effective than going for power!

3. Going for the fancy spin moves

There’s nothing wrong with using spin shots every now and then, but using them all the time is probably going to lead to more mistakes, especially for newer players. Spin shots don’t usually work very well on advanced players because they understand them and have played against them so much. The problem with most spin shots is that they take a lot of skill and accuracy to pull off, which most newbies simply haven't developed yet. Remember, winning in pickleball is about consistency, persistence, and strategy, not as much about trickery. It’s not that you should never put a spin on any of your shots, but it needs to be used intelligently. Spin shots can be devastating, but they should be used as a tool and not a regular shot you’re too focused on.

4. Playing with a paddle that doesn’t compliment you

Playing with a paddle that doesn’t fit your game is a huge mistake. Just like other paddle sports, there are many different kinds of pickleball paddles and they are not one-size-fits-all. Upgrading to a higher quality paddle can also help immensely. If you’re using a paddle that works well for you, you should know because you won’t get any serious wrist, elbow, or arm fatigue and the paddle is light enough to give you speed but heavy enough to get power. What makes a paddle heavy or light is going to depend on your personal strength. The most important factor in choosing a pickleball paddle is weight. Try to use other people’s paddles and find out how the differences in weight affect your experience. Try light paddles, heavy paddles, and everything in between until you get a good feel for what you like. Just getting the proper weight paddle for you will make an enormous difference in your game

Up Your Pickleball Game With Supplies From The Industry Leaders: Pickleball Court Supply

Understanding the most common errors new pickleball players make is step one to correcting them. Having the right equipment and supplies is step two. PCS stocks all kinds of pickleball items that you need to play your best game ever. Browse our selection online to find all the supplies you need whether you are a player, coach, or pickleball court owner.