Common Pickleball Mistakes New Players Make + Tips on How to Avoid Them.

Think you've got pickleball all figured out after a few games? Not so fast! 

Pickleball may seem easy, but there's a lot of technique that goes into winning a game. Even pickleball pros make their fair share of blunders, too! The good news? Addressing common pickleball mistakes early will help accelerate your skills. Even better – we’ll spill the beans on what they are so you can dodge these pitfalls like a pro. Ready to dive into the 5 common pickleball mistakes beginners make? Let’s go!  

Mistake #1: Incorrect Paddle Grip

What is the number 1 mistake beginner pickleball players make? Your paddle grip can make or break your game. Many new players make the mistake of gripping the paddle too tightly, which is usually the main cause of fatigue during games. On the other hand, a loose grip may cause the paddle to wobble and may result in inconsistent shots. Practice holding the paddle with a relaxed but firm grip. Your fingers should wrap around the handle comfortably, and your wrist should remain flexible. If you think your grip is still too loose or tight, try changing paddles. A different grip size might feel more comfortable in your hand. 

Mistake #2: Neglecting Footwork 

Footwork is another aspect where new players falter. Not utilizing a split step or even mistiming it can hinder your movement. Worse, it can affect your balance. Practice split stepping so you can swiftly move in any direction. Proper footwork translates to better court coverage and quicker reaction time.

Mistake #3: Backswing is Too Long

Do you often hit deep returns that sail long? If so, you’re probably using a backswing that’s too long.  But the solution is easy: limit your backswing. Shortening your stroke will give you more control over shot placement. If you find this difficult at first, try your backswing next to a wall.  

Mistake #4: Forgetting About the Basics  

The basics are the basics for a reason: they are fundamental to the game. And yet, many newbies tend to forget about them.  But it’s totally understandable. Playing pickleball the right way takes quite some time to master.  Now, if there’s anything you need to master before moving to more advanced techniques, these are serve, return, and consistency. 

Mistake #5: Attacking from Below the Net

It’s tempting to hit every ball on your side of the net, but trying to attack from below is often a beginner’s mistake. The ball’s trajectory under the net is lower – and most of the time, it’s only the pros who can pull off that kind of shot.  So, instead of forcing a shot from below the net, wait for that perfect opportunity to execute the best forehand slam.  

Final Thoughts 

Mastering pickleball takes practice, but knowing these 5 common pickleball mistakes beginners make will set you up for success faster. Don’t expect perfection right away. Like any sport, perfect execution of shots requires quality repetition and practice. Be patient with yourself, and remember that even the pros were beginners once, too.  There you have it – five common mistakes pickleball newbies make and tips to avoid them. With the right paddle grip, footwork, and stroke technique, you’ll be smashing volleys in no time.  

Now get out there and show that pickleball court who’s boss!