Pickleball: 5 Tips for Transitioning to it from Tennis

Pickleball is an exciting and fast-growing sport that has been gaining popularity. It can be a great option for those looking for a fun and challenging alternative to tennis.

Many players playing pickleball professionally came from a tennis background and followed these tips for going from playing tennis to pickleball. Follow on for Pickleball: 5 Tips for Transitioning to it from Tennis!

1. Back to Basics

While pickleball may look like tennis, they are different in many ways. For starters, the courts between the two sports are massively different. The pickleball court is about half the size of a tennis court, which is why pickleball has grown in popularity. People of all ages and athletic abilities can play well with less ground to cover.

The rules have some commonalities between the two sports: however, pickleball has a few things that tennis doesn’t. The most notable being “the kitchen.” This area, otherwise known as the non-volley zone, is in front of each side of the net and prohibits picklers from entering to score a point. Because the court is half the size, playing on top of the net would be too easy for advanced picklers, thus leading to the creation of the zone.

2. Adjust Your Technique

While previous experience playing on a court can aid the transition, your tennis techniques won’t necessarily work well in pickleball. For example, pickleball requires more wrist action and a shorter backswing.

Those skills are useful in tennis but not necessarily a priority, causing you to reevaluate your style and adjust accordingly. You must practice the new techniques to get a feel for the speed and feel of pickleball to establish muscle memory.

3. Fleet of Foot

You must be extremely light on your feet to dominate on the pickleball court. Shuffling, sidestepping, and running forward and backward are all part of the game. Tennis players often use long strides, but short, quick steps are more efficient in pickleball. Practice agility drills to improve your footwork and get used to the new movements.

4. Play With Others

Once you understand the basics, it’s time to start playing with other pickleball players. Since the sport’s community is rapidly growing, finding others who want to play shouldn’t be too difficult.

Pickleball communities and clubs are very welcoming, and you’ll find players of all skill levels. Playing with other players is the best way to improve your game and learn from others. You’ll also meet new friends and have fun along the way!

5. Invest in the Equipment

Tennis players will need to get some pickleball-specific equipment. One major difference between them is the paddle. Pickleball paddles are much smaller and more lightweight compared to tennis rackets. The ball used in pickleball is also different, so you may need to invest in a few pickleball balls.

A good pair of pickleball shoes is also beneficial. Additionally, you should find a pickleball bag with all the features to keep your items safe and secure.

Learning these tips for transitioning from playing tennis to pickleball takes time, patience, and practice. Remember to take it slow and focus on understanding the basics before jumping into the game. Have fun, meet new people, and enjoy a new sport that challenges your physical and mental capabilities.

Jennifer Dawson

Jennifer Dawson is an experienced freelance writer who specializes in food and nutrition. Working in fitness marketing previously gave her a good feel for the industry and since going freelance she has been able to explore her preferred topic areas such as diet types, nutrition and food. Outside of work, Jen enjoys traveling, swimming and spending time with her young family.

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