Pickleball is a game with a name that sounds silly, but matches can be just as intense and competitive as a round of tennis. The more time you put into a sport, the better your skills should become over time. Practice makes perfect, right? Unfortunately, even after months or years of playing, you might find yourself losing more often than usual. These tips for improving your pickleball skills can help you find a solution to end your losing streak.
Communicate With Your Teammate
Keep concise communication between you and your partner at all times. It’s not uncommon for players to get so caught up in planning their own moves they forget to keep consistent communication with their teammate. Getting caught up in the moment is understandable, but a lack of communication can lead to collisions as both teammates race to get the ball.
Likewise, poor communication can cause teammates to assume the other will get the ball, resulting in neither player returning the ball to the opponent. When you and your partner work as a unit instead of individuals, you greatly increase the chances of success on the court.
Keep Your Head In the Game
In this case, keeping your head in the game isn’t just about focusing on your next move—it’s about preparing your body for that next move, too. This is one of the best tips for improving your pickleball skills because it fixes such a common issue. If a player is simply standing around until the ball comes their way, their chances of moving quickly or skillfully enough to return the ball are slim.
While watching the ball and planning your next move, hold your arms and paddle out in front of you, bend your knees slightly, keep your feet shoulder-width apart, and shift your body weight to the balls of your feet. By holding this position, you can more readily run to the pickleball at a moment’s notice.
Retool Your Return of Serve
How you serve the ball is crucial in this game, but so is how you return an opponent’s serve. If you find yourself struggling to get opponents on the ropes, take some time to really study your return of serve techniques. Are your returns too shallow or predictable? These are common issues on the pickleball court.
Once you find the issue with your technique, you can implement better return of serve strategies during futures matches. Sometimes, small adjustments to your strategy can make a big impact on a match’s outcome. A good return of serve can keep opponents away from the kitchen, which is always helpful during a pickleball match.