Ultimate Guide to Pickleball for Beginners

Pickleball for Beginners: How to Get Started (Ultimate Guide)

Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in America. As fun and social way to stay active, this new and exciting hybrid of paddle sports catches on like wildfire among older adults and youth. 

If you’ve ever wanted to try a new sport but didn’t know where to start, here’s everything you need to know about pickleball for beginners. This article will explain what pickleball is, why it’s so popular right now, and how you can get started playing!

What is pickleball?

Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis. It was created in the 1960s to keep children active and entertained. The sport has been gaining popularity, especially among retirees and middle-aged people. 

While the game is easy to learn, it can become a fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players.

A pickleball court is about the same size as a badminton court. Courts for pickleball can either be built specifically for the sport or converted from tennis or badminton courts. You can play pickleball both indoors and outdoors.

Whether you want to play singles or doubles, you can use a paddle and a plastic ball with holes to play this game.

Person playing pickleball, one of the fastest growing racket sports.

Why is pickleball so popular right now?

There are several reasons for its growing popularity. First, pickleball is a relatively easy sport to learn. Unlike other racket sports such as tennis or squash, pickleball can be picked up fairly quickly by people of all ages and skill levels.

Also, pickleball is very social and inclusive, so people enjoy playing it with friends and family.

Last but not least, pickleball is a great way to exercise. Despite being low-impact, the sport still provides a great workout. Because pickleball is so much fun, you’ll be motivated to stay active for a long time.

How to play pickleball for beginners

Pickleball basics are easy to learn, even if you have never played racquet sports. Keep reading to learn how you can start learning to play pickleball.

Finding a pickleball mentor

Finding a pickleball mentor can be a great way to get started in the sport. Having someone to explain pickleball 101 and guide you through the basics of the game can help you feel more comfortable. You can also learn from their experience. 

Learning about different play styles and discovering which suits your strengths and weaknesses best is also possible. Try joining a pickleball club if you don’t have anyone to turn to and want to meet other new players. As well as interacting with people who are already involved in the sport, you will be able to learn some techniques from them.

Pickleball mentors can be found in a variety of ways. One option is to ask your friends or family members if they know anyone who can assist you. Another option is to search online for local pickleball groups or organizations. Lastly, you might be able to find a mentor in an online forum.

Learn the basic rules of pickleball

You need to know some basic rules before you start playing pickleball. The rules of pickleball are pretty simple and easy to follow. 

The court measures 20 feet wide by 44 feet long and has a 36-inch net in the center.

The game begins with one player from each team serving the ball diagonally into the other team’s court. The serve must be underhand and must bounce once before it can be hit by the other team. 

The team that did not serve the ball will then hit the ball back over the net, and the rally continues until one team fails to hit the ball back over the net, hits the ball out of bounds, or hits the ball into the net. When these things happen, the other team will score a point.

Typically, in beginner pickleball, the game is played to 11 points, but if it reaches 10-10, it will continue until one team has a two-point lead.

To learn more about pickleball rules, check out our in-depth guide.

What you need to play the game

Getting started with pickleball is easy since it doesn’t require much equipment. Here’s the pickleball equipment you need to play the game.

Pickleball paddle

You’ll need a paddle, usually made of wood or composite material to get started. Paddles have flat hitting surfaces with ridges or raised areas. According to the pickleball rules, the paddle must also be within a specific size and weight.

To play pickleball you need to get a pickleball paddle

When choosing a pickleball paddle, there are many factors to consider. For pickleball beginners, we recommend getting a lightweight paddle that is easy to play.

Pickleball shoes

The next step is to purchase a pair of pickleball shoes. Pickleball shoes are essential for a few reasons.

Firstly, pickleball shoes have special soles that provide good traction and grip on the court surface. It helps players move around safely and quickly. Furthermore, pickleball shoes have extra padding and support in the ankle and heel areas, which helps prevent injuries. 

Finally, court shoes are comfortable and breathable, so players can stay cool while playing.

Pickleball beginner using court shoes.

A good pair of pickleball shoes doesn’t have to cost much money, and many options are available. For more information, check out our guide Best Pickleball Shoes.

Where to buy pickleball equipment

You can purchase pickleball equipment in several places, including online retailers, sports goods stores, and even department stores.

Amazon is one of the best places to purchase pickleball gear because it has many customer reviews and ratings, which helps you decide what to buy (and what not to).

Pickleball tips for beginners

Getting started in a new sport can be challenging at first. The following tips will help you begin with pickleball and avoid the most common mistakes. 

  • Prevent injuries, improve performance, and increase range of motion by stretching and warming up before a pickleball match.
  • Don’t try to serve hard or near the sidelines of the court. Keep it simple.
  • If you keep your paddle high near your chest, your reaction time will be much quicker.
  • Power is not as important as placement; you should focus more on control than speed.
  • Getting to the non-volley line as soon as possible is always a good idea. This is the strongest position.

The best way to improve your technique as a pickleball player is to practice. In addition, be patient. Pickleball takes some time to get used to, but once you do, it’s easy to become a good player.

Where to play

Many pickleball courts are available worldwide, both indoors and outdoors. Many courts are free or cost just a small fee. You can find a pickleball court near you by searching on Google.

Pickleball courts are popping up everywhere. Many parks are adding sports facilities to their outdoor areas. Indoor courts are also available at health and wellness centers and community centers. In addition, there are pickleball clubs around the world that offer group classes and social events.

Pickleball is a portable sport, here it is played on a cruising ship.

Don’t worry if you don’t live near a pickleball court. Pickleball is a sport that can be played anywhere. Almost anywhere with a flat surface will do – from the beach to a park to your own backyard. You can get started immediately with just a net and some paddles!  

Useful pickleball terms

When you are a pickleball beginner is helpful to know the most common pickleball terms.

The cross-court is diagonally opposite yours.

Dink shot
Pickleball shot intended to land within the non-volley zone after arcing over pickleball net.

Double bounce
A ball that bounces more than once on one side before returning. 

A fault occurs when a rule violation stops play.

Serves that hit the net cord and land in the service court. The term may also be applied to rallies that must be replayed for any reason.

Non-volley zone
The area around the net on both sides of the court. In the non-volley zone, a player cannot volley the ball. 

Tournaments and organizations

Throughout the United States, there are numerous pickleball tournaments and organizations. One of the world’s largest and most popular pickleball tournaments is the US Open Pickleball Championships. National tournaments are also held at regional and state levels. 

Pickleball’s governing body is the USA Pickleball Association, which promotes the game and develops its rules and regulations.

Beginner pickleball related questions

Wrapping Up

Anyone, young or old, can enjoy pickleball as a fun, easy, and affordable way to stay active, meet new people, and stay socially connected. If you’re looking for something fun to play with your kids or a way to remain active as you age, pickleball is ideal. 

Pickleball is accessible to people of all skill levels and athletic abilities, which is why it has become so popular. Get a paddle, find a court to play on, and you’re ready to go!