Pickleball is a dynamic sport that’s gaining popularity among all age groups. A single game engages various muscle groups, enhances stamina, and encourages strategic play.
The beauty of pickleball lies in its simplicity. It’s an easy sport to get the hang of, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t require practice to master. If you want to be better at pickleball, try these four ways to strengthen your skills.
Stand Two to Three Feet Behind the Baseline To Return a Serve
Positioning is pivotal when you’re preparing to return a serve in pickleball. You should aim to stand two to three feet behind the baseline.
This stance improves your range of motion, so you have additional time to respond to powerful or unpredictable serves. You also will gain a wider field of view to better anticipate the direction of the ball.
Remember, you can always move forward to handle short serves, but stepping back quickly to handle deep ones can be a challenge. This position will give you plenty of time to adjust depending on the trajectory of the ball.
Stand in a Sturdy Serving Position
When it’s your turn to serve, you need to feel confident in your abilities. There are various ways to hold a pickleball paddle, and the techniques you employ will have a great impact on the outcome.
Your feet should be shoulder-width apart to have a stable base. Don’t stand too rigid; maintain a slight bend in your knees to stay agile and ready to move. Your weight should be on the balls of your feet, allowing for a quick, responsive push-off after the serve.
When you start your serve, shift your weight to the back foot, and as you swing forward to strike the ball, transfer the weight to the front foot. This weight transfer creates momentum, which adds power to your serve without the need for excessive arm strength.
Use Angles for Returns
Mastering the art of angle returns can make you a formidable opponent in pickleball. It’s about gaining a tactical advantage over your competitor by forcing them to move out of their comfort zone, thus making them more likely to commit errors.
The idea is to hit the ball cross-court, aiming for the opponent’s weak side. This extends the distance your opponent must cover to return the ball and opens the court for your next shot. Perfecting these shots can disrupt your opponent’s rhythm and allow you to take control of the match.
Stretch Before and After Pickleball Games
Stretching before and after pickleball games is of paramount importance. Stretching before the game prepares your body for the physical exertion that lies ahead. It warms up your muscles and joints, enhancing your flexibility and mobility, and increases your heart rate and blood flow.
Following the game, stretching will alleviate muscle stiffness and soreness. It also reduces the accumulation of lactic acid and promotes faster muscle repair.
You can try a few stretches to reduce back pain, such as walking lunges for loose quads and shoulder stretches for better movement. Each of these stretches will make you feel more agile and result in a better pickleball performance.
Strengthening your pickleball skills will increase your passion for the game. It’s a great low-impact sport that’s perfect for staying active and having fun!