3 Common Mistakes Made by Recreational Pickleball Players

3 Common Mistakes Made by Recreational Pickleball Players

Pickleball, a sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis, has been steadily gaining popularity among people of all ages. While it’s known for being accessible and enjoyable for beginners, like any sport, there are common mistakes that even recreational players tend to make. In this article, we’ll explore three of the most common mistakes made by recreational pickleball players and how to avoid them to enhance your playing experience.

Mistake 1: Ignoring the Importance of Footwork

One of the most crucial aspects of pickleball that often goes overlooked by recreational players is footwork. Proper footwork is the foundation of good positioning and effective shot execution. Many players tend to stand flat-footed or fail to move quickly enough to reach the ball, resulting in missed opportunities or poor shot placement.

Solution: Focus on your footwork by maintaining a slight bend in your knees, staying on the balls of your feet, and being prepared to move in any direction. Anticipate the ball’s trajectory and position yourself accordingly. Practicing agility drills and footwork exercises off the court can also greatly improve your on-court movement.

Mistake 2: Overestimating Power and Underestimating Control

Newcomers to pickleball often try to hit the ball with excessive power, thinking it will give them an advantage. However, power without control can lead to shots going out of bounds or into the net. Conversely, underestimating the importance of control can result in weak shots that are easily returned by opponents.

Solution: Focus on developing a balance between power and control. Work on your technique to ensure that your shots are accurate and consistent. Instead of trying to hit every shot as hard as possible, focus on placing the ball strategically, aiming for the open areas of the court. This will not only reduce unforced errors but also make it more challenging for your opponents to respond effectively.

Mistake 3: Neglecting Communication and Teamwork

Pickleball is often played in doubles, where effective communication and teamwork are essential. Many recreational players fail to communicate with their partners, leading to confusion about who should take certain shots or cover specific areas of the court. This lack of coordination can lead to missed shots and easy points for opponents.

Solution: Communication is key in pickleball doubles. Always communicate with your partner before and during the game. Determine who will take the forehand and backhand shots, establish who will cover the middle, and signal your intentions during play. Clear communication not only prevents collisions but also helps you strategically position yourselves to capitalize on your opponents’ weaknesses.


Pickleball is a delightful and engaging sport that can be enjoyed by players of all skill levels. However, avoiding common mistakes is essential to improve your gameplay and fully appreciate the sport’s nuances. Remember to focus on your footwork to ensure proper positioning, balance power and control for effective shot execution, and prioritize communication and teamwork in doubles matches.

By addressing these common mistakes, recreational pickleball players can elevate their game, enhance their enjoyment of the sport, and become more competitive on the court. So, next time you step onto the pickleball court, keep these tips in mind to ensure a more rewarding and successful playing experience.


What 3 skills do you need to be successful in pickleball?

The three skills for success in pickleball are agility, hand-eye coordination, and strategic positioning.

What can you not do in pickleball?

In pickleball, you cannot hit the ball out of the air when it’s on the non-volley zone, also known as the “kitchen.”

What do you find most difficult when it comes to playing pickleball?

Many players find mastering the balance between power and control challenging in pickleball.

Who should not play pickleball?

Individuals with severe mobility issues or those who can’t tolerate mild to moderate physical activity might want to avoid playing pickleball. Always consult a doctor if you’re unsure about participating.

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