14 Common Pickleball Mistakes Made By Beginners To Avoid

Playing pickleball can be a lot of fun, but it can also be challenging. There are so many things that you need to keep in mind when playing. You need to be prepared for every single shot and have to make sure that you don’t make any errors. If you play this sport often, then you already know what we’re talking about. It can get frustrating after a while, especially if you’re new to the game and not yet familiar with all of its challenges. That is why we have come up with this article so that you can learn from these common mistakes. This way, you would avoid repeating them the next time you play.

14 Common Pickleball Mistakes Made By Beginners To Avoid

Top 14 Pickleball Mistakes Made by the Beginners

New picklers tend to make more Pickleball mistakes as they don’t have a lot of knowledge about the game.

To save you from committing more faults in the future, we have compiled a list of the top 15 mistakes made by pickleball players.

For reading the description of these faults, follow these steps to get the most benefit out of it.

  • Read the complete description of the common pickleball mistakes.
  • Then, do a self-analysis to figure out whether you are making these mistakes or not.
  • In case you are making a mistake, read the last paragraph to find ways to avoid the issue.

As all sports have their terminologies, you might be wondering, “what are mistakes called in pickleball?” The one-word answer is ‘faults’.

However, this word is mostly used for mistakes that might stop the game. In this article, we have discussed the ones that are common pickleball mistakes made by beginners.

So without further ado, let’s begin!

Faults to Choosing The Wrong Paddle

The first step in getting into this sport is to buy a paddle. But in most cases, beginners end up buying the hottest-selling paddle without doing proper research. Resultantly, they end up with the wrong piece of equipment.

There are several factors you must consider while buying a paddle if you want to avoid this mistake. These are some important factors to keep in mind;

  • Paddles come in a range of weights, and it is important to choose one that is comfortable for you to hold and swing. A lighter paddle may be easier to carry, but it may lack power, while a heavier paddle may be more powerful but harder to control.
  • The grip size is another important factor to consider. A grip that is too small can be uncomfortable and may cause hand fatigue, while a grip that is too large can be difficult to control. It is important to choose a paddle with a grip size that is comfortable for you.
  • The material of the paddle can also affect your game. Paddles are typically made of wood, composite, or graphite. All of these materials provide different qualities to the paddle.

All in all, beginners tend to make this common pickleball mistake. However, you can avoid it by buying the paddle according to the weight, grip size, and material of your comfort, after doing research.

Using an Improper Grip

After making the mistake of buying the wrong paddle, beginners also make the mistake of using the wrong grip throughout the game.

The grip is important in pickleball as it controls the power and spin of the ball. Therefore, when a beginner has an extremely firm or a too-weak grip, they would automatically give an advantage to the competitor.

continental grip pickleball

There are three basic grips for holding a pickleball paddle;

  • The Continental grip is the most popular in pickleball and is used for a variety of shots, including serves, volleys, and groundstrokes.
  • The Eastern grip is a slightly modified version of the Continental grip and is used for topspin shots.
  • The Western grip is used for backhand shots and is similar to the grip that is used by tennis players.

Try to experiment with different grip options to be more comfortable with these styles. During the practice sessions, try to switch between different grips to improve your shots.

Not Serving Properly

Not serving properly is another common mistake made by pickleball player. The service is an important shot in pickleball, as it allows you to control the play and set up an advantage for your team.

If you serve poorly, your opponent will be able to hit the ball back to you easily, which will make it difficult to play the game. And, of course, if your opponent can hit the ball back to you easily, they’ll be able to win the game.

So it’s important to serve properly – not only will it make the game easier for you, but it’ll also help you to win. Keep these things in mind if you want to successfully make the service;

  • Stand behind the baseline as it’s a rule and will also help you to focus on sending the ball towards the diagonal court.
  • To avoid making serving mistakes, grip the paddle properly.
  • Keep your focus on the diagonal court where you have to send the ball.

Staying in the Pickleball Kitchen Zone

The kitchen zone is the area within 7 feet of the non-volley zone, and it is a common mistake for beginners to linger in this area too much.

While it is important to defend the kitchen and be ready to make shots in this area, it is also important to move out of the kitchen and cover different parts of the court.

An essential rule of pickleball is that you can not make volley shots in the kitchen zone. When you stay in this area, the chances of committing a fault are extremely high.

non volley zone rule pickleball 1

Moreover, you can hit the net easily in this area, which will eventually lead to a fault.

Similar to the kitchen zone, you should avoid going near the no-volley line which separates the non-volley zone and the serving area. The rulebooks of pickleball suggest that it is illegal to hit the volley on the on-volley line.

In your practice sessions, try to avoid this area at all costs if you want to avoid making this mistake in your future games.

Standing in the Kitchen Land

Staying in the no man’s land in pickleball is generally considered a mistake for beginners because it can put you in a vulnerable position and give your opponent an advantage.

The no man’s land is an area between the kitchen and the baseline, and it is called this because it is an area where you are neither in a good position to hit a shot nor in a good position to defend.

Staying in the no man’s land can also make it harder for you to anticipate your opponent’s shots and move into position to hit a good shot.

Overall, it is generally recommended to avoid staying in the no man’s land in pickleball and instead focus on positioning yourself closer to the net or the zone line, which is the line that marks the end of the kitchen.

By positioning yourself in a more strategic location, you can put yourself in a better position to hit an effective shot and give yourself a better chance of winning the point, especially if you can get to the kitchen line and give yourself a better chance of winning the point.

Trying to Hit Pro Shots Without Any Knowledge

You should not try to hit pro shots without any knowledge of pickleball because doing so can lead to poor technique and a lack of control.

Pro shots are advanced shots that require a high level of skill and technique, and it is important to have a solid foundation in the basic strokes before attempting these shots.

It is important to remember that learning and mastering pro shots take time and practice. It is recommended to start with the basic strokes and gradually work your way up to more advanced shots.

By practicing regularly and focusing on good technique, you can improve your skills and become more confident in your ability to hit pro shots in pickleball.

Attempting Volleys on Low Balls

You should not attempt volleys on low balls in pickleball because doing so can be risky and may result in an easy point for your opponent.

Volleys are shots that are hit while the ball is in the air before it bounces on the court, and they are typically hit with a lot of power and spin. Low balls, on the other hand, are balls that are hit close to the net and bounce low on the court.

Trying to hit volleys on low balls can be difficult, as the ball is close to the net and may not have enough time to get up to the proper height for a volley.

If you try to hit a volley on a low ball, you may end up hitting the ball into the net or out of bounds, giving your opponent an easy point.

It is generally recommended to avoid volleys on low balls and instead hit a groundstroke or a lob. By focusing on good footwork and positioning, you can put yourself in a good position to hit these shots and give yourself a better chance of winning the point.

Don’t Keep Their Focus on the Ball

Beginners often take their eyes off the ball, so they may miss an opportunity or give their opponent an advantage. Since beginners get overwhelmed by a large number of rules and policies of pickleball, they may forget the basic rule of keeping their focus on the ball.

If you are a beginner, you can avoid making this mistake by removing extra thoughts from your mind before the match. You can also try to meditate to erase the random thoughts and increase your focus.

Only Using the Dominant Hand

Many beginners are prone to using their dominant hand because they think that they must use their dominant hand just like they use it for every other task.

If you are also a beginner who’s using only their dominant hand, you might be making a mistake which is leading to a predictable game.

By using your non-dominant hand in a pickleball game, you can improve your footwork and reaction time.

Also, you can improve your overall control and make it harder for your opponent to anticipate your next shots, which leads to interesting gameplay.

So if you want to upgrade your pickleball skills, you must avoid this mistake at all costs. However, it is also important for you to know that you can not start using the-dominant hand all of a sudden.

It is important to practice using your non-dominant hand regularly and be patient, as developing good technique with your non-dominant hand takes time and practice.

Incorrect Positioning

Proper positioning is crucial in pickleball as it allows you to reach the ball easily and hit it with controlled power. However, beginners have incomplete knowledge so they don’t consider it important

If you are a beginner, you must know that if you’re not positioned correctly, you may have difficulty reaching the ball or may end up hitting it with less power, which can give your opponent an advantage.

Keep on changing your positions according to the shot you are about to make. For instance, if you want to generate topspin, then you have to align your shoulders, wrists, arms, and feet in a specific way.

Bad Footwork of New Players

Bad footwork is a common mistake made by pickleball beginners. Proper footwork is essential in pickleball, as it allows you to move quickly and get to the ball.

If you have poor footwork, you may struggle to reach shots that hit different parts of the court and may find it difficult to maintain balance and control while hitting shots.

Here are some pickleball tips for beginners to avoid this mistake:

  • Use small steps: It is generally more effective to take small steps when moving around the court, rather than longer ones. These allow you to maintain balance and control and make it easier to change direction quickly.
  • Practice your footwork drills: There are many different footwork drills that you can try to improve your movement and coordination. These exercises can help you develop good habits and improve your overall footwork.
  • Pay attention to your balance: It is important to maintain good balance and posture while hitting shots, as this will help you maintain control and power. Practice hitting shots while maintaining good balance and pay attention to your feet and body position.

Unnecessary Poaching

Unnecessary poaching is generally considered unethical in pickleball because it can disrupt the flow of the game.

Poaching is the act of moving into your teammate’s court to hit a shot that is typically hit by your partner. While poaching can be an effective strategy in certain situations, it is important to use it only when necessary.

pickleball poaching

If you are constantly poaching without a good reason, you may disrupt the flow of the game and make it harder for your partner to hit their shots.

This can lead to confusion and miscommunication, and it can also give your opponent an advantage, as they may be able to hit shots that are normally hit by your partner.

Not Wearing the Proper Shoes

Not wearing the proper shoes is a common mistake made by pickleball beginners. Wearing the right shoes is important in pickleball, as it can affect your movement, stability, and comfort on the court.

To avoid this mistake, you’ll have to buy shoes with certain qualities. Here are some tips for choosing the right shoes for pickleball:

  • Look for shoes with good traction: Good traction is essential in pickleball, as it allows you to move quickly and change direction easily.
  • Choose shoes with good stability: Pickleball requires quick movements and quick changes in direction, so it is important to choose shoes with good stability.
  • Consider the fit: It is important to choose shoes that fit well and provide enough room for your toes to move. Shoes that are too tight or too loose can cause discomfort and may affect your performance on the court.
  • Check the durability: Pickleball can be tough on shoes, so it is important to choose shoes that are durable and can withstand the wear and tear of the game.

By following these tips, you can choose the right shoes for pickleball and improve your movement, stability, and comfort on the court.

It is important to remember that the right shoes can make a big difference in your performance, so be sure to invest in a good pair of shoes that are specifically designed for pickleball.

Hitting the Ball Too Hard or Too Soft

Pickleball is a game of finesse, and it is important to focus on control and placement, rather than power.

Beginners make the mistake of hitting the ball too hard and end up missing the shot or giving their opponent an easy return.

Similarly, when they hit the ball too soft, they may give their opponent a chance to play an easy shot.

If you are a beginner who’s also making this mistake, try to practice with medium-powered strokes. Keep on practicing until you have proper control over the paddle.

Summary of mistakes of the game

Although the common pickleball mistakes of beginners are simple and can be resolved, you need to know that it’s okay to make mistakes when you are starting.

As they say, the real hero is not the one who acknowledges their mistakes but is the one who acknowledges their mistakes and then corrects them. So be that person and enjoy pickleball!

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