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Strategy & Tips
 
There is a lot here. So go slow....small bites.
While the basics of pickleball may be pretty straightfoward, how individual players execute the game is another story. From the strategy used to approach a given game to the actual techniques used during the game, different styles abound.
 
In the spirit of "different strokes for different folks" here are a few resources we really like. As you will quickly discover, the pickleball community is full of generous people, happy to share what they have learned.
Here is an excerpt (w/permission) from Gale's Introduction on "A general plan for learning and improving your pickleball game."
 
Learn how to play and practice. New players should read the rules and learn the basics of how to hit the ball and move on the court. Then study new ways to hone your skills as you improve. Watch and talk with players who are better than you, analyze what they’re doing and why, and play games with them. Have someone videotape your play and watch it to see what you’re really doing, not what you think you do. Make sure you’re doing it right from the beginning so you don’t have to unlearn things later. Once you’ve addressed any bad habits and replaced them with good ones, you’ll see your game improve.
 
Learn to warm up and stretch properly, and do it every time you play. Pickleball is easy to pick up quickly, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat it as seriously as any other sport. Unhappily, injuries in pickleball are common and fall into two main categories: not warming up enough before play and going past your limits during play. Only you know your limits, and sometimes you’ll play harder than you should. I encourage you not to overlook warming up, as it will ensure that your body is as ready to play as you are.
 
Practice the skills you know and learn new ones. You won’t get better without practice, but pickleball practice can be fun and easy. Pickleball is such a great sport that people enjoy going out to practice sometimes more than they like playing competitive games. Remember—you can learn from mistakes as well as from the greatest shots. Go out and play!
 
Become a better partner. Having good communication on the court is essential, but there are other ways to play better together, too. Talk with your partner about things you can do to improve your communication and rhythm on the court, as well as how to minimize your weaknesses and maximize your strengths.
 
Have fun. Pickleball is gaining popularity because it’s easy to learn and fun to play. In your zeal to become a better player, don’t become frustrated or angry if you have a bad day or lose a match. You’ll get better with practice, and you’ll always play better if you relax. Be kind to yourself. Have fun.

© Copyright Gale Leach, The Art of Pickleball: Techniques and Strategies for Everyone