What is Pickleball and What’s It Like For a Beginner?

I Tried Pickleball and This is What I Learned.

Pickleball—it’s the latest on-trend sport you keep hearing about. So I tried it—despite being out of shape, a little overweight, and never having watched or played the game—and this is what happened.

Divide and Conquer?

The courts are divided by skill and speed level, so I ended up on the slow/beginners court. She stayed with me and taught me about the “kitchen” (the area closest to the net on both sides) with its main rule that you are to stay out of it.

New Rules

My second attempt revealed new rules, and the rules seemed to keep changing – the side-outs are confusing to me. I still didn’t know how to keep score, and often no one could remember the score correctly anyway.

Here are some tips I learned about playing pickleball:

1. Watch the ball at all times. 2. Even though many lose track, know how to keep up with the score. 3. Keep your paddle up and ready at all times. 4. Keep your feet moving. 5. Follow through on your shots/swings. 6. At least with beginners, all shots are underhand, and no overhead or lobs are allowed.

Back and Forth

My observations and lessons learned after two pickleball sessions: Find patient and compassionate players with similar levels of skill or competitiveness to play with. As a newbie, find players who might be willing to forgo a full-scored game for some good old-fashioned volleying.

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