With pickleball exploding in popularity, there’s more information than ever circulating about the sport.
Unfortunately, this also means several myths and misconceptions have emerged that can hinder your progress and lead to disappointment.
As a newcomer to the sport, it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction. The good news is we’ve got you covered!
Today, we’re debunking six of the most common pickleball myths that are holding back your game:
Myth #1: Pickleball is a Dinking Game Only
Dink: verb /diNGk/
- Hit (the ball) with a drop shot.
- "He dinked a shot over the net to take the second set 7-5"
Pickleball can be played using a variety of styles. However, it is a myth that pickleball is a dinking game only. Dinking is usually used to reset the rally and give you and your partner a chance to start the point over. Dinking is a valuable skill to learn in order to improve your pickleball IQ.
Some players play with a high energy, high impact style, but others may just play for fun or to connect with their friends and family. Regardless of how you prefer to play, it's important to remember there isn't just one way to enjoy pickleball.
Myth #2: There is No Running in Pickleball
This myth is about 50% true. Due to the size of the court, there is not a lot of running in pickleball, but there is a lot of sprinting.
Pickleball is a game with frequent changes of pace. One minute, you can be entirely in control, and in the next, you can find yourself sprinting all over the court to try and win a point.
Pickleball’s ever-changing nature makes it such a fun and compelling sport. Play at your own speed, or play to win, but always remember to warm up and stretch beforehand (you’ll thank us later).
Myth #3: The More Athletic Player Always Wins
Pickleball is truly anyone’s game. Often, a win or loss can be determined entirely by strategy.
Because pickleball is a slower-paced game than tennis (a tennis ball can reach speeds of up to 163 mph, whereas a pickleball maxes out at around 40mph), it gives a player more time to think about how and where they will hit their next shot. Of course, strategy is also essential in tennis; it just occurs at a more rapid speed.
Pickleball facilitates the use of unique strategies, making it a game where players can be successful regardless of athletic ability.
Myth #4: Pickleball is a Senior-Only Sport
Pickleball is a game for players of all ages. Due to its flexibility, pickleball is a great sport to play at any level – whether you’re eight or eighty.
A report from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association called it the fastest-growing sport in America, with 4.8 million players nationwide (nearly 40% increase from 2020).
Even at the professional level, some of the highest-ranked players are below the age of 28. And with major network TV shows like Pickled and PPA’s tournament events being aired on national television, the sport is on an upward trajectory to gain a more extensive and potentially younger audience daily.
Myth #5: It Doesn’t Matter What Paddle You Use
Like tennis racquets, different pickleball paddles are used for different skill levels and playing styles. If you use a more advanced paddle as a beginner, you may be putting yourself at a disadvantage.
Here are a few important things to consider when choosing a paddle:
- Surface Area
- Handle Length
For beginners, a lightweight paddle with a thicker core for absorbing impact and a carbon fiber surface to help with control & spin is ideal.
For advanced players, a lightweight paddle with a larger sweet spot is optimal. This setup unlocks extra power but also provides spin to keep the dinking going.
Myth #6: Pickleball is Easy on Your Body
Pickleball is often advertised as being easy on your body. While this myth bears some truth when comparing it to sports like tennis, basketball, or soccer, taking care of your body is still essential to prevent injury and maximize performance. Warming up, stretching, and properly cooling down after playing are all critical to having a safe and enjoyable experience.
Injuries like tennis elbow, shin splints, and jumper’s knee are quite common in pickleball. Plus, the younger you are, the more intense the sport can be, so you are at a higher risk for developing these injuries. Remembering to take care of your body will ensure you’re able to enjoy pickleball injury-free for years to come!
Now that we’ve debunked some popular pickleball myths, we can’t wait to see you on court!
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