Nice Guys Finish Last: My Pickleball Etiquette Epiphany

Last night, it was business as usual at my “Advanced Intermediate to Advanced” pickleball league–until it wasn’t.

I was winning a doubles match 8-1.

I hit a wicked hard slice shot from just in front of the baseline.

The ball took a crazy turn and started to gravitate towards my opponent’s head. He just got his paddle up in time and hit a errant ball that sailed into the benches.

He wasn’t happy.

“Hey, I have to go to work tomorrow.” 

I apologized.

“Never my intention to hurt anyone.”

We continued play, and I resorted to much softer tactics.

You can probably guess what happens next.

I lost the match 11-9.

On the drive home I was pissed at myself.

After almost two years of playing the sport, I still don’t know how to keep my pedal to the metal; I’m billing myself The Empathetic Pickleballer.  

But that doesn’t show up in the box score.

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Pickleball Exercises to Play Better for Longer

As pickleball’s popularity has exploded, so have injuries, mainly caused by repetitive motion, awkward positions, and quick lunges. 

Personally, I have found the sport much easier on my body than tennis. But that doesn’t mean it’s not without it’s aches and pains. In fact, I have another browser tab opened right now wondering if I tore my rotator cuff. But that’s a conversation for another time!

If you play the sport regularly, you will want to have a dedicated cross-training regimen off of the pickleball court that is designed to enhance overall fitness to meet the sport’s physical demands. 

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How to Advance from 3.5 to 4.0 in Pickleball

Graduating from 3.5 to 4.0 in pickleball is one of the most difficult journeys the recreational player can make. If you’re a seasoned 3.5 pickleball player looking to break into the 4.0 level, improving your skills takes focus and dedication. Based on advice from advanced players and my own experience, here are some pickleball tips for 3.5 players to graduate to a 4.0 level.

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How to Add the Pickleball Tweener to Your Shot Arsenal

When my partner raced back to return a lob, I couldn’t believe what I saw next. In an act that seemed like it came straight from Ringling Bros., he turned his back to the net and made a perfect return from between his legs: it was a pickleball tweener.

WOW.

But he wasn’t showing off. Well, maybe a little. What he was doing was putting the “tweener,” one of the best known pickleball trick shots, on full display.

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Pickleball Bullies: When Your Opponents Pick on Your Partner

During our recent pickleball league finals, my partner and I faced a couple of pickleball bullies. It’s a common strategy: the two men we were up against decided to target my partner, an excellent female player, often leaving me watching from the sidelines. Their strategy was effective, leveraging power to overwhelm her with consecutive shots. She held her own, but they won the match, leaving me putting together plans to counteract such tactics in the future.

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How to Add Pickleball Power: Mastering Strength, Stamina, and Strategy

Ever since I picked up my first pickleball paddle, I was obsessed with one thing: pickleball power. I watched in awe as seasoned players whipped the ball across the court with seemingly little effort. Their opponents were often left scrambling, barely able to react. I knew that mastering the art of a powerful hit was crucial if I wanted to elevate my game and have my opponents on their heels. So, I delved deep, practiced relentlessly, and learned from the best. Now, let’s journey together through the insights I’ve gained as we explore the nuances of hitting hard, defending against the big hitters, and aiming for the top ranks in pickleball.

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Understanding Pickleball Faults: A Guide for Beginners

When I first started playing pickleball last year, one of the most confusing aspects was grasping the concept of “pickleball faults.” If you’re new to the game, you’re likely wondering what they are, how they affect gameplay, and most importantly, how to avoid them. In this guide, I’ll break down everything you need to know about pickleball faults.

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The Best Pickleball Warm-Up Routine

Being an avid pickleball player, I never hit the court without my tested and vetted pickleball warm-up routine. Before both casual games and intense tournaments, I make sure I’m primed and ready. After some tweaking (get it!?), here’s is the routine I employ to avoid pickleball injuries.

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