How to play pickleball: 5 biggest myths debunked
Today, I'm going to tackle some of the biggest myths in pickleball that continue to be perpetuated, despite being far from the truth. As a passionate player, it truly hurts my soul to see these myths being perpetuated on the courts. So, I've decided to set the record straight and debunk five of the most common misconceptions in the game. From the belief that you have to hit the ball and get ready immediately, to the notion that the lob is only for old people, let's dive in and uncover the truth behind these pickleball myths.
Myth #1: The ball must bounce in the non-volley zone before you can step in.
The first myth we need to debunk is the idea that the ball must bounce in the non-volley zone before you can step in. This is absolutely not true. While you may not volley in the non-volley zone, there is no rule prohibiting you from being inside the zone at any time. It's important to use the correct terminology and understand the rules. Don't be fooled by this common misconception, and don't hesitate to step into the non-volley zone when it's necessary for your shot. Keep in mind that the non-volley zone is only off-limits for volleys, so as long as you're not hitting the ball out of the air while inside the zone, you're good to go. Read our article: What is the non-volley zone in pickleball?
Myth # 2: You have to get from the baseline to the net right away.
Let's debunk another common myth in pickleball: the idea that you have to rush from the baseline to the net right away. While it's true that getting to the net can give you an advantage, hustling too fast can actually be counterproductive. If you're rushing, you might miss a shot or get locked up, leaving you vulnerable to your opponents. The key here is to remember that winning the point is the ultimate goal, not just getting to the net. So take your time, move at a comfortable pace, and focus on positioning your paddle correctly. You want to be able to hit the ball and make a play, rather than just rushing to the net without a plan. Don't worry about what others might think, you need to do what's best for your game. So move at a pace that allows you to be in control and keep that paddle out in front of you to make the most of your shots.
Myth #3: You have to stop to hit the ball.
This myth is simply not true, in fact, stopping can actually hinder your shot. By keeping your momentum going and transferring your weight through the ball, you can generate more power and control in your shots. Moving a little slower can actually help you in this aspect, allowing you to set up properly for the shot and move through it with confidence. Don't feel pressured to rush to the ball and stop abruptly. Instead, focus on keeping your momentum going and transferring your weight through the shot for better results.
Myth #4: The lob is for old people.
The lob is a strategic shot that can be used by players of all ages and skill levels. It's not just for old people! In fact, the lob can be a game-changer in many situations, especially the third shot lob. By catching your opponents off guard, you can force them to scramble back to the baseline and give yourself time to get into position at the net. This can give you a significant advantage in the point. Don't be afraid to use the lob as a tool in your game and practice it so that you can use it confidently and effectively when the opportunity arises.
What is the lob in pickleball?
The lob is a shot hit high, meant to travel over the opponent's head and force a retreat to the deeper end of your opponent's side that will tend to reset the tempo of a point. However, if not executed well a lob can be returned by the opponent jumping, or often only taking 1 or 2 steps back, to smash the ball, which can be a dangerous attack. Given the risk, players should make sure to learn how to execute an effective lob that will slow down aggressive play and allow them to reclaim a near-net offensive position.
Myth #5: You've got to hit the ball and get ready, and hit the ball and get ready, and hit the ball and get ready.
Do you know how stressful and chaotic that can become?
One of the biggest pickleball myths is that you have to hit the ball and get ready right away. This can lead to a stressful and chaotic situation on the court. While being ready is important, it shouldn't be your only concern. Winning the point should be your top priority. Instead of focusing solely on getting ready, focus on finishing the shot you're hitting. By following through with your shot, you'll be in a better position to hit the next shot. Your paddle will be ready, and you'll have more options on your next move. By moving through your shot and not stopping to get ready, you'll avoid scrambling and accidentally lobbing the ball, giving you more control over the game.
In summary, there are many myths about pickleball that can hold players back and limit their enjoyment of the game. By debunking these myths, we can improve our understanding of the rules, techniques, and strategies that make pickleball such a fun and rewarding sport. Remember to always keep an open mind and continue learning and practicing, whether you are a beginner or an experienced player. By doing so, you will become a better player and enjoy pickleball to its fullest potential.