Pickleball is a great activity for people of all ages, especially in Florida. While it is played on smaller courts than tennis and considered easier on your body, it’s important to make sure you take safety precautions to ensure self-care. Below are a few ways to ensure you stay safe so you can continue playing for a long time.
Don’t Rush For Shots
Skinned knees, smacked elbows and broken bones are not worth saving a single point. Let the ball go
instead of doing lasting damage to your body.
Don’t Run Backwards During Lobs
Too many players end up scuttling backwards when they see a high shot and end up tripping over themselves. Take a moment to fully twist your hips to the side and let your feet point in the direction you’re moving. You can keep your eye on the ball, but if you feel yourself losing balance, take a moment to reacquaint yourself with your position on the court.
Wear The Right Shoes
Use a good tennis or volleyball shoe depending on whether you’re playing outdoors or indoors. Make sure
you’re not wearing anything with slippery soles, so you don’t lose your balance on the court, nor anything too
‘grippy’ so that you don’t trip over yourself during faster movements.
Pay Attention To Your Body
If you’re feeling tired, winded, dizzy, or simply drained, give yourself a break! Pickleball games tend
to be short, and your partner and opponents will likely appreciate the rest period as well. Some players have experienced heart attacks after playing pickleball, and you should be wary of the warning signs. Pay attention for pressure in the chest, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and pain along the arms, back, neck and jaw.
Communicate With Other Players
If you’re playing doubles, make sure you’re calling ‘mine’ or ‘yours’ and have an established method for determining who goes after what ball. Talking to your partner will help you avoid accidental collisions, which can be as minor as a smacked hand or as dramatic as running into each other during a lob.
Avoid Pickleball Elbow
Choose a paddle that’s the right weight for you so you don’t strain your tendons, and don’t play so much that you put undue stress on your body. Properly warming up, stretching, wearing braces, and adding some weightlifting into your exercise routine can also help prep yourself for play.