Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States, many people have already fallen head over heels for this sport, it is their new true love.
If you are new to it, you are sure to fall in love with it as you develop your game.
Pickleball has something quite special about it, it is much like tennis, but it is much quirkier, and more fun, but it still provides plenty of health and fitness benefits, and so if you are trying to get fit and healthy it is ideal.
When you play this game, you may wonder when and how often you should train to really reap the benefits and get yourself into the shape you want to be in.
How often you play pickleball totally depends on you, what you want to get out of it and how you want to play.
If you want to play pickleball competitively then you will want to train and play regularly.
If you want to play for leisure, there is no pressure to play all the time, or super often. It all depends on you and what you want to get out of your playing.
Today, we will take a look into the things you should consider as you look at how often you should play.
What Is Pickleball?
Pickleball is a popular (mostly) leisure sport which is often known as being a mixture of table tennis (ping-pong), tennis, and badminton. It is a paddle (racket) based sport played with a paddle and a wiffle ball.
You can play this game on a court outdoors or indoors, in a court around the same size as a badminton court, with a modified tennis net (as a pickleball net is generally 2 inches closer to the ground than a tennis net is).
Pickleball is typically a sport that is ideal for everyone, of all ages, levels of skill, and levels of fitness.
It can be played as a doubles sport or a singles sport. It is also super easy to learn and comes hand in hand with a great group of people.
It is often seen as a sport generally played by older people, however, it attracts many older people to it due to its ease, health benefits and community, but anyone can play!
Pickleball is a lot like many other sports in that it needs recovery, practice and training.
Most newbies to pickleball will often rush into the game without being aware of the fact that it can be demanding, just like any other sport.
So, if you are not in shape it is wise to take it slowly and build up from where you are.
You need to make fast motions backwards and forwards alike, pivot, cut, lunge and so on. You want to start off small and work on less demanding movements. This is crucial if you are not in great physical shape.
It is also very important if you want to pursue pickleball as a competitive sport, you do not want to put yourself off of it by trying to go too fast and too complicated soon.
You need to start with a good baseline of strength in order to work on your power-based movements. You want to get an exercise routine in with an 8-10 strength routine to train yourself.
You may also want to include squats, lunges, dips, and rows to build up strength if you are less used to exercise.
Even doing simple things such as bicep curls, calf raises, planks and so on can help you to stave off any potential injuries that could occur.
You want to work on an exercise regime 2-3 times per week for 8-12 repetitions of simple exercises such as calf raises, planks, etc.
Doing this and playing pickleball on a regular basis can help you build up more strength and fitness (see also ‘Can Pickleball Help With Building Muscle?‘). Consider 6 weeks of this kind of program to help and progress your power-movements for the play.
Programming For Your Performance
This is, of course, more important if you are training to play competitively.
In this case a power-based program will focus on dynamic and quick movements which are designed to keep you focused on speed and injury prevention.
Exercises in this include side-to-side jumps, squat jumps, side shuffles, weighted ball chest passes and so on.
You can always check out the United States of American Pickleball Association, as they have some awesome specific drills for you to work on if you are considering playing pickleball competitively (see also ‘What Do You Need To Play Pickleball?‘).
These movements should be done when you are focusing on control and speed. You want to slowly increase your workout intensities, and do not forget to keep playing, so you can see where you need to improve the most.
When you build a routine to build on your strength in pickleball, you want to work your power/ strength days into your pickleball routine, so you have a day off, or a light workout day, so you can easily make a full recovery.
You should always program yourself for performance in this regard. When you are planning for competitive pickleball playing, you would want to peak your training a month before pickleball tournament season.
You can easily injure yourself in pickleball if you try to push yourself too hard and too fast.
While it is not exactly like tennis, nor is it as physically demanding, it does still have some demand, so you need to take it slow and do not endanger yourself or your own health
Training does also help, as it prepares your body, and building up muscles and strength can help to prevent injury in the game.
Also, ensure you always stretch and prepare your muscles before you play.
Practice makes it better. You need practice, no one gets good at anything if they do not practice it.
In a game, you will be in a high-speed situation, practicing makes the intensity of a game less stressful and help you feel more at ease.
Getting Better – Challenge
Find other players and practice with them, new and different players will challenge you.
Find players stronger than you or as strong as you to challenge you, and make you step up how you play. You can learn new things and adapt.
Join a community group to reap the most rewards and practice as often as you can.
Develop Your Fitness
The more in shape you are, the better your play will be, this is the plain and simple truth overall.
The more fit you are, the more shots you will make. Developing your fitness as well as your game is the key to becoming a pickleball pro (see also ‘How Much Do Pro Pickleball Players Make?‘)!
If you want to go pro at pickleball you need to play often and exercise often, fitness and strength as well as your games is important. Balance is key. How often you practice and how often you play is totally up to you.
What do you want out of your pickleball gaming?