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Do You Have to Be Athletic to Play Pickleball?

Do You Have to Be Athletic to Play Pickleball?

Pickleball is becoming one of the most prevailing sports in the world, especially in the USA. This game is a fusion of three other racquet sports, including badminton, tennis, and ping pong. Due to its rule and easy mode of playing, this game is played highly by senior citizens and even professional tennis players. In this article, I’ll discuss about: Do you have to be athletic to play Pickleball?

Generally you don’t need to be really athletic to play pickleball. It is a game that can be played even by senior citizens, due to its fewer hard-on joints. There is no compulsion of athleticism to enjoy this game and data from US Pickleball state that many pickleball players are older than 55.

When many people think of pickleball, they might think it’s just for older people or children. But, this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are competitions with competitors that range in age from 17 to 65+.

The fitness level may vary, but anyone who says it’s “easy” or “not a good form of exercise” probably hasn’t tried this game yet. Stay along the article to find more details.

Is Pickleball Easy on the Knees and Hips of the Players?

Pickleball is not hard on joints and is easy on the hips and knees of the players, even if they have an athletic background. The pickleball court is smaller, and less movement and running are seen.

It makes it easy for the player to reach the ball without extra running, which is an easy act for the joints. Pickleball is a come-back activity for people who recover from surgeries and is recommended by physical therapists.

Best Way to Learn Pickleball and to Be Athletic:

If you want to become athletic and an expert in the pickleball game, being a new player, you can practice hitting the ball in back and forth direction. You can practice different shots like a dink and practice in the no-volley zone or kitchen area of the court.

Players are not allowed to hit the ball in this zone, so practice is required. The Dink shot is an essential shot in the pickleball game, which can force the opponents to hit a weak shot or miss the ball during the game.

Advice for the Pickleball Players to Become Athletic:

If you are a beginner in the pickleball game and want to become professional and athletic, you must have a positive mental attitude. Playing the game with a mind is essential, so be kind to yourself. For example, try the rally instead of skipping the serves and scores in the game.

Once you get a smooth flow of hitting the Pickleball in back and forth position, you can add the level of complexities by scoring and serving and through avoid playing in the no-volley zone.

Prioritizing the Dink Shot:

The Dink shot is essential in the pickleball game, where a player hits the ball, so the opponent cannot attack it easily.

The ball barely goes over the net, and the opponent has to hit hard to get it. Then, the person hitting the Dink can put the ball away to score a point.

What Is A Dink In Pickleball? All You Need to Know

Athleticism in Pickleball and Common Injuries Related to It:

Sports is all about introducing oneself to athletics. Where there are athletics and games, injuries and pain are also seen there.

In sports and games, players often face various sorts of injuries which is a part of becoming an athlete because injuries teach us some tricks to making our game better and becoming a professional players in that game. The same is the case with Pickleball!

The players of this game also face common injuries as discussed below:

Common Pickleball Injuries


Ankle strain and sudden turns

  • Ankle strains and sudden turns are well-known lower extremity injuries in the pickleball game. Such types of injuries are common in the game, which involves athletics.

  • Ankle strains in a game range from an injured person who cannot put weight on the injured area. It can lead to severely impaired movements of the foot.

Achilles tendon strain

  • It is a common injury seen in pickleball players that involve the band of tissue along the backside of the leg from the ankle up to the calf. This kind of strain arises from the overuse of intensity during the game.

  • The players in the pickleball game wait for the ball to come back to the court and maneuver it towards the direction of the ball for stop-to-go-action. This strain is noticeable as it becomes difficult for the player to place weight on foot.

Upper body injuries

  • The upper body injuries in the game include wrist and shoulder strains that also occur in pickleball sports.

  • The return of the ball in a pickleball game over the net demands the players to use their neck region, upper body region, and even their back.

Wrist strain

  • The players in the game instinctively stretch their arms to protect themselves. Trips and falls are inevitable as pickleball participants put their pace back and forth on the court.

  • This kind of natural response can overstretch the muscles and cause a slight tear of the ligament in the wrist. The wrist of the players can swell, and it becomes difficult for the player to rotate.

Find details on pickleball injuries here

Famous Pickleball Players Who are Less Athletic Yet Legends:

Pickleball Palyer

Player Photo

Player Description

Benjamin Johns    

  • Benjamin John is the top pickleball player in the world and is considered an unofficial 'Pickleball capital.

  • John has his family's blood roots in racquet sports, as his older brother Collin is a former pro tennis player.

  • John started his tennis racquet at 8 and later decided to pick up the pickleball game. John has an unstoppable force for pickleball and has won every major pickleball tournament.

Tyson McGuffin

  • Tyson was introduced to the Pickleball field in 2015, and before this, he had played and coached competitive tennis.

  • Tyson was offered a sponsorship to enter this new racquet sport and has won more first-place finishes. He is now one of the most decorated pro players in pickleball.

Frank Anthony Davis

  • Frank Anthony Davis is a professional pickleball player who made a great name in this game within a few years.

  • He is among the top three best pickleball players worldwide and has won many singles and doubles professional tournaments.

Myths related to the Pickleball Game that Hinders to Become an Athletic:

Various myths related to the pickleball game hinder players’ efforts to become professional in the game. Unfortunately, people of different age groups have developed these myths, so here we will explain the truth.

1. Is pickleball a Senior Sport? 

It is a myth that pickleball is a senior sport, but it is no longer a truth. It is just a busting myth that needs to be understood. Pickleball is not a senior-only game; it is a game for people of all age groups, including teenagers, older adults, and even women.

The Pickleball game has evolved rapidly over the years and is an excellent exercise for seniors to enjoy after retirement to keep their bodies at pace. But it doesn’t mean that this game is only for seniors. On the contrary, it is an old folk that needs correction as it is a competitive game that youngsters can enjoy.

2. Do Young People Advantageous Over the Senior Players in Pickleball?

Do You Have to Be Athletic to Play Pickleball

It is said that young people can play pickleball games well as compared to senior citizens, and this game is advantageous for them. But the truth is, this game can be played by anyone of any age, including senior citizens, teenagers, and adults.

A person can become a professional by learning and practicing the rules. It is not a case that always power and brawn will let you win the game. Anyone who is strong, fit, and consistent can win the game professionally.

If you want to score well in the pickleball game, you should work on your strategies. Play the shots of the game strategically, and anyone can attain a good score in it.

3. Is There Less Running in the Pickleball Game?

There indeed is less running in pickleball games. However, players require a consistent form of running in pickleball, and this game is not challenging for their joints.

Sometimes people say that this game is insane due to sprinting. But it depends on the game’s condition, which leads to this thing in which, in a moment, a player lightly plays the dink in the game, and the very next moment, they are asked to hit the volley with strength.

Does Pickleball Require Running? All You Need to Know

4. Is Pickleball Easy On the Joints and Bones of Athletic Players?

Pickleball is an easy game for beginners, senior citizens, and professional players and is not hard on joints. But despite this, it is still a game that can sometimes cause injuries, so preventive measures are advisable.

Pickleball game, if played intensely, can cause some injuries like:

  • Stress fractures
  • Elbow fractures
  • Jumper’s knee
  • Strains and sprains

These injuries are seen in tennis games, too, so a player should not consider a pickleball game a joke. Every game has merits and demerits, so it is better to play each game at an appropriate pace.

Find more details on: Is Pickleball Hard on Your Joints?

Final Thought:

Pickleball is perfect for players of all ages. Unlike tennis, it can be played by anybody and doesn’t require any athletic ability from the get-go. Initially seen as a game for the older generation, pickleball is starting to accrue more traction among younger people.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Do a person needs to be fit to play pickleball?

Pickleball is a game that requires body movement with short bursts of physical activity in all directions. This game requires strength, eye-to-hand coordination, and endurance in the game.

Is it hard for a player to play a pickleball game?

Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports worldwide, especially in America. This game combines tennis, ping-pong, and badminton and holds some easy rules. This is an easy game for beginners that can be learned and a person can become experienced in this game within a short period.

Is pickleball an easy game on the body?

Pickleball places less stress on the joints and bones. It is an easier game for muscles, tendons, and joints. This game does not harm the body of senior citizens, and there are fewer chances of injury in this game.

What is the average age of players who play pickleball?

The average age of players who play pickleball games is 38 years, and around 4.8 million players play this game nationwide in America.

Is the pickleball game hard on the knees of the player?

The pickleball game is not so hard on joints and knees, but this is still a common issue among players. Knee pain is a common issue due to gravity and aging effects on players’ joints.

Can senior citizens play pickleball?

Pickleball is a fun sport that is easy to learn and is famous all around the United States and Canada. This game is enjoyed by people of all age groups and is an excellent physical activity for senior citizens.

Which is the most common injury in a pickleball game?

One of the most common injuries in the pickleball game is the rotator cuff tendon in the shoulder region.

This can cause some significant shoulder pain which is felt during the movement and use. The problem arises from tendonitis to a tear of the rotator cuff tendon. The big tears in this region can cause weakness and inability the usage the arm.

Why do some people fall while playing pickleball?

Some people are more prone to fall during the pickleball ball due to their previous injuries or instability.

These players tend to stretch out their arms to protect themselves and end up with massive shoulder pain. This overstretching can cause a slight tear in the ligament of the wrist.

Is a pickleball game less strenuous than a tennis game?

Pickleball is a less strenuous and less intense game than tennis. However, there are fewer injuries in this game compared to tennis due to less movement involvement.

Is the pickleball game confined to just old players?

Pickleball game is not only made for senior citizens. This game can be played by people of all ages, including teenagers, women, and older adults. However, people over 55 years prefer to play this game to re-characterize themselves as it is easy to play and is a fun sport.

How can a player get in shape for the pickleball game?

The best way to get in shape for the pickleball game is to walk and run to prepare the body. It is necessary to build stamina for the game, which can be made through a brisk walk and assist in playing a fair game on the court.

How often has this pickleball game advised you to play during a week?

The American heart association recommends a pickleball player play this game for at least 150 minutes as a moderate exercise per week. In the case of vigorous exercise, the duration can be confined to 75 minutes. This will also help a player meet the requirements of daily physical activity.