Unlocking the Joy of Pickleball: 2 Foolproof Ways to Ensure Endless Fun on the Court


A few weekends ago, I had the most incredible time playing pickleball. You might assume that I won every match and took home the gold in both men’s and mixed doubles, but that wasn’t the case at all.

In the men’s doubles, we started off with a crushing defeat in the first game. However, we managed to bounce back and secure victories in the second and third games. Despite facing a daunting 1-8 deficit in the final game, we fought tooth and nail, only to lose by a close margin of 11-13. The entire experience was a rollercoaster of emotions.

During the breaks between games, I had the opportunity to observe one of my friends playing. Although they achieved a higher ranking than us in terms of wins and losses, my friend confessed, “I had zero fun playing today.”

So, what made my pickleball experience so enjoyable, even though I didn’t come in first place in my division? Let me share two key factors that contributed to the fun and excitement.

1: Partner Chemistry

My partner and I have known each other for quite some time. We have a deep understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses, which allows us to play to our full potential on the court. We approached the game with a lighthearted attitude, focusing on having fun rather than solely on winning. Whether we were facing a significant deficit or enjoying a comfortable lead, we maintained a positive mindset and stayed true to our playing style. This strong partnership enabled us to stay in the games, execute impressive comebacks, and make thrilling plays.

On the other hand, my friend had never met their partner before the tournament. As I observed their match, it was evident that their chemistry was lacking. Afterward, my friend revealed that their partner’s negative comments and attitude hindered their ability to enjoy the game and perform at their best.

Reflecting on our experiences with various coaches throughout our lives, we can all recall those we loved playing for and those who didn’t quite inspire us. It varies for each individual. Drawing from my days playing football, some teammates thrived when the coach pushed them hard, while others became more tense and prone to mistakes.

The same principle applies to a pickleball partner. Surround yourself with people who uplift you, bring out your best, and share your competitive spirit. And remember, strive to be a positive and encouraging partner yourself.

2: Focus on Competing, Not Just Winning

I must admit, I’ve been guilty of this in the past. I used to view every match as a binary outcome—either a win or a loss. However, this mindset is beyond our control, especially in doubles where three other individuals contribute to the final result. It led me to play defensively and with tension rather than embracing an offensive and relaxed approach.

During this weekend’s games, I made a conscious effort to focus on competing in every single point. Regardless of the score, we maintained an offensive mindset. Some people were surprised by my elation after an 11-13 loss and a 10-12 loss. But deep down, I knew that we had given it our all. The games could have gone either way; we simply made a few more mistakes than our opponents. However, it felt empowering to lose due to offensive errors rather than playing defensively and with tension. We went down swinging, and that in itself was a victory.

So, the next time you step onto the pickleball court, remember these two crucial elements for a fun-filled experience. Cultivate strong partner chemistry, playing alongside individuals who bring out the best in you and foster a positive environment. Additionally, shift your focus from solely winning to competing fiercely in every point. Embrace an offensive mindset and relish the joy of giving it your all, regardless of the final score. With these principles in mind, you’ll find yourself having a blast on the pickleball court every single time.

Now, go out there and enjoy the game to the fullest!

What do you think?

Written by Billy Pickles

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