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Does Wearing Goggles Make You a Better Pickleball Player?


Before diving into the world of pickleball, many players, including myself, came from racquetball, where wearing eye guards or goggles was mandatory. Unfortunately, eye protection is not as common in pickleball, despite its significant benefits. Not only can goggles prevent eye injuries, but they can also enhance your game by reducing the instinct to flinch. This insight came from a conversation with Joe Frasca, who studied senior professional players and observed their reactions with and without eye guards.

Benefits of Wearing Goggles

Enhanced Focus and Reduced Flinching

Wearing eye guards can make players less likely to flinch when a ball comes their way. This increased confidence allows for better focus and more accurate shots. Joe Frasca’s research highlighted that players wearing eye protection exhibited steadier reactions and improved performance.

Protection from External Elements

Most sports goggles are designed to shield your eyes from dirt, wind, and sweat, enhancing your overall playing experience. This protection is crucial for maintaining clear vision and comfort during intense matches.

Choosing the Right Goggles

When selecting sports goggles, several factors should be considered to ensure they meet your needs and preferences.

Frame Material

The frame material is typically polycarbonate, known for its lightweight and impact-resistant properties. Polycarbonate frames offer excellent protection against the impact of a ball or paddle. Some goggles use nylon, which, while still durable, is more flexible than polycarbonate.

Lens Durability and Functionality

The lenses of sports goggles need to be both durable and functional. Polycarbonate lenses are a popular choice due to their durability and ability to protect against incoming objects. Additionally, many sports glasses feature UVA, UVB, and UVC protection, shielding your eyes from harmful sun rays. This is particularly beneficial for outdoor play, where glare can fatigue the eyes and potentially harm the cornea over time.

Some sports glasses also come with anti-fog technology, preventing lenses from fogging up during play. This ensures clear vision throughout the game, allowing you to perform at your best.

Attachment Style

Modern sports glasses often come with a vented carriage that attaches the frame to a strap at the back of the head. This design keeps the goggles steady while providing excellent breathability and comfort. The tighter attachment style prevents the glasses from falling off during vigorous movements.

Alternatively, some glasses have end pieces that go behind the ears, similar to regular glasses. This style is preferred by many players, provided it does not interfere with their partner during doubles play.


Incorporating goggles into your pickleball gear can significantly enhance your game by improving focus, reducing flinching, and protecting your eyes from external elements. When choosing the right goggles, consider the frame material, lens durability, and attachment style to find the best fit for your needs. Embracing eye protection not only safeguards your vision but also elevates your overall playing experience, making you a better and more confident pickleball player.

What do you think?

Written by Billy Pickles

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