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Finding the Right Balance: How Much Pickleball Should You Play Each Week?

Determining the optimal amount of pickleball to play each week can be a balancing act, influenced by your personal goals, fitness level, and how much strain your body can handle. Here’s a look at how different players approach their pickleball routines.

Insights from Pickleball Enthusiasts

The Daily Devotee

“I’m on the court for about 30 hours a week, playing 3-4 hours every day. It’s intense, but I thrive on it. Just make sure you have quality shoes and maybe a massage chair to help with recovery!”

The Balanced Player

“I play around 5 times a week, with each session lasting 2-3 hours. This schedule keeps me active without pushing me too hard.”

The Cautious Athlete

“I limit myself to 6-10 hours a week. Any more than that, and I start to experience overuse injuries. It’s important to know your limits.”

The Weekend Warrior

“I manage to play twice a week, for about 3 hours each session. I’d love to play more, but life’s commitments make it tough.”

The Competitor

“Between drills and matches, I spend around 25 hours a week on the court. This mix keeps me sharp for tournaments every six weeks.”

The Casual Player

“Honestly, I play between 2-10 hours a week. Pickleball is fun, but I also have other responsibilities.”

The Newcomer

“I aim to play once a week, though it’s challenging to get everyone together consistently. I’m hoping to play more as I get into the groove.”

How Many Hours Should You Play to Improve?

To consistently enhance your pickleball skills, the amount of time you dedicate each week can vary based on your current level. However, aiming for 5 to 10 hours of play per week is a good rule of thumb for those looking to improve.

Structuring Your Practice Time

  • Skill Drills: Allocate about 30% of your time to specific drills focusing on areas like serving, volleying, and groundstrokes. These drills help refine your accuracy, consistency, and reaction time.
  • Match Play: Spend around 50% of your time playing matches against various opponents. This allows you to apply your practiced skills in real-game scenarios and adapt to different playing styles.
  • Physical Conditioning: Dedicate 20% of your time to physical conditioning. Pickleball demands agility, endurance, and strength, so incorporating fitness training can enhance your play and prevent injuries.

How Many Days a Week Should You Play?

Generally, playing pickleball 3 to 4 times a week is beneficial for most players looking to improve their skills.

Guidelines Based on Skill Level

  • Beginner Players: If you’re just starting out, aim to play 2-3 days per week. This allows you to build skills and muscle memory without overwhelming yourself.
  • Intermediate Players: For those familiar with the basics and looking to enhance their gameplay, 3-4 days per week strikes a good balance between practice and recovery.
  • Advanced Players: If you’re competing or aiming for high-level play, consider playing 4-5 days a week. This can include structured drills, competitive play, and strategy sessions.
  • Competitive Players: For those in competitive leagues or preparing for tournaments, 5-6 days a week may be necessary to stay in top form, with strategic rest days to prevent injury.

Does Age Matter?

Absolutely, age plays a role in determining how much pickleball you should play. It’s all about tuning your playtime to what your body can handle and what you aim to achieve.

  • Older Players: Staying active is key, but don’t overdo it. Playing several times a week, even daily, is great if your body can handle it. It’s a fantastic way to stay fit and keep your joints moving without too much stress.
  • Younger Players: Generally, younger players can ramp up the intensity and frequency. If you’re serious about improving or competing, hitting the courts multiple times a week and mixing practice drills with matches is the way to go.

Remember, don’t push too hard to the point of injury. Keep it fun and let your body’s response guide how often you play.

Playing with an Injury

If you’re recovering from an injury but eager to get back on the court, here’s what you need to consider:

  • Consult Your Doctor: Before you start playing again, talk to your healthcare provider. They can advise whether playing might worsen your injury or slow down your recovery.
  • Assess the Injury: The type of injury matters. Minor muscle strains might allow for light play, but serious injuries like major sprains or fractures require complete rest until fully healed.
  • Adapt Your Game: If your doctor gives you the green light, consider modifying your play style to reduce strain on the injured area. For instance, play doubles instead of singles to cover less ground, or avoid high-impact moves.
  • Use Supportive Gear: Wearing braces or supports can help protect and stabilize your injury while you play.

Can You Play Too Much Pickleball?

Yes, overplaying pickleball can have several drawbacks:

  • Physical Exhaustion: Intense or prolonged sessions without adequate breaks can lead to fatigue, diminishing your performance.
  • Overuse Injuries: Frequent play increases the risk of injuries such as tendonitis, joint pain, and muscle strains, particularly in the wrists, shoulders, knees, and ankles.
  • Mental Fatigue: Playing too much can lead to burnout, reducing your motivation and enthusiasm for the sport.
  • Neglecting Recovery: Proper recovery time is essential for repairing and strengthening your body. Without it, you’re more likely to face injuries and setbacks in your performance.

To maintain a balanced approach, it’s crucial to incorporate rest days into your routine.


Q. How many hours a week should you play pickleball to keep improving your skill level?

To consistently improve your skill level, aim for 5 to 10 hours of play per week. This allows for a balanced mix of skill drills, match play, and physical conditioning.

Q. How many days a week should you play pickleball?

Playing 3 to 4 times a week is generally beneficial for most players. Beginners should aim for 2-3 days, intermediates for 3-4 days, and advanced players for 4-5 days. Competitive players may need to play 5-6 days a week.

Q. Does age factor into how much pickleball you should play?

Yes, age does matter. Older players should focus on staying active without overdoing it, while younger players can typically handle more intense and frequent play. Always listen to your body and avoid pushing to the point of injury.

Q. Can you play pickleball if injured or while recovering from an injury?

If you’re recovering from an injury, consult your doctor before playing. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may need to adapt your game or use supportive gear to avoid further damage.

Q. Can you play too much pickleball?

Yes, playing too much can lead to physical exhaustion, overuse injuries, mental fatigue, and inadequate recovery. It’s important to balance play with rest to maintain optimal performance and health.

What do you think?

Written by Billy Pickles

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