So you’d like to get started playing pickleball and you don’t know where to begin. Is that correct? You need H.E.L.P., my friend… How-to, Equipment, Location & People
To play with others, you should have a basic understanding of the rules and how to keep score. For resources regarding rules, visit this page.
To play pickleball, each player needs a paddle. When you’re starting out, you do not need anything fancy. A wooden paddle is inexpensive and good as you’re learning the rules, but if you start playing a lot, you will want to upgrade to a composite paddle for more control and power. If you plan on playing once per year, then the wooden paddle will be just fine. You will also need a pickleball, which is basically a wiffleball that is about the size of a baseball. We recommend checking out pickleballcentral.com for paddles and balls. OPA members get 5% off. Some indoor locations, like Marshall White, have paddles that you can borrow if you do not have your own.
Pickleball can be played singles or doubles. If you’re lucky enough to have one or three friends who want to learn to play, then all you need to do is gather some equipment, read the rules and head out to a court near you. It’s easy, and fun, to just learn as you go with family or friends. If you don’t have a group to learn with, then you can come out to Open Play and kindly ask if you can jump in on a game. You may ask if there are any OPA board members or general members around and see if they can introduce you to someone who will show you the ropes. In general, most players are friendly and willing to play with a newbie if you’re serious about learning. Some players are advanced and may be training for a tournament, meaning they may not be up for teaching that day. Don’t be offended, just be positive and enthusiastic and you will fit right in. It can be intimidating to show up and jump in, but I promise it will be okay and you will soon be on your way up and helping others. As a member of OPA, you have access to the Member Directory. This is also a good way to find players. Follow us on Facebook to stay in touch, as well.
If you’re the type that likes private lessons, then OPA Member Terry Corbridge (pictured) can help with that. Email Terry (terrycorbridge(at)gmail.com) today to talk lessons and rates.
Have advice for a newbie? Leave a comment below.