Pickleball Injury Prevention: Tips for a Healthy Game

Pickleball is a popular and fast-paced racquet sport that has been gaining popularity worldwide. It is a fun and low-impact sport that can be enjoyed by players of all ages and skill levels. However, like any other sport, pickleball can come with some risks, especially if proper precautions are not taken.

From sprains to strains, and even worse, injuries can occur while playing pickleball. The good news is that pickleball injury prevention is possible with some basic knowledge and proper techniques. Whether you are new to the game or a seasoned player, understanding the

Pickleball Injury Prevention: Tips for a Healthy Game

Pickleball is a low-impact, fast-paced racquet sport that is enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. However, like any other sport, injuries can occur while playing. To prevent injuries, players can take several basic precautions, including warming up properly, using the correct equipment and techniques, and being aware of their physical limitations. Other tips for injury prevention in pickleball include conditioning and cross-training, practicing good nutrition and hydration habits, and seeking medical attention if an injury occurs. By following these guidelines, pickleball players can reduce their risk of injury and enjoy a healthy and active game.

Pickleball Injury Prevention: Tips for a Healthy Game

Pickleball is a popular sport that has gained traction in recent years since its inception in 1965. It is a fun game that virtually anyone can play. However, like any sport, injuries can occur. Fortunately, there are several measures you can take to reduce your risk of getting hurt while playing pickleball. In this post, we will explore some helpful tips that will minimize the risk of injury while playing the game.

Warm-up before playing

Warming up before playing any sport is essential regardless of age, sex or experience level. A proper warm-up increases blood flow to your muscles and prepares your body for the activity ahead. Warming up for at least 10 to 15 minutes before playing pickleball prevents muscle strain and injury.

Your warm-up should consist of stretches and movements that mimic the actions of playing pickleball. For instance, you can walk or jog in place, perform hamstring stretches, and arm circles. These exercises ensure that your muscles are warm and ready to move when you begin playing.

Use the correct equipment and techniques

To reduce the risk of injury while playing pickleball, it is essential to use the correct equipment and techniques. You should consider the following:


The type of paddle you use while playing pickleball can impact your game and chances of getting injured. The right paddle should be easy to grip when your hands are sweaty, light and fit your grip properly.

Most paddles are made of wood, graphite, or composite materials. Composite materials are usually more durable, lightweight and have a larger sweet spot. Go for a paddle with a wrist strap as this will reduce the possibility of the paddle flying out of your hand when you take a swing.


Pickleballs have unique playing attributes different from other balls. Pickleballs are perforated which makes them travel towards a slower trajectory. They have a slight weight of about 1 oz and require a different technique when returning strokes.

You should use pickleballs specifically made for playing pickleball. Since pickleball is an outdoor game, it will be difficult to play with indoor balls. Outdoor balls are durable, and the colour makes it easy to spot them in optimal lightning such as the green Dura Fast 40.

Learn the techniques

Pickleball is simple to learn but requires time to master. Familiarizing yourself with the basics is a great way to reduce the risk of injuries. In pickleball, there are different shots and techniques players use. Some of these techniques include:

Forehand and backhand technique

The forehand and backhand shots in pickleball allow players to hit the ball towards the opponent’s side of the court. The right technique ensures that your shots are accurate, injury-free, and often hard to retrieve.

When hitting forehand shots, your paddle should be at a 90-degree angle to the ball. Your wrist should flick the ball and follow through the shot. While doing this, do not forget to keep your body weight forward to ensure a better shot accuracy.

The left-hand top-spin backhand shot has a high degree of precision when hitting the ball. The wrist should turn, and fingers should wrap down around the edges of the paddle while using a backhand. It will twist the paddle, exerting a spin which increases the control of the ball and the consistency of your shots.


In pickleball, volleys are shots played before the ball bounces. They require a different technique compared to groundstrokes. When volleying, it is essential to use your wrist movement to achieve wrist leverage. This movement generates the power needed to return the ball.

Ready position

The ready position is how you position yourself when waiting for the next shot. It is essential to maintain balance and be ready to move in any direction. Players are advised to be on the balls of their feet and not flat-footed. The racket should be in front of your body, and the grip shouldn’t be too forceful.

Understand your physical limitations

It’s essential to understand your physical limitations to avoid injuries when playing pickleball. If you have prior injuries or physical ailments, you should consider discussing with a medical practitioner before playing the game.

Players should not ignore the signs of fatigue or pain while playing. Rest when you feel tired, drink enough water, and avoid pushing yourself too hard if your body is not ready for it.

Condition yourself and cross-train

Conditioning yourself and cross-training reduces the risk of injuries while playing pickleball. Cardiovascular training like cycling and swimming builds endurance, improving your performance on the court.

While pickleball does not require much running, it’s essential to practice plyometric drills. Plyometric drills, such as jumping jacks, skips, twists, and squats, aid in developing stronger, faster muscle fibers. Cross-training ensures your body remains strong and free from any form of injury.

Practice good nutrition and hydration habits

Your diet and hydration levels can significantly affect your performance on the court. Dehydration, specifically, can lead to muscle cramps, headaches, and injuries. Players should drink enough water before, during, and after playing to prevent dehydration.

You should also eat a balanced diet to keep your body energized during the game. A balanced diet includes healthy fats, protein, and carbohydrates. These nutrients will vary depending on your body requirements and the intensity of the game.

Playing pickleball can be a lot of fun, and through implementing these tips, it’s possible to play pickleball injury-free. Remember to warm up before playing, use the right equipment and techniques, understand your physical limits, cross-train and eat healthily. By following these guidelines and staying safe, you can get the most out of your game of pickleball.

Maintain the court

Another important factor to consider in pickleball injury prevention is court maintenance. Maintaining the court ensures players don’t trip, fall or twist their ankle while playing the game. You should ensure the court surface is free from debris or any other objects that might cause accidents. The court surface should be level and have no cracks, bumps or chips.

Pickleball footwear

Investing in proper footwear is essential when playing pickleball. Footwear designed specifically for pickleball such as court shoes, are lightweight and provide ample support for the players, helping to minimize the risk of injury. Court shoes have a rubber sole designed for the court, which ensures traction and reduces the risk of slipping. They are also designed to provide plenty of cushioning on the feet and especially the knees during play.

Be prepared for the unexpected

Accidents can happen during play, and in some cases, they may be unavoidable. Players should always be prepared by bringing a first aid kit to the court. In the first aid kit should be an ice pack, bandages, pain relievers, and other essentials. There should also be a phone for emergency calls.

Know your limits

It may be tempting to play beyond your limits, but pushing yourself too hard can lead to serious injury. Knowing your limits is an essential part of injury prevention in pickleball. Players should always listen to their bodies and stop playing if they experience pain or discomfort. Overusing muscles and joints can lead to injuries such as tendinitis or tennis elbow which could keep you off the court for an extended period. By respecting your limits, you will reduce the risk of injuries.

Wear protective gear

While pickleball is generally a safe sport, it’s important to take appropriate safety measures. For instance, players should wear protective gear such as knee pads for added protection. Other protective gear includes elbow pads, wrist guards, and ankle guards. These gears help provide an extra layer of protection, reducing the risk of injury when a fall occurs.

Final thoughts

Playing pickleball is an enjoyable way to build strength, improve endurance, and socialize with others. But like any sport, pickleball has its risks, and players must take steps to reduce the risk of injury. By applying the tips shared in this post, players can continue to play safely and reduce the risk of injury. Remember to invest in proper footwear and equipment, warm-up before playing, practice correct techniques, understand your physical limits, and rest when necessary. Also, always be prepared for unexpected injuries by bringing a first aid kit to the court.


Here are a few frequently asked questions about pickleball injury prevention that might be helpful.

Q: Do I need to warm up before playing pickleball?

A: Yes. Warming up before playing any sport reduces the risk of injury. A proper warm-up increases blood flow to your muscles and prepares your body for the activity ahead. Warming up for at least 10 to 15 minutes before playing pickleball prevents muscle strain and injury.

Q: Do I need specific shoes to play pickleball?

A: Yes. Proper footwear is essential to reduce the risk of injury when playing pickleball. Court shoes are the best for playing pickleball since they are lightweight and provide ample support for the players.

Q: Can I get injured from playing pickleball?

A: Yes, just like any other sport. Pickleball injuries can range from small bruises and sprains to more severe injuries like fractures. To prevent injuries, it’s essential to use the correct equipment, techniques, maintain court conditions, and warm-up before playing.

Q: Can a beginner play pickleball?

A: Yes, absolutely. Pickleball is a fun game that virtually anyone can play regardless of age, sex, or skill level. It is an excellent choice for beginners to learn about the sport and gain fitness benefits.

Q: What should I do if I get hurt while playing pickleball?

A: Seek medical attention immediately if you get hurt while playing pickleball. If the injury seems severe, stop playing and seek medical attention immediately. Applying ice or a cold compress to the affected area can help reduce pain and inflammation.

Q: How can I avoid getting tennis elbow while playing pickleball?

A: To avoid getting tennis elbow while playing pickleball, it’s essential to maintain proper techniques while hitting the ball. Overuse of the elbow, shoulder, and wrist can cause tennis elbow. Players should also warm-up properly and use the correct equipment, such as a paddle with the correct grip size.

Q: Is there an age limit for playing pickleball?

A: No, there’s no age limit for playing pickleball. In fact, it’s an excellent game for seniors as it’s a low-impact sport yet provides excellent cardiovascular and strength-building benefits.

Q: How can I prepare for a pickleball tournament?

A: To prepare for a pickleball tournament, players should ensure that they have enough rest, hydration, good nutrition, and practice beforehand. Players should also familiarize themselves with the rules of the tournament and ensure that their equipment is in good condition.

Q: Can pickleball be played indoors?

A: Yes, pickleball can be played both indoors and outdoors. However, the court size is slightly different for indoor and outdoor play. Indoor play has a smaller court size compared to outdoor play.

Q: Can I lose weight by playing pickleball?

A: Yes. Playing pickleball provides excellent cardiovascular and strength-building benefits that can help you lose weight. It’s an excellent game for weight loss as it’s low-impact, so it’s easy on your joints while providing you with a full-body workout.

Q: How do I reduce the risk of ankle injuries while playing pickleball?

A: To reduce the risk of ankle injuries while playing pickleball, players should wear appropriate shoes that have a good grip and provide ample support around the ankle. Players should also be mindful of the playing surface and avoid playing on slippery surfaces like wet grass.