Playing pickleball recreationally: suggestions for courteous play with players of the same skill level, higher level, and lower level
Remember what attracted us to this great sport? In many cases it was how friendly, inviting, and helpful fellow pickleball players were on our entry into pickleball. Let’s not forget that spirit of cooperation and pass on what was so freely given to us.
Playing with others at the same skill level.
Usually the most comfortable play is when we all share the same probability of good and bad shots. In this case friendliness goes a long way. Observe a winner by partners or opponents say “good shot”. Observe an error say nothing, or alternatively encourage the effort with their hope for future opportunities. Coaching our partner is probably best left to after the game. Then ask if they would like any suggestions from your observations.
If we are unsure of an “out” ball or rule violation give the benefit of our doubt to the opponents (these things have a way of evening out anyway).
Playing with others at a higher skill level.
Admire another higher skilled player’s level of play? Like the chance to play with them? Ask them to play with you as a partner when there’s an opportune time in their schedule. Be respectful of their priorities; they may be there that day to intentionally play competitively with a group at their same level of play. After the game, be sure to ask for their suggestions to improve your play. This is a great way to get tips!
Playing with others at a lower skill level.
Observe another lower skilled player waiting to play? Ask if they would like to partner with you for a game.
Playing in a game with an obvious lower skilled player, perhaps it’s appropriate to mix up some strategies other than drive the ball at the weakest player, especially in recreational play. Again, coaching our partner is probably best left to after the game. Then ask if they would like any suggestions from your observations.
USAPA Ambassador Daytona