How to Get Better at Pickleball by Watching the Pros Play

As passionate pickleball enthusiasts, we don’t just watch professional pickleball for entertainment – we’re also looking for inspiration to elevate our own game. We analyze remarkable rallies, pick apart expert techniques, and marvel at the evolution of shots that were once rare but are now common (like the ATP).

When watching the pros, try not to watch the ball.  Watch one player at a time, paying attention to their footwork, paddle position, hip and shoulder movement, follow-through and movement on the court.  After watching one player, switch to another player to see similarities and differences. 

Pay attention also to their communication skills, anticipation and strategy skills. If you’ve hesitated to dive into professional pickleball or need a reminder of its appeal, here are some compelling reasons to tune in and take your game to the next level!”

They are like us

The first reason to watch professionals play is a refreshing reminder: they’re just like us! Mistakes are an inevitable part of the game, even at the highest level. Seeing pros make errors can be a liberating experience, helping us to be kinder to ourselves when we make mistakes on the court.

Inspiring Greatness

On the other hand, watching the outstanding skills of pros is an exciting experience. Their consistency is awe-inspiring, with rallies often lasting 10 shots or more – a far cry from the occasional long rally in amateur play. Watching the best in action can motivate us to elevate our game and strive for excellence.

The Power of Patience

When watching professional pickleball players, notice how they often prioritize patience over aggression. They understand that not every shot needs to be a winner and that sometimes, the best play is a strategic reset. By playing smart, precise shots, they set up their opponent for a potential putaway opportunity several shots down the line. This tactical approach is a valuable lesson for players of all levels: sometimes, the most effective play is the one that sets up the next shot rather than trying to finish the point immediately.

Learning Through Imitation

From a young age, we learn by observing and imitating those around us. Witnessing others perform new skills or techniques inspires us to try them ourselves. Watching professionals execute impressive shots like the ATP or Erne expands our possibilities and sparks our curiosity. We begin to wonder if we, too, can master such skills.

Mastering Court Positioning

One of the key differences between amateur and professional pickleball players is their movement and positioning on the court. While amateurs often stay static, professionals are constantly on the move, adjusting their position to anticipate the next shot. To improve your own positioning, try focusing on a single player instead of the ball. Observe how they position themselves before each shot, react to their partner’s and opponents’ movements, and use their feet to gain an advantage.

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Footwork and Strategy

Watch how professionals efficiently move around the court, using their feet to achieve excellent positions. Note how they strategically decide when to retreat or advance and leverage their court awareness to deceive their opponents. By analyzing their techniques, you can fine-tune your own footwork and positioning, developing agility and tactical awareness to defeat your opponents and take your game to the next level.

Elevate Your Game with Pro Pickleball

With so much to learn from professional pickleball, it’s time to try it! Next time you want to improve your game, tune in to PickleballTV and discover the strategies and techniques to take your play to the next level. You might be surprised at what you learn.

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