How to Avoid Pickleball Injuries

April 17, 2019

How to Avoid Pickleball Injuries

Tips To Prevent Falling In Pickleball

We all hate getting hurt because of course, that means we can't play pickleball but more importantly as we mature our body doesn't recover as fast as when we were younger.  Here are some tips for reducing falls both on and off the court.

1# Choose the correct pickleball shoes. 

Just like in tennis, the sole should be smooth so you can slide into the ball.  The smooth sole also assures that no small traction pegs (which are built into running, cross-trainers and other sneakers) will catch in the court and trigger a fall.

2# Rethink Running Down Lobs

67% of all Pickleball Falls Occur when a player runs backward for a ball. 

In pickleball, if a lob is done very well, it will die when it bounces.  Learn how to determine if the lob is possible to run down and hit a return by the trajectory, placement, and power of the lob. If you think that the lob isn't possible to run down- simply say "Good Shot" and conserve your energy.

If you do run down the lob, utilize the switch technique with your partner. As soon as you determine you can't get the lob (determined by the height of the lob and pace) yell Switch.  Your partner runs back diagonally (much safer than your running backward vertically) and you switch to the other side. You both stay on these sides and continue the point.

3# Determine the best way to hit the Overhead

If you're backing up extremely fast and are fully stretched to hit the overhead chances are swinging big will only get you in more trouble. It is perfectly acceptable to hit an overhead at 50 percent pace and keep yourself in the point.

If there you are running down a lob, it's best to learn the switching technique used by tennis players.

4# Communicate on the Court

Not only can you both collide and fall but yelling "yours" and "mine" reduces collisions and falls.

Keep in mind, as we age, we also lose peripheral vision, so remind your partner not to swing near you. Set up rules before playing as who should hit the backhand.  

 

Here are some methods for reducing falls off the court:

Get stronger

Strong, solid muscles help people stay upright.  Weekly resistance training, especially of the legs reduces falls.

Improve Your Balance

Even simple exercises can make a difference. For example,: stand behind a steady, solid chair (not one with wheels), and hold on to the back of it. Lift up your right foot and balance on your left foot. Hold that position for as long as you can, then switch feet. The goal should be to stand on one foot without holding onto the chair and hold that pose for up to a minute.

The next several suggestions come right from the Center for Disease Control

Talk with Your Doctor about Fall Protection

Tell him or her if you have fallen, or if you feel unsteady or like you might fall. Review all of your medications and discuss any side effects like feeling dizzy or sleepy. Maybe taking a vitamin D supplement could improve bone, muscle and nerve health

Check Your Eyes

Have your vision checked once a year and update your glasses as you need. If you can’t see where you are going or if there is an obstacle in your way that you miss, you increase your chance of falling. 

 

Most of all - ENJOY YOUR GAME!