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  • Writer's pictureSerendipityPTW

A Pickleball Piece - Squatting and Lunging and Legwork, Oh My


As the budding pickleball player learns and develops their skills in the game, it’s incredible to observe just how much a person’s body mechanics and techniques will evolve over time. Many people focus on body mechanics, positioning, and honing their techniques solely in the interest of playing better, but did you know that these skills also play a critical role in injury prevention?


Many newer or less technically skilled players often find themselves doing a lot of reaching, using their arm and torso to generate the lion’s share of the effort as they play. They’re more inclined to make big swings at the ball, over utilize their wrists and elbows, and overuse their spines as compared to their legs in order to achieve their returns.


From a gameplay standpoint, these factors often result in players becoming off balance, out of position, and create many returns that lack precision and are more likely to go out. From an injury standpoint, we’re more likely to see issues such as sciatica, falls, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, disc herniations, hamstring or back strains, and rotator cuff injuries, just to name a few of the more common problems.


This is important, because, as they say: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


As players become more technically skilled, their playstyle should shift to incorporate more stepping maneuvers, especially from side to side, as the legs play a critical role in positioning as opposed to just the upper body. A mini-squatting position is utilized in order to help the player to self stabilize, and small lunge-type movements (forward, backwards, and side-to-side) will help the player properly position themselves where they need to be. For the upper body, the shoulder, shoulder blade, and postural muscles of the upper back are responsible for generating most of our arm motion and stability as opposed to the wrist and elbow.


For many individuals, adjusting your habits and learning to incorporate these different movements into your play can pose a big challenge. I always tend to find that retraining the body is the easiest to do when tasks are broken down into their most basic elements.


Practicing activities such as stepping patterns, squats, lunges, and paddle swings in isolation can be critical in getting these techniques nailed down. From there, I would recommend putting these basic motions into practice through drills. I’m a huge fan of drills, because they’re much less hectic than a standard game, which will allow you to focus on the specific aspects that you need to improve on. Once you’ve mastered incorporating these movements into your drills, they should be much simpler to consistently utilize during standard play.


Don’t forget that practice makes perfect! Habits are never formed in a single day, so don’t get discouraged.


In some cases, it can be a challenge to retrain your skills because of a prior or current injury, stiffness, muscle weakness, or limited coordination. We at Serendipity are well equipped to help you overcome these types of hurdles with our services, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you feel that something is holding you back from playing you at your best!


In the end, learning proper pickleball positioning and techniques can provide a big initial challenge, but when it comes to preventing injuries and maximizing your game performance, it’s entirely worth the effort that you put into it!


If you have inquiries, or need help to improve your body mechanics and physical technique, please get in touch with us at (239) 232-8155, or shoot us a quick email at Contact@SerendipityPTW.com


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