What does it mean to be a Pickleball Athlete?

Let’s face it: Pickleball has arrived and is here to stay. It is no longer merely considered a game, and is developing into a competitive sport, with prize money for Pro divisions increasing year by year. As with most sports, it requires certain attributes to be successful: in addition to drilling and practicing, mobility, stability, functional movement, strength, power and agility, are necessary physical requirements for any athlete to perform at a high level. But where do you start when you’re not sure how to improve your physical attributes?

The first step to improving is to consider a pyramid approach to your athleticism:

At the base of the pyramid is mobility. Without adequate mobility throughout your body, you are placing yourself at high risk for injury when playing Pickleball. Mobility is the foundation of all movement, and should be at the top of the list when starting to work on improving your physical capabilities.

Once adequate mobility has been achieved, it is important to develop stability in order to control our body in while performing athletic movements. With stability and mobility established, once can start training functional movements which include various basic movements such as a squat, as well as more advanced Pickleball specific movements such as side steps, lunges, shuffle steps, etc…

Once you have developed proper mobility (and flexibility), stability, and can perform functional movements, it is time to start adding strength training. At this point, we know the body can perform all necessary movements, and therefore loading the body with weight training has a decreased risk for injury. Finally, the last step is to develop power, which is the ability to exert a maximal amount of force in the shortest time possible, therefore leading to more explosive movements.

If you have any questions, you can contact the Pickleball doctor at: thepickleballdoctor@gmail.com

Don’t miss the next issue of USAPA Newsletter for a complete article by The Pickleball Doctor!

Noe Sariban is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, Certified Pickleball Teaching Professional through the IPTPA, and a Team Engage Pickleball Sponsored Athlete. Please visit www.thepickleballdoctor.com for more information on injury prevention and rehabilitation tips. Noe started his website to provide Pickleball players around the world with a reliable and free source of information. Please like his Facebook page www.facebook.com/pickleballdoctor for updates and new information.

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