Walk into any gym or drive by a park and you’re likely to see the courts packed with pickleball players—or “picklers”—pummeling a baseball-sized wiffleball with paddles. If you’re interested in joining in on the fastest-growing sport in America, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind.
Do Know Your Risks
Be aware of these common injuries that can get you into a real pickle.
- Achilles tendon strains
- Calf strains
- Ankle strains
- Plantar fasciitis
- Hamstring strains
- Shoulder (rotator cuff) injuries
- Elbow strains (tennis elbow)
- Wrist strains and fractures
Don’t Wear the Wrong Shoes
Be sure to wear a pair of shoes that are designed specifically for fancy footwork on the court. The extra money you spend on high-quality footwear will far offset the price of medical costs.
Do Firm Up Your Core
For optimal performance and injury prevention, keep your core muscles tight with lower-body and abdominal exercises such as squats, lunges, glute bridges, calf raises, and planks.
Don’t Forget to Stretch
Before hitting the court, get your muscles primed and ready for all those lunges, shuffles, and sprints by doing some dynamic stretches. Afterwards, cool down and loosen up with post-workout static stretches.
Do Talk to Your Partner
When it comes to safety, communication is kind of a big dill. Be sure to work out a communication strategy with your partner ahead of time to avoid accidental collisions.
Don’t Play on a Messy Court
Always make sure the court is clean of debris to avoid slip-and-fall injuries. If the ground is wet, don’t risk it and take a rain check.