If a ball in play hits you before it bounces on the court, it is a fault against you. If a ball bounces anywhere on the court and then hits you, it is a fault against you. If a ball is speeding high out of bounds and it hits you even when you are out of bounds, it is a fault against you. If your partner’s return of serve hits you, it is a fault against you. If your opponent’s ball hits you because you are a big, scary presence at the kitchen line, it is a fault against you. In other words, getting hit by a ball is always your fault.
So, duck, leap, swivel, tap dance, do whatever it takes to avoid the ball and the blame. Don’t let the ball even graze a hair on your head.
And remember, catching a ball before it hits the ground, even if you are out of bounds, is like being hit – a fault against you.
Playing Tip: Move It
A body in motion tends to stay in motion while a stationary body needs a boost to get going. Thank you Sir Isaac Newton.
In pickleball, you must be quick on your feet. So, you need to stay in motion. That means you can shuffle your feet a bit while you are waiting for someone to serve. And when you are standing in the ready position – feet shoulder width apart, elbows in front of your body, paddle head higher than your wrist – you should be rolling onto your toes, keeping your feet flexible and ready to make a move.