The new year is a great time for us to refocus our goals for the year ahead.
For pickleball players, whether seasoned veterans or complete novices, the new year is the perfect opportunity to hone their skills on the court and improve other areas of their lives.
Here are a few great New Year’s resolutions for pickleball players looking to improve on and off the court.
Expand Your Pickleball Network
Pickleball is a social game. Being connected to others is a vital part of the pickleball community. Luckily, there are many ways to connect with others and expand your pickleball and social networks!
Join Local Pickleball Clubs
One of the easiest ways to expand your network is by joining local pickleball clubs. These clubs often organize regular playing sessions, tournaments, and social events for their players. Check community bulletin boards, online forums, or social media groups to find clubs in your area.
Your local pickleball club is also a great way to find other networking opportunities!
Attend Open Play Sessions
Open Play allows players to meet and play against players of all levels. These sessions are great for new players getting into the game and experienced players wanting to experiment with new playing styles.
Open-play events can be held by recreational facilities, community centers, and many areas where you’ll find tennis games.
Play in Tournaments
Tournaments are a great way to test your pickleball skills and meet with other like-minded people. Tournaments tend to have a social spotlight on them, making it even easier to connect with other people.
When you’re at a tournament, don’t forget you can meet more than just other players. Refs, event organizers, and others can be great social additions to your network.
Take Group Lessons
Group lessons or clinics are not only beneficial for skill development but also for expanding your network. Joining a group lesson introduces you to players at a similar skill level, providing a natural setting for building connections. Instructors may also facilitate group activities, encouraging players to interact and learn.
Group lessons, either at a clinic, facility, or with a coach, can be a great way to improve your game while meeting with others who currently have an interest in pickleball similar to your own.
Use Online Platforms
In the digital age, online platforms are powerful tools for connecting with fellow pickleball enthusiasts. Join pickleball forums, social media groups, or specialized apps dedicated to the sport.
Each community is a little bit unique, especially in how they communicate with each other, so it’s usually a good idea to take it slow, see what the people are saying, and figure out if this is a space for you.
Volunteer for Pickleball Events
Volunteering is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the pickleball community and make meaningful connections. Offer assistance at tournaments, clinics, community outreach programs, or nearby pickleball events.
You can always plan your own if you’re having trouble finding pickleball events! You’d be amazed at how many people like you might be looking for pickleball events.
Remember, whenever you meet new people, be friendly, open, and yourself!
Level Up Your Game
Here are a few New Year’s resolutions that focus on leveling up your pickleball game.
Targeted Drills, Practices, and Workouts
A great way to make gains on the court is to really zoom into each aspect of your game and focus on them individually.
If you want to focus on your pickleball serve, devote specific drills, practices, and workouts to that cause.
As you get more reps serving and gain arm strength and wrist flexibility, you see yourself making serious strides in development.
Off Court Wellness
It’s easy to think the only time you get to work on your pickleball game is on the court, but that is not the case.
What you do off the court impacts yourself on the court.
Off-court wellness is a great way to level up your game and the overall quality of your life.
One of the most important things you can do to achieve your goals is to develop consistency.
Developing consistency is one of the most important things you can do if you want to achieve your goals.
Consistency is part commitment and part good planning. You want to start with goals that are both approachable and scalable. This lets you start slow, get comfortable in your routine, and build as you get more skilled.
Set Achievable Goals
Setting achievable goals may not sound too exciting, but it’s imperative that you don’t expect too much from yourself.
Many beginner pickleball players quickly pick up the game and expect that growth rate to continue.
But the more you learn, the longer it takes to learn the next thing. Making noticeable improvements will take more targeted practice and time as you improve at pickleball.
A good way to set goals without getting lost in aspirations is to focus on things, spending a set amount of hours practicing each week or hiring a coach.
This way, you just need to trust the process and know the results will come in time.
The new year is a great time to set some goals for the year ahead so we can focus our efforts, enjoy the game more, and challenge ourselves.
Hopefully, these resolutions will give you some ideas for enjoying more pickleball in 2024!
Kalindi Dinoffer is trained in multiple aspects of mindfulness in life and in sports, sharing on her blog MindfulKalindi.com. She is also certified to teach yoga, fitness, reiki, and MFR. Kalindi also serves as VP marketing at OnCourtOffCourt.com, a leading supplier of tennis, pickleball, fitness and yoga training aids and equipment and has been published in Tennis industry Magazine and Pickleball Magazine, and has conducted workshops at conferences around the world. In her spare time, Kalindi plays tennis, pickleball and table tennis and enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and biking and cross country skiing in the winter.