Pickleball Safety Tips

4 people playing pickleball

Pickleball is a fast-paced and engaging sport that gained immense popularity in recent years. As with any physical activity, injuries can occur when playing. Here are four ways to minimize the risk of injuries while playing this fun game.

1. Warm-up
Warming up your muscles before you start to play increases blood flow, improves flexibility, and reduces the risk of strains and sprains. Incorporate dynamic movements such as jogging, jumping jacks, and arm circles to prepare your body for the game. Focus on stretching major muscle groups, including the hamstrings, quads, calves, arms, and shoulders.

2. Proper Footwear
Wearing appropriate footwear is vital to minimize foot and ankle injuries during pickleball. Opt for court-specific shoes that provide traction and support. These shoes are designed to grip the surface, minimizing the risks of slipping and twisting your ankle. Ensure that your shoes fit properly and provide adequate cushioning to absorb impact.

3. Hydration
Staying hydrated is important for optimal performance and injury prevention in any sport, including pickleball! Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your game. Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps, fatigue, and diminished cognitive function, increasing the risk of accidents. Make it a habit to carry a water bottle and take regular sips to replenish fluids lost through sweating.

4. Be Mindful of the Environment
Be aware of your surroundings and the pickleball court conditions. Keep an eye out for any obstacles or hazards, such as uneven surfaces or loose balls and tossed racquets. Communicate with your teammates to avoid collisions and adjust your gameplay based on weather conditions, such as extreme heat or wet courts, to minimize the risk of heat-related illnesses or slips.

Enjoying pickleball to its fullest requires prioritizing safety on the court. Use these proactive approaches to reduce the risk of injuries and ensure a long-lasting and enjoyable pickleball experience for all involved. Stay safe, have fun, and game-on!

For information and to make an appointment with a sports medicine physical therapist, visit www.emersonhospital.org/clinical-services/sports-medicine-performance.