Athletics and Recreation

Why Tennis Players are Switching to Pickleball

Why Tennis Players are Switching to Pickleball

Hey guys I’ve been observing this trend
in Southeast Florida where a lot of players are leaving tennis for
pickleball. Take a look at this. We got four beautiful tennis courts, it’s 8:30
a.m. in Florida. This is primetime for tennis play and there’s nobody playing
while at the same time they just recently built these pickleball courts and it’s
always jam-packed. In fact it’s so packed you sometimes can’t even find a parking
spot. You see all those heads bobbing up and down those are pickleball players.
And not only are players leaving tennis for pickleball tennis courts are also
being converted to pickleball courts at a massive scale. This is taking place
more and more here in Southeast Florida. So this has me intrigued I’m gonna try
to play this pickleball and see what it’s all about.
Looks like all the pickleball rackets are sold out. There are plenty of tennis
rackets though. Ok let’s get the dagger. That sounds good. In pickleball you’re not allowed to step
inside this line in an area called the kitchen and you’re not allowed to take
balls out of the air when your foot is over this line. You are however allowed
to take the ball off the bounce and then step in or even take balls off the
bounce while being inside this area but when it comes to volleys you got to stay
out of the kitchen. Guys this pickleball is a blast. I
understand that a lot of tennis players are picking up this game and I think
what a lot of people find appealing about pickleball that it’s more
forgiving on technique. You can pretty much play everything with a continental
grip and the strokes are a lot shorter than tennis strokes. They’re more compact
so it’s a lot more forgiving on technique it’s easier to keep the ball
in play and most importantly the way this ball is designed it has holes in it
it’s a plastic ball you can hit it pretty hard without losing a lot of
control. You see I can rip this thing and it doesn’t really fly that far. Now on
the other hand the ball does not bounce very high, so I’m six five and I don’t
really like to bend that much so when I play pickleball it was difficult to
handle some of the lower balls. And of course because this court is so small
you have to cover less ground and especially if you’re playing pickleball
doubles you really don’t have to move that much and this is of course an
advantage to some players that have problems with mobility. So if you’re a
good tennis player you’re gonna be able to pick up this pickleball pretty easy
but the big question is if you’re playing pickleball what is going to be
the effect on your tennis game? Unfortunately none of the other racket
sports will help you to become a better tennis player and that is because of the
unique characteristics of the tennis technique. See all the other racket
sports have motions that are much shorter and more abrupt compared to
tennis and in tennis we really don’t hit shots like that. We might be occasionally
bunting the ball or blocking it back but in tennis the strokes are much longer
there are more continuous and there’s a lot more torso rotation involved. And what separates tennis from all the
other racquet sports is this thing right here. See the tennis ball will fly
extremely fast so in order to be able to control this thing you have to have
accurate technique. See no other racquet sport comes close to speed where you
can do something like this, you know send the ball over to the other side well
over a hundred miles an hour. And that is what a lot of novice tennis players have
trouble with. They might be starting playing with three or four balls and now
the ball is flying pretty fast and it’s only possible to control it with proper
technique. A good tennis player will also develop exceptional feel for this ball.
So that way we can hit the ball not only hard but also soft, we can create
multiple angles, hit the ball short and deep. And this is why good tennis players
can translate their tennis game into any other racket sport with relative ease.
And there’s one story that’s fascinating. See in 2006 Las Vegas had an ATP 250
tournament and they also had a paddle tennis tournament going on on the same
site. And Gael Monfils entered the paddle tennis tournament for fun and he faced
the 19 time world paddle tennis champion and Gael had never played
paddle tennis in his life and he ended up winning the match. So if Gael can beat
the 19 time world champion without ever having played paddle tennis before
this clearly proves that tennis is the king of all racquet sports. So I advise
you not to quit tennis completely and switch over to pickleball. Think of it
this way if you continue to improve your tennis game this might actually improve
your pickleball game as well.

Reader Comments

  1. When will you be doing pickle ball lessons??? That was great to watch since I have just transitioned to pickle ball…still play tennis although pickle ball is nearly eclipsing my love for tennis! By the way, your tennis instruction is top notch….thank you ❗️❗️Patrick

  2. Some of my friends are avid pickle ball players. I have not tried it but looks like something I would do on a cruise when I can’t find a high level tennis player to hit with. But it certainly looks to me like a couch potato sport. BTW advanced badminton players can hit shots over 100 mph and maybe faster than a tennis ground stroke. They just don’t seem to run as much and have a smaller court.

  3. Interesting! Thanks for this.
    Do you have any plan for talking about racket spec (e.g., weight) and string for recreational tennis players?

  4. I do agree with you that tennis is the king of racket sports because when I play ping pong, I was able to translate the skill and when I play squash I was able to translate my skill from tennis to squash. btw cool Gaël Monfils story, I heard about that story before

  5. Pickleball looks fun but I love tennis and competing so I'd never give it up.

    But I think it would be fun to try other racket sports as well.


  6. Pickleball is all the rage here as well Nick and it dominates our local tennis club. I do know some of my tennis friends that have tried it and they say it actually helps with their tennis volley skills.

  7. Where in Florida are you from or where do you teach?? Never realized your in Florida!

    I went to Croatia for my honeymoon and visited Split. Beautiful country!

  8. Hi Nikola, Excellent review of the pickleball. I love how you hit with the – who looks like – a very good pickleball player. This game is very popular here (North East) as well, of course, during the summer. A lot of outdoor courts have yellow lines for pickleball, which is confusing when you play tennis.

    I do have pickleball paddles and my wife and I play it occasionally. In order to not screw up my tennis motion (actually hard to mess it up even more :), I play pickleball with my left hand. And I do quite well. For the same reason, I learned to play table tennis with my left hand. And play well too.


  9. Nick, I've taken up playing Padel tennis doubles in the last couple of months here in the UK, it's a great workout with similar strategy to our sport, but at 67 I won't quit lawn tennis while I can still move around effectively.

  10. Nice story Nikola (about Monfils). Pickleball can get you fit, fast, less time, less cost, less technique. I started when my tennis partner (American) imported this into Belgium. But I still play 6h tennis a week.

  11. The problem is it's so hard to find someone to play tennis with. Not a problem with pickelball. The courts are always full of people playing pickelball.

  12. Although I play tennis, have to say that badminton is much faster than tennis when the ball leaves the racket. Badminton speed goes down soon after releasing because of air frictions but it’s still wrong to claim that tennis is the only sport with high speeds.

  13. In Kansas, they have a place called “Chicken and Pickle” where you can play pickleball, eat food, and enjoy live music/events. It’s kind of like Top Golf but for pickleball, but they have no air conditioning.

  14. I would venture a guess that Monfils would be good to great at most sports? 2019 US Open Pickleball men's winner $2,000. 2019 US Open tennis champ Rafa took home $3.85M… Perhaps the tennis people moving to pickleball are the retirees living there in SE Florida. 🙂

  15. Something similar is happening here in Brazil. A lot of recreational tennis players are switching to beach tennis. They tend to pick up very quickly due to being tennis practitioners and end up enjoying it more due to the “easier” nature of the sport. The only sad thing to see is the tennis courts converted to something else.

  16. Nice video – A lot of my Racquetball friends have gone over to pickleball. He stated that there are no other racquet sports that hit the ball over 100 MPH – From my experience I have played racquetball with players that hit over 140mph. Playing tennis for me is like playing racquetball in slow motion, Pickleball is like racquetball in super slow motion. Probably why Racquetball is dying and Pickleball is growing. Easier to keep the ball in play

  17. Pickleball looks like game for lazy ppl who dont like to move a lot..and its also easier than tennis(probably also cheaper than tenis eq) thats why you see more ppl playing it

  18. People always looking for knew things ( business ) first padel and now pickle 😎😎
    Women and older men will switch easier to one off them

  19. I am very surprised of this video from Nikola a passioned person of tennis! What happened? Is it a financial issue ? I am so disappointed

  20. This game looks so bad… I get if you are not a tennis player you could play this and have fun but you really must be desperate if you are transitioning from tennis to this garbage 😀

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