Seniors 70+ on a pickleball court

Starting Pickleball at 70: Best Tips and Tricks To Get Your Game On

Starting a new sport at any age can be daunting, but it’s never too late to try something new. If you’re 70 years old and looking for a low-impact, fun way to stay active, consider trying pickleball. Pickleball is a sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong and is played on a smaller court with a lower net, making it an ideal choice for seniors.

A group of 70 plus seniors playing pickleball on a sunny court with colorful paddles and a bouncing ball
Starting Pickleball at 70+

One of the biggest benefits of pickleball is its low-impact nature. This means that it’s easier on your joints than high-impact sports like running or basketball. This makes it a great choice for seniors who may have arthritis or other joint issues. Additionally, pickleball can help improve your balance, coordination, and agility, which are all important factors in maintaining your physical health as you age.

If you’re new to pickleball, don’t worry! It’s an easy-to-learn sport that can be played at any skill level. Many communities have pickleball courts available for public use, and there are also pickleball clubs and leagues that you can join. So why not give it a try? You might just find that pickleball is the perfect way to stay active and have fun in your golden years.

Top Senior Men and Women Players (55- 70+ years)

70 plus year old pickleball players begin a match on a sunny court
Starting Pickleball at 70+

Pickleball is a sport that is enjoyed by people of all ages. However, it is particularly popular among seniors. It is a great way to stay active, socialize, and have fun. If you are thinking of starting pickleball at 70, it can be helpful to know who the top senior men and women players are. This can give you an idea of what is possible with age and inspire you to improve your skills.

Here are some of the top senior men and women players (55 – 70+) to watch and learn from:


  • Julie Johnson: Julie Johnson is a senior professional pickleball player who has left an indelible mark on the sport. Her pickleball journey commenced casually when she relocated to Florida and started playing with her family. It took a significant turn when she was invited to participate in several senior pro-division tournaments. She is known for her aggressive style of play and her ability to read her opponent’s shots.
  • Gigi LeMaster: Gigi LeMaster is a senior professional pickleball player who has won numerous national and international titles. She is known for her quick reflexes, powerful shots, and strategic play. She is also a skilled coach and has helped many players improve their game.
  • Jennifer Lucore: Jennifer Lucore is a senior professional pickleball player who has won multiple gold medals in national and international tournaments. She is known for her all-around game and her ability to adapt to different playing styles. She is also a respected coach and has written several books on pickleball strategy.


  • David Spearman: David Spearman has been playing pickleball for over 40 years and is still competing at a high level. He is known for his consistency, accuracy, and strategic play. He has won multiple national and international titles and is a respected coach and ambassador for the sport.
  • Scott Moore: Scott Moore is a senior professional pickleball player who has won multiple gold medals in national and international tournaments. He is known for his athleticism, power, and speed on the court. He is also a skilled coach and has helped many players improve their game.
  • Steve Dawson: Steve Dawson is a senior professional pickleball player who has won multiple national and international titles. He is known for his finesse, touch, and precision on the court. He is also a respected coach and has developed several innovative training programs for pickleball players.

These are just a few of the many top senior men and women pickleball players. By watching and learning from them, you can improve your own skills and enjoy the sport even more.

Understanding Pickleball

seniors 70+ on a pickleball court
Starting Pickleball at 70+

History and Origins

Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. It was invented in 1965 by Joel Pritchard, a congressman from Washington State, and his friend Bill Bell. The game was originally played with a wiffle ball and paddles made from plywood. The name “pickleball” is said to have come from the Pritchard family’s dog, Pickles, who would chase after the ball and run off with it.

Basic Rules and Scoring

Pickleball is played on a court that is roughly one-third the size of a standard tennis court. The net is set at 36 inches in the center and 34 inches on the ends. The game can be played in singles or doubles format, and the objective is to score points by hitting the ball over the net and into the opponent’s court without them returning it. The first team to reach 11 points and be ahead by at least two points wins the game.

Equipment Essentials

The equipment needed to play pickleball includes a plastic ball with holes, a paddle, and a court. The ball used in pickleball is similar to a whiffle ball but slightly smaller. The paddle is made of wood, graphite, or composite materials and is used to hit the ball. Pickleball paddles are smaller than tennis rackets and have shorter handles. It is important to choose the right paddle for your skill level and play style. There are great options for seniors 70+.

Court Layout and Dimensions

The pickleball court is 20 feet wide and 44 feet long, with a 7-foot non-volley zone on either side of the net. The court is divided into two halves by the net, and each half is further divided into service courts and a middle area. The lines on the court indicate the boundaries of the playing area and the non-volley zone. It is important to know the court dimensions and lines to play the game correctly.

Overall, pickleball is a fun and low-impact sport that can be enjoyed by players of all ages – including 70-plus years old. Its combination of elements from tennis, badminton, and ping-pong makes it a unique and exciting game to play. With the right equipment and knowledge of the rules and court layout, you can start playing pickleball at 70 and enjoy the many benefits it has to offer.

Getting Started at 70 or any Age

A group of 70 plus year old pickleball players gather on the pickleball court, eagerly preparing to play. The bright colors of the court and equipment add a sense of energy and excitement to the scene
Starting Pickleball at 70+

If you’re 70 years old and interested in starting pickleball, congratulations! You’re never too old to try something new. This section will provide you with some basic information on how to get started with pickleball.

Choosing the Right Equipment

Before you start playing pickleball, you’ll need to choose the right equipment. The most important piece of equipment is the pickleball paddle. There are several great pickleball paddles for those that are 70 plus years old. When choosing a paddle, look for one that is lightweight and easy to maneuver. You may also want to consider the grip size, as a smaller grip may be easier to hold for those with smaller hands.

In addition to a paddle, you’ll also need pickleballs. Pickleballs are similar to whiffle balls and are designed to be lightweight and easy to hit. You can purchase pickleballs at most sporting goods stores. And yes, there are pickleballs that are made for senior players (70-plus years old).

Learning the Basic Shots

Once you have your equipment, it’s time to learn the basic shots. The three main shots in pickleball are the dink, the lob, and the drop shot. The dink is a soft shot used to place the ball just over the net. The lob is a high shot used to get the ball over your opponent’s head. The drop shot is a quick shot used to catch your opponent off guard.

Understanding the Serve

The serve is the most important shot in pickleball. To serve, stand behind the baseline on the right side of the court (if you’re right-handed) and hit the ball underhand. The serve must be hit diagonally across the court and must land in the opposite service box. If the ball lands in the wrong service box or out of bounds, it’s a fault, and the other team gets a point.

In conclusion, starting pickleball at 70 can be a fun and rewarding experience. By choosing the right equipment, learning the basic shots, and understanding the serve, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying this exciting paddle sport.

Physical and Mental Preparation

Starting Pickleball at 70+

Starting pickleball at 70 can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it’s important to prepare your body and mind for the activity. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Assessing Fitness Level (Especially Senior Players – 70+)

Before beginning any new physical activity, it’s important to assess your fitness level. There is no reason why you can’t play pickleball at 70. But you do need this assessment. This will help you determine what types of exercises and activities are appropriate for you. You can assess your fitness level by checking your heart rate, blood pressure, and body mass index (BMI). It’s also a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.

Importance of Warming Up ( A Must for those 70+)

Warming up before playing pickleball is crucial to prevent injury and improve performance. A proper warm-up should include light cardio exercises such as walking or jogging, as well as stretching exercises to loosen up your muscles. It’s important to focus on the muscles you will be using during the game, such as your shoulders, arms, and legs. Whether you are 20 or 70 plus years old, warmups should be a part of your routine.

Balance and Coordination Exercises

Pickleball at 70 years or older requires good balance and coordination, so it’s important to include exercises that focus on these areas in your preparation routine. You can try standing on one leg, or walking heel-to-toe to improve your balance. Coordination exercises such as tossing a ball back and forth between your hands can also be helpful.

Overall, preparing your body and mind for pickleball can help you enjoy the game and avoid injury. By assessing your fitness level, warming up properly, and including balance and coordination exercises in your routine, you can improve your physical and mental health while having fun on the court.

Playing the Game

Starting Pickleball at 70+

Pickleball is a fun and exciting sport that can be played by people of all ages, including those who are 70 years old or older. If you are just starting out with pickleball, there are a few things that you should keep in mind to ensure that you have a great experience playing the game.

Starting with Doubles Play

When you first start playing pickleball, it is recommended that you begin with doubles play. It is a great way to play at 70, and I routinely play with women in their 70s. Doubles play is less physically demanding than singles play, and it allows you to focus on developing your skills and getting used to the court.

To play doubles, you will need to find a partner who is also interested in playing pickleball. You can then take turns serving and returning the ball and work together to score points and win the game.

Strategies for Singles Play

If you are interested in playing singles, there are a few strategies that you can use to improve your game. First, it is important to stay in the center of the court as much as possible, as this will give you the best chance of returning your opponent’s shots.

Additionally, it is important to work on your hand-eye coordination, as this will help you to react quickly to your opponent’s shots. You may also want to invest in a good pair of court shoes, as these will help to improve your traction and prevent slips and falls on the court.

Mixed Doubles Dynamics

If you are playing mixed doubles, it is important to remember that the dynamics of the game are different than in singles or same-gender doubles. You will need to work closely with your partner to coordinate your shots and movements and communicate effectively to avoid confusion on the court.

It is also important to be aware of your partner’s strengths and weaknesses and to adjust your game accordingly. For example, if your partner is stronger at the net, you may want to focus on returning shots from the baseline to give them more opportunities to score points.

By following these tips and strategies, you can enjoy playing pickleball at 70 years old and beyond. With practice, patience, and a positive attitude, you can improve your skills and have a great time playing this exciting sport.

Safety and Injury Prevention

Starting Pickleball at 70+

Playing pickleball is a low-impact sport, which makes it an excellent choice for seniors 70 and over. However, like any other sport, there is a risk of injury. In this section, we will discuss how to prevent injuries while playing pickleball.

Understanding Risks for Seniors

As we age, our bodies become less flexible, and our reaction times slow down. At 70 our bodies are a lot different than even 40 or 50. These changes make it more challenging to avoid injury while playing sports. Seniors are at higher risk of injury when playing pickleball because of their physical limitations. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the risks and take steps to prevent injuries.

Proper Gear and Attire

Wearing the right gear and attire can help prevent injuries on the pickleball court. The following are some essential items to consider:

  • Shoes: Wear shoes with good traction and support to prevent slips and falls.
  • Clothing: Wear comfortable, breathable clothing that allows for a full range of motion.
  • Eyewear: Wear protective eyewear to prevent eye injuries from stray balls.

Safe Play Techniques

The following are some safe play techniques to help prevent injuries while playing pickleball:

  • Warm-up: Always warm up before playing to prevent muscle strains and other injuries.
  • Stay in the non-volley zone: The non-volley zone is the area near the net where players are not allowed to hit the ball in the air. Staying in this zone can help prevent collisions and other injuries.
  • Use proper technique: Using proper technique when hitting the ball can help prevent injuries to your wrist, elbow, and shoulder.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, which can lead to cramps and other injuries.

In conclusion, pickleball is a great sport for seniors, but it is essential to take steps to prevent injuries. So, if you are 70+, by understanding the risks, wearing the right gear, and using safe play techniques, you can enjoy the game without putting yourself at risk of injury.

Social and Competitive Aspects

Pickleball is not just a sport; it is also a social activity that can help you stay connected with others. Finding local clubs and leagues can be a great way to meet new people who share your interest in the game. Many senior centers and clubs offer pickleball programs, so check with your local community center or recreation department to see if they have any available. You can also search online for local pickleball clubs and leagues using websites like or

Finding Local Clubs and Leagues

Joining a local club or league can provide you with access to regular games and tournaments and help you find a partner to play with regularly. This can be especially important if you are just starting out and need someone to practice with. Many clubs and leagues offer beginner clinics and lessons to help you get started.

Even if you are not tech-savvy at 70, there are great pickleball apps that can help you find partners, courts, lessons, and more.

Starting Pickleball at 70+

The Role of Social Interaction

In addition to playing pickleball, social interaction is a key component of the game. Pickleball provides an opportunity to make new friends and connect with others who share your interests. Socializing before and after games can be just as important as the game itself. Many clubs and leagues organize social events like potlucks, barbecues, and holiday parties to help build a sense of community among players. For seniors, this is a big part of the fun especially as we get older (70+)

Entering Tournaments and Competitions (Yes, at 70+!)

If you are interested in more competitive play, there are many pickleball tournaments and competitions available to players of all skill levels. Tournaments can be a great way to challenge yourself and improve your game. They can also be a fun way to travel and see new places. Websites like and offer information on upcoming tournaments and competitions by age bracket (19 -70+) and by skill level.

When entering tournaments, it is important to find a partner who is at a similar skill level to you. Many tournaments offer different skill level divisions, so be sure to enter the appropriate one for your skill level. It is also important to practice and prepare for the tournament in advance. This can include working on your serve, practicing your shots, and improving your footwork.

In conclusion, pickleball is not just a sport; it is also a social activity that can help you stay connected with others. Finding local clubs and leagues can provide you with access to regular games, tournaments, and a partner to play with regularly. Socializing before and after games can be just as important as the game itself. If you are interested in more competitive play, there are many pickleball tournaments and competitions available to players of all skill levels.

Advancing Your Skills

Congratulations on starting your pickleball journey at age 70! Now that you’ve learned the basics, it’s time to advance your skills. Here are a few tips to help you take your game to the next level.

Taking Lessons and Clinics

One of the best ways to improve your pickleball skills is to take lessons or attend clinics. Look for certified instructors or coaches in your area who can help you develop your skills. They can provide you with personalized feedback and guidance on your technique, footwork, and strategy. There are Clinics that cater to senior players (70+). These are well worth the time.

Pickleball Camps For Adults

Practicing with a Partner or Group

Practicing with a partner or group is a great way to improve your skills and mental stimulation. You can work on your serve, return, and other shots and practice different strategies and scenarios. Playing with others also helps you build confidence and learn from other players.

Learning Advanced Techniques

As you become more comfortable with the basics, you can start learning advanced techniques. Some of these include the third shot drop, dinking, and lobbing. These techniques require more finesse and strategy but can help you win points and games.

There are excellent training aids and drills that you can practice. These are excellent whether you are 20 or 70.

Remember, advancing your skills takes time and practice. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. Keep practicing and learning, and you’ll see improvement over time. Use this guide as a starting point to help you on your journey to becoming a better pickleball player.

The Pickleball Community

Starting pickleball at 70 can be a bit daunting, but the pickleball community is welcoming and supportive. There are many resources available to help you get started, including the USA Pickleball Association, becoming a Pickleball Ambassador, and senior pickleball opportunities.

USA Pickleball Association

The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) is the governing body for pickleball in the United States. Its website provides a wealth of information, including rules, equipment, and tournament schedules. The association also offers membership, which includes benefits such as discounts on equipment and access to exclusive content.

Becoming a Pickleball Ambassador

If you’re interested in getting more involved in the pickleball community, becoming a Pickleball Ambassador is a great way to do so. Ambassadors are volunteers who promote the sport and help new players get started. It’s a great way to get involved if you’re starting out, whether you’re 20 or 70. Ambassadors also organize events and tournaments in their local communities.

Senior Pickleball Opportunities

Pickleball is becoming increasingly popular among older players (70+), and there are many opportunities for seniors to play. Many communities have senior centers or recreation centers that offer pickleball programs, and there are also senior tournaments held throughout the country. Playing pickleball is a great way to stay active and meet new people.

Adapting to Indoor and Outdoor Play

Playing pickleball indoors vs. outdoors can be a very different experience, and it’s important to understand the pros and cons of each. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you adapt to different environments.

Pros and Cons of Indoor vs. Outdoor

Indoor pickleball courts are typically smaller and have a harder surface than outdoor courts. This can make the game faster and more intense, but it can also be harder on your joints. Outdoor courts, on the other hand, are generally larger and have a softer surface, which can be easier on your joints but can also make the game slower. The size isn’t the dimension of the court but the space around the court.

One advantage of playing indoors is that you don’t have to worry about the wind affecting the ball. This can make it easier to control your shots and can make the game more predictable. However, indoor courts can also be more crowded, which can make it harder to move around and can increase the risk of collisions.

Outdoor courts, on the other hand, offer more space and fresh air, which can be invigorating. However, the wind can also make the ball unpredictable, which can make it harder to control your shots. Outdoor courts can also be more affected by weather conditions, such as rain or extreme heat.

Adjusting Tactics for Different Environments

When playing indoors, it’s important to be ready for a faster-paced game. You may need to adjust your footwork and be more aggressive with your shots. You may also need to be more aware of your opponent’s movements, as there is less space to maneuver.

When playing outdoors, you may need to adjust your shots to compensate for the wind. For example, you may need to hit the ball harder or use more spin to keep it on track. You may also need to be more patient, as the game may be slower and more methodical.

Regardless of whether you’re playing indoors or outdoors, it’s important to pay attention to your fatigue levels. If you’re feeling tired, take a break and rest. Remember that pickleball is a game of endurance, and pacing yourself is key to staying in the game.

In summary, adapting to different environments in pickleball requires an understanding of the pros and cons of each and an ability to adjust your tactics accordingly. By being aware of your surroundings and paying attention to your body, you can enjoy the game no matter where you play.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the health benefits of playing pickleball for seniors?

Pickleball is a great way for seniors to stay active and healthy. It promotes physical health, social interaction, and cognitive sharpness. The low-impact nature of pickleball makes it suitable for seniors, reducing joint stress while improving balance, coordination, and agility. According to an article on PaddleTek, seniors should absolutely play pickleball.

How does one get started with pickleball at a senior age?

Getting started with pickleball is easy. You can find a local pickleball court and ask someone to teach you the basics. Many communities have pickleball clubs or groups that welcome new players. You can also find instructional videos online to help you learn the game.

What equipment is necessary for a beginner in pickleball?

The equipment necessary for a beginner in pickleball is minimal. You will need a pickleball paddle, a few pickleballs, and comfortable shoes. You can find beginner paddles at most sports stores or online.

Are there specific strategies for seniors starting pickleball?

There are no specific strategies for seniors starting pickleball. However, it’s important to start slow and focus on the fundamentals of the game. You can also work on improving your footwork and positioning on the court.

What safety precautions should seniors take when playing pickleball?

Safety is a top priority when playing pickleball. Seniors should wear comfortable and supportive shoes to reduce the risk of falls and injuries. It’s also important to warm up before playing and stretch afterward to prevent muscle strains.

Where can seniors find pickleball communities or groups?

Seniors can find pickleball communities or groups by searching online or checking with their local community center. Many communities have pickleball courts and clubs that welcome new players. You can also find pickleball tournaments and events in your area.

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