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First Tournament

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Paul Bautista
Posts: 2
Topic starter
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago

I started playing pickleball last summer and just registered for my first pickleball tournament. I am excited and nervous. Any advice on how to prepare?

5 Replies
Michelle Malkin
Posts: 32
Joined: 2 years ago

Hi, Paul! Congrats! I played in my very first tournament last summer. I read a lot of blog posts and watched YouTube videos to get ready. 

The main thing I was unprepared for was the LENGTH of the entire competition. It was physically and mentally challenging. There were several periods where we had to stand around and wait for our next match. Each time we resumed play, I was kind of like a car that needed to warm up again after being idle, if that makes sense. 

One area where I was definitely prepared was food/drinks. I brought a massive cooler with all sorts of snacks and beverages: protein bars, electrolytes, beef jerky, bananas, nuts. I'm one of those people that needs to be fueled up at all times and not let the gas tank get to empty (I have fainted before on court in rec play when I played on a half-full stomach!).

Get to the venue early and take advantage of the warm-up time. Print out the bracket and familiarize yourself with the court to which you've been assigned. Never hesitate to ASK QUESTIONS when you are uncertain of rules/procedures. 

I love the electricity of tournaments and performing under competitive pressure. It's not for everyone. The most important thing, though, is to enjoy the moment and HAVE FUN.

Posts: 13
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago

Michelle makes many good points.

1) I would add bring something to sit on unless you know seating is available. Staying off your feet can be helpful for long days.

2) Assuming you are playing doubles, have an in-depth conversation with your partner about a) what your goals are and b) strategy.  A is important so that you are on the same page whether you are out to win or out to have fun. I think you can be both, but it would be bad to get there and one gets upset if you are congratulating the other team on good shots and your partner is not that type. B to discuss strategy like who takes balls down the middle, do you want to serve first or pick the side of the court, who is going to serve first (I preferred to keep that consistent throughout the day even with the wrist band). Who gets lobs? Moving in unison (as best you can). Are you aggressive or more cautious? 

Playing with that partner a lot can help you learn one another's game and maybe quirks.


I am pretty competitive but not at the expense of having fun or being a good sport.

Oscar Jimenez
Posts: 9
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago


Posts: 5
Active Member
Joined: 5 months ago

Whiskey, stay up all night, and run 5 miles to the court b4 the match.  Don't bother with the over-rated warm up or eating anything (best to fast for a few days).  Remember drinking H20 will slow you down after the whiskey.  Ask your opponents for pointers and to borrow a paddle.

Spell like OJ!  See you there and Good luck!!!???!!!

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