How to Play Pickleball Like a Pro!

What is pickleball?

Pickleball is a sport that combines different elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. It can be played indoors or outdoors on a badminton sized court with a slightly modified tennis net (it needs to be slightly lowered). It is played with a paddle and a small ball with holes in it. You can play in either doubles or singles (doubles are more common). This game can be enjoyed by all ages, with a multitude of skill levels and mobility ranges.

What are the rules/basics of pickleball?

The head of the paddle must not be above the highest part of the wrist at contact.

When serving:

  • The server’s arm must be moving in an upward arc when the ball is first struck, after that, when the paddle comes in contact with the ball, it must not be above waist height.
  • When serving, the servers’ feet must be outside of the court (not touching the court or the outside extension of the court ex. sidelines), at least one foot must be behind the baseline on the playing surface (see pictures below)
  • The serve also must go cross court to the opposing side
  • The serve will initially take place on the right of the court If a point is won upon a lone serve, the server and only the server, will move to the left side of the court and indicate that the serve will be taking place from there.
  • If the first server loses, then their partner serves until they lose and then the serve goes to the opposing team. Both players will have the opportunity to serve and score points until their team as two faults, then the serve will go to the opposing team (a fault is any action that stops the play because of a rule violation, a fault by the receiving team results in a point for the serving team, a fault by the serving team results in the server’s loss of serve)

When scoring:

  • Points are only scored by the team who is serving, games are typically played to 11 and win by 2.
  • When the serving teams score is even (0, 2, 4, 6, 8…) the first server of the game will be on the right side of the court when serving or receiving, but if the serving teams score is odd (1, 3, 5, 7…) the first server of the game will be on the left side of the court when serving or receiving.

Two-bounce rule:

  • When the ball is served, the receiving team must let it bounce before returning it.
  • After the ball has bounced once on each team’s court, both teams can either hit the ball before or after it bounces.

How to prevent injury while playing pickleball

According to The Center of Orthopedic and Neurosurgical Care and Research, the most common pickleball injuries are ankle sprains, Achilles Tendonitis, Hamstring and Quadriceps muscle strain, shoulder impingement, and wrist fracture  

Proper footwear:

Another way to prevent injury when playing pickleball is to wear proper shoes. You should wear shoes that provide balance and stability, as well as good traction.

  • The shoes you choose should be selected based on the surface you will be playing on (ex. indoor vs outdoor courts – indoor court more slippery)
  • Before stepping onto the pickleball court, you need to know and understand your limitations, do not push yourself past your physical abilities. You will become better the more you practice, do not over work yourself too early or it may limit your pickleball career.
  • In order to play at your best capacity, drink lots of water before and after matches, make sure that you are giving your body the proper nourishment of carbohydrates and protein, also, give your body the appropriate amount of rest in between matches.

Key aspects to include before, during and after your pickleball games:

  1. Warm up

It is crucial to warm up properly before engaging in a pickleball match. A good dynamic warm up should take place before playing, lasting approximately 5-10 minutes. For examples of dynamic warm-ups, view our running mechanics #1 blog post.

Starting with rally of some sort and stretching before hitting the court for a game is important. The main idea behind this is to get blood flowing to your muscles warming them up so they are less likely to be injured during play.

2. Practice

Some of the recommended training to prevent pickleball related injuries according to is to stand and look as if you were hitting the ball overhead and take one step back, if you feel dizzy or off balance, you should try and do this drill without a ball until you no longer feel dizzy (see picture below).


You should also warm up your knees before playing, practice twisting in a crouched position to improve stance and agility during your match (see picture below)


Another stretch designed specifically for pickleball is a high knee lift with a twist. This warm-up helps to stretch your waist, shoulders, hips and it also works to improve your balance.


3. Strength/ Balance and Flexibility Training

Since pickleball can be, at times, a rather quick game that requires fast movements and reaching, injuries will start to present themselves if proper care is not taken before, after and during. Ensuring that you incorporate a proper warm up before each game is essential loosen muscles and joints and increase blood flow to working muscles. In addition to warming up, incorporating strength and flexibility training in between pickleball games is a great way to strength bones, ligaments and muscles to prevent injury.

Furthermore, it is important to make sure that you have good balance before stepping onto the pickleball court. Adequate balance helps to prevent falls or hyperextensions that could result in sprained ankles, tears or pulls of joints, as well as potential concussions or wrist fractures.

Strength exercise examples:

Balance exercise examples:

The health and social benefits of pickleball

Pickleball is an activity that can be enjoyed by everyone, independent of age.

It is a great way to help you meet the Canadian Physical Activity guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity. Furthermore, pickleball can increase your cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF). CRF is an important marker for health as it reflects the ability of the respiratory and circulatory system to supply oxygen to working muscles during physical activity. Thus, low CRF (inefficiency or low capacity to supply oxygen to muscles) can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease events and all-cause mortality.

As with many forms of physical activity, pickleball offers improvements in mental health, incorporates social engagement and increases overall physical wellbeing. Pickleball is a fun and engaging game that will make physical activity easy to accomplish without having to do, what some may consider, boring exercises alone.

Benefits of pickle ball for Older adults

Pickleball tends to be a great sport for the older population to partake in. Pickleball is a great option for older adults who are looking to become more physically active as it’s an activity that is low impact. Pickleball is also a great way to increase agility and balance. Balance issues are prevalent among older adults and account for most injuries related to falls that can be devastating. Therefore, incorporating low impact activities that work on balance, such as pickleball, can offer peace of mind to older adults who may have a fear of falling.

Below is a list of additional benefits pickleball (and physical activity in general) can offer:

Have you recently played a game and just aren’t feel “right” on the court?

The physiotherapy team at the Right Move can help! Whether you are looking for strength, balancing and flexibility exercises to incorporate into your exercise routine in between games, or have an injury that is causing pain while playing, physiotherapy is right for you.

There are many modalities that the team can walk you through to ensure you are able to play in top shape for you pickleball games.

If you have any questions regarding pickleball and physiotherapy, please each out via email ( or phone (613 384 3222) and we would be happy to answer them!

Where to find pickleball in Kingston

Are you unsure where you can play pickleball in Kingston? Head on over to or to learn more.

The Benefits of Shockwave Therapy

The Benefits of Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy is a relatively unknown treatment option in the public eye but is one that works especially well for nagging injuries, athletes, as well as those with chronic pain. Whether you’re experiencing soft tissue discomfort or have a medical condition such as tendinitis; shockwave therapy can offer you quick, effective relief!

How it Works

Shockwave therapy involves a short series of high-energy pressure waves that are directed at the injured tissue. The treatment produces an inflammatory response in the body. While this sounds counterintuitive, these waves actually trick your body into thinking damage is being done. This produces a bodily reaction in the form of blood rushing to the affected area and helps to fight off what it believes is a threat. Shockwave accelerates the healing process by allowing your body to solve the problem naturally.

What are the Benefits?

This quick, non-invasive treatment uses no medicine. It also has very little risk or side effects for the patient.  Each session takes a maximum of 15 minutes with significant improvements seen in three to five sessions. As a result, this means you can quickly return to your normal activities in just a few short weeks!

Will it Hurt?

Typically, there will be some discomfort during the treatment. However, because the sessions are short, most patients are able to tolerate the treatment without any problem. Also, the intensity can be adjusted throughout the session by the physiotherapist.

How Do I Go About Getting Shockwave Therapy?

The easiest way is to call or email our clinic to book an assessment! You’ll meet with a physiotherapist who will be able to determine whether or not shockwave therapy is the best treatment method for you. Often times, your physiotherapist can also include the first treatment in during your assessment!


The Benefits of Shockwave Therapy

The Right Move has invested in the latest medical technology and current evidence-informed treatment techniques in an effort to bring the best clinical results to patients. We use the MP100 from Storz Canada, which is the leading company providing medical equipment to health care professionals. We are the only physiotherapy clinic in Eastern Ontario with this device and feel grateful we are able to provide our patients with this treatment!

The following conditions are easily treated with shockwave therapy:

  • plantar fasciitis
  • achilles tendonosis
  • patellar tendinopathies
  • tennis elbow
  • rotator cuff tendinopathies

The Benefits of Shockwave Therapy



Give us a call at 613-384-3222 (or email us at to book your appointment today!

How Physiotherapy Can Treat and Prevent Sports Injuries

How Physiotherapy Can Treat and Prevent Sports Injuries

Spring is here, which has a lot of us getting more active than we have been the past few months. This is great for our overall health; but can lead to sports injuries if we aren’t careful, which is why physiotherapy is so important!

Physiotherapy is essential when it comes to recovery from sports injuries. Most athletes wait until an injury occurs before seeking treatment, however a physiotherapist can also help you prevent these injuries from happening too!

When it comes to treating existing injuries, physiotherapy focuses on a custom-made and comprehensive treatment plan that is tailored to you and your injury. From muscle strains to ligament sprains, dislocations and fractures, professional treatment will get you feeling better faster.

At The Right Move, we have lots of high quality treatment options to help with sports injuries as they happen such as:

Strengthening Exercises

Weak muscles are the consequence of inactivity after an injury; so strengthening exercises are a great way to grow and maintain the strength and function of your muscles.


When it comes to injured soft tissue, bone, heal, and joint pain, shockwave therapy is a great modern treatment option! This non-surgical treatment promotes accelerated recovery so you can get back to the things you love faster than traditional rehabilitation.

Dry Needling

Tension in the form of tight muscles are another consequence of inactivity after an injury and dry needling can help release this tension which will, in turn, also reduce pain.


Traditional therapy methods can help in the acute stages of pain (when the injury just happened). Tens, Interferential, and Ultrasound are modalities thought to help with circulation and tissue healing.

Manual Therapy

Hands on therapy works well for relaxing muscles in spasm and getting your joints moving freer; all the while reducing tissue adhesions and decreasing any swelling so you can move better.


Still, there is another key benefit of physiotherapy when it comes to sports injuries, which is injury prevention.

Physiotherapy is an important way to help prevent sports injuries from occurring; which is actually more beneficial to athletes in the first place! Having a registered physiotherapist that you trust, work well with, and you can depend on are key when it comes to injury prevention. This way, you can monitor your health/fitness and assess the need for strengthening potentially weak areas before injuries occur!

Whether you have an existing sports injury and need immediate physiotherapy treatment or are simply looking to maintain your muscle and joint health; we have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to help! For more information on how physiotherapy can help you or to book an appointment, give us a call at 613-384-3222 today!


– Ian Budge
MscPT, Bkin, CSCS