Serve, Smash, and Stretch: A Guide to Pickleball

Young male and female playing pickleball on a sunny day with racquets and ball in hand.

Pickleball: The Fastest Growing Sport in South Carolina

Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the country and South Carolina is no exception. More and more people are discovering this fun, low-impact sport that can be enjoyed by players of all ages and skill levels. In this blog, we’ll explore why pickleball is so popular, what gear you need to get started, and proper stretching techniques to prevent injury.

Why Pickleball is So Popular

Pickleball court with multiple pickleballs laid out in a fun colorful pattern on the surface.Pickleball is a combination of tennis, badminton, and ping pong, played on a smaller court with a lower net. It’s easy to learn and can be played as singles or doubles. It’s a social sport that encourages players to engage with each other, making it a great way to meet new people.

One of the reasons for its popularity is that pickleball is a low-impact sport that is easy on the joints. The smaller court size and lighter paddle mean that players don’t have to move as much as they would in tennis, making it a great sport for those who are looking to stay active but don’t want to put a lot of stress on their bodies.

Another reason for its popularity is the wide range of skill levels that can play together. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced player, you can find someone to play with. This makes it a great sport for families to play together or for people of all ages to get involved in.

Gear You Need to Get Started

To get started playing pickleball, you’ll need a few basic pieces of equipment. First, you’ll need a paddle. Pickleball paddles are made of wood, composite materials, or graphite. The type of paddle you choose will depend on your skill level and personal preference.

Next, you’ll need a ball. Pickleballs are lightweight and have holes in them, making them easy to hit and control. They come in a variety of colors and can be purchased online or at a sporting goods store.

Finally, you’ll need proper footwear. The shoes you wear for pickleball should be comfortable, provide good support, and have a non-marking sole. Many people wear tennis shoes, but some companies make shoes specifically for pickleball.

Proper Stretching to Prevent Injury

As with any sport, it’s important to properly stretch before playing pickleball. The repetitive motion of hitting the ball can put stress on your muscles and joints, so stretching is crucial to prevent injury.

  1. Start by stretching your arms, shoulders, and wrists. You can do this by holding your arm out in front of you and pulling your fingers back towards your wrist. Hold for 10 seconds and then release. Repeat on the other arm.
  2. Next, stretch your legs. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and slowly bend forward at the waist, reaching your hands towards your toes. Hold for 10 seconds and then slowly stand back up.
  3. Finally, stretch your back. Sit on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you. Reach your hands towards your toes, bending at the waist. Hold for 10 seconds and then slowly release.

By properly stretching before playing pickleball, you can help prevent injuries such as strains and sprains.


As the popularity of pickleball continues to grow, so does the number of courts popping up all over South Carolina. In fact, according to the USA Pickleball Association, South Carolina currently has over 200 pickleball courts, with new ones being built every year. This means that whether you’re in the Upstate, Lowcountry, or anywhere in between, you’re likely to find a pickleball court nearby. Many communities have even converted underutilized tennis courts to pickleball courts due to the high demand. With the beautiful South Carolina weather, playing pickleball outdoors is a great way to enjoy the sunshine and stay active. So, grab your paddle and head to the court to join in on the fun.

At Carolina Physical Therapy, we believe in promoting an active lifestyle through sports like pickleball. We offer a range of services to help keep you healthy and active, including physical therapy, injury prevention, and rehabilitation. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you stay active and pain-free.