According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), there were an estimated 4.2 million Pickleball players in the United States in 2020, representing a 21.3% increase from the previous year. Pickleball enthusiasts knew they were on to something. Over the next two years, Pickleball participation would absolutely explode to 113.1% growth over that time period.
That number has only gone up since then. Outside of the U.S., the International Federation of Pickleball estimates that the sport is now played in over 100 countries around the world. Countries like Canada, Spain, the United Kingdom, Australia, and India have witnessed a significant increase in Pickleball participation and the establishment of dedicated Pickleball facilities.
Given it's soaring popularity, it's only fitting that we take a deep dive and explore the various resources out there for players to improve their game.
In this article, we'll take a look at some of the best books about Pickleball, covering everything from the rules to advanced strategies and techniques.
The Rules of Pickleball
Before we get too deep, it's important to know the rules. If you're like me, I've played Pickleball several times, but if you were to grill me on the rules, I'm sure I'd make some mistakes. If you want an official rulebook in a book format, Keyshia Marie lays it out below.
If you want to save $29.99, you can actually download the USA Official Pickelball Rulebook right here for free. Whether you're new to the game or play often, a good refresher on the rules never hurt anybody.
Pickleball Strategy Books
Once we know the rules, the next logical question is: how do I beat my opponent?
Meet Dennis Hall, a certified Pickleball coach, who has a 4-part book series starting with the book below. One suggestion would be to start with this book. If you like it, continue the series, and you'll be a Pickleball expert in no time.
For Plan B, keep reading.
Plan B? Pickleball For Dummies. I know, I know, very funny.
But, in all seriousness, the "For Dummies" series of books has been going strong since 1991 for good reason: they're well written, easy to understand, and pack a lot of punch into a single book.
Not your jam? No problem. Pickleball 5.0 has an ugly cover, but as the saying goes, "Don't judge a book by its cover." Coach Phil Dunmeyer was a public school teacher and coach for 37 years and still provides free Pickleball lessons to anyone who wants to learn. His only ask, "Pay it forward."
This book is comprehensive, well written, and wrought with advice and tips. It not only includes drills and strategies but has a section on etiquette. Hey, if you're not a great player, at least you'll get an A+ for behavior.
Doubles Pickleball Books
If you're planning to play with a partner, or if you already do and want to avoid hitting them in the back, check out Joe Baker's new book, At The Line Pickleball. Joe is an expert and also does a lot of video training. Check out the YouTube video below to get a taste of Joe's teaching style, and it may serve as a good precursor as to whether you'd like the book.
The one thing I really liked about this one is that Baker includes a lot of photos and diagrams to explain his teaching points.
Pickleball Book From A Pro
You may be one of those people that learns better from people that have actually played the game. Take U.S. Open Gold Medal winner, John Callahan. John knows a thing or two because he's experienced it. In this way, his book isn't solely about telling you what to do; it's also backed up by real-world examples and things to keep in mind from a player's perspective.
I wouldn't recommend this book for beginners because Callahan talks about a lot of advanced concepts that will fly right over your head. For intermediate players and up, though, it's actually what you want because you'll learn a thing or two without getting bored.
From The Neck Up
If you're a looking for a book that explores the mental side of Pickleball, check out Mind Game and/or Pickleball Zen. Both will get you thinking about how you approach the sport, and many of the suggestions can be applied off the court as well.
Last, but not least, there was recent Forbes article that talked about the number of Pickleball injuries, and the increased strain on the US healthcare system. I shared my thoughts on that article here.
For a lot of middle-aged to older players that haven't moved like this in a while, it's important to train your body so you're not a one-hit wonder. Pickleball for Life does an excellent job outlining warm ups, stretches, and cool down exercises to help keep you limber.
It has also has a section on body mechanics and posture. Since a lot of Pickleball injuries occur when players are reaching, twisting, or jumping, this is really helpful and prudent advice.
At the end of the day, no sport is fun if you can't stay healthy. I'd recommend reading this, even as a refresher, as most of our bodies simply don't move like they did in high school.
There you have it! I hope you found what you were looking for. If you have a Pickleball book that we should check out, please leave us a comment below or send us a note on the Contact page.
On a related topic, we recently wrote about the Best Pickleball Paddles!
For additional recommendation by sports genre, check out our Recommendations page. We also have some great articles on a variety of sports topics on our Blog.
Last, I saw these socks online the other day, and they're awesome!
John Willkom is the author of Amazon best-selling basketball books: Walk-On Warrior and No Fear In The Arena. John is an avid reader, sports fan, and father to two incredible little girls.
Check out healthy energy drinks from Celsius: