After 210 podcasts about Pickleball you might think I’ve covered every instructional technique possible. But today Ben Bicknese from the Pickle Haus in Chicago talks about how he teaches Pickleball from the feet up. 


Mentioned in the Show


Social media:


Show Notes

New Pickleball Entertainment Complex

  • Ben reveals a new pickleball-themed entertainment complex in the works.
  • The complex is set to open in Algonquin in the first week of November, though a specific date isn’t finalized.
  • While the theme is pickleball, the facility is envisioned as a broader entertainment complex.

Mastering Pickleball Techniques with a Tennis Background

  • Discussion about transitioning techniques from tennis to pickleball.

Teaching Philosophy Differences: Tennis vs. Pickleball

  • Ben explains his tennis teaching approach: emphasizing hand strokes and techniques first, then moving to footwork.
  • For pickleball, footwork comes first due to the lightness of the paddle and ball.
  • Importance of movement early on in pickleball training.

Challenges of Incorporating New Skills

  • Players often struggle to integrate new skills while playing.
  • The competitive nature can hinder skill development, with players focusing more on winning.
  • Emphasis on the importance of drills for improvement.

The Role of Footwork in Pickleball

  • Comparisons drawn between footwork in tennis and pickleball.
  • Observation about Coco Gauff’s footwork improvement in tennis.
  • Lynn’s personal experience with footwork and stance.
  • The need for a balanced and wide stance in pickleball, similar to other sports.

Practicing Footwork

  • Ben emphasizes the importance of maintaining a square stance to the net.
  • Techniques and exercises to practice footwork, both in the gym and on the court.
  • The significance of a centered balanced base to work off of.

Achieving Calmness During Play

  • The paradox of staying calm while reacting quickly.
  • How maintaining calm feet can lead to better reactions with hands.
  • The challenge of achieving a “zen-like” state during play.

Optimal Stance in Pickleball

  • Discussion on the ready position across different sports.
  • Importance of an explosive stance that allows quick reactions.
  • Adjusting the stance based on an individual’s athletic capability.

Bouncing and Movement in the Game

  • Pros and cons of continuously bouncing during play.
  • Energy conservation in the game.
  • Individual preferences for movement.

Click Here to Subscribe to the Pickleball Fire Podcast


Subscribe to the Pickleball Fire Podcast

Get Notified About Pickleball Tournaments Near You. Sign Up Below:

Subscribe to the Pickleball Fire Podcast