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Concocting the Perfect Pickleball Specimen

A Formula Destined To Dominate The Courts

February 27 2024

(Originally published August 10, 2023)

Bonjour, mes amis! Just as we craft a delicious boeuf bourguignon or a perfect baguette, today we’re stirring up something rather different. We'll be concocting our own “perfect” pickleball player from scratch. A peculiar sort of a recipe for major league pickleball, wouldn't you say? Let's take a look how to combine the best of all worlds to create the next pickleball great!

A Lean Base

Let’s begin with a lean, mean athletic base. The ideal height for a professional pickleball player is up for debate, but we’ve found that taller players have an advantage with their reach, both in serving and at the net. They might say "too many cooks spoil the broth," but for our purposes, a dash of basketball or tennis pedigree would serve us well. Such an athlete comes pre-seasoned with the hand-eye coordination and rapid reflexes needed for the ideal pickleball doubles player.

Photo Credit: LA Times
Photo Credit: LA Times

Kneading the Athletic Dough

But that's just the start. If this our athlete’s really going to be one of the best players in the world, we need to knead our dough – they need to move swiftly and efficiently across the court. Consider a good dollop of soccer player agility for those quick lateral movements and sudden direction changes. But remember, like adding too much salt, an athlete with all speed and no control can ruin the dish.

Photo Credit: Encyclopedia Brittannica
Photo Credit: Encyclopedia Brittannica

Whipping Up Strength and Stamina: The Key Ingredients for Long-Lasting Rally Power

Next, we mix in strength and endurance. Borrow a slice of a marathon runner's stamina and blend it with a cyclist's lower body strength. Now our player can withstand lengthy rallies in major tournaments and matches while maintaining powerful strokes and quick footwork. Like beating egg whites to stiff peaks for our lovely meringue, these elements must be well-incorporated if you're serious about becoming a four-time national champion.

Photo Credit: Runner's World
Photo Credit: Runner's World

Spicing Up the Game with Strategy

Now we add a teaspoon of patience with a sprinkle of strategic thinking – these spices are surely going to make our player stand out from the crowd. Chess players, sudoku wizards, solitaire wunderkinds – with their strategic vision and analytical thinking – are our models. Our player will be able to anticipate opponents' moves, knowing when to lean in with an aggressive playing style or go for a soft drop shot.

Photo Credit: Envy

A Dash of Precision

But we’re not finished yet, mes chéris! If you really want to get into the world pickleball rankings, this recipe wouldn’t be complete without adding a generous helping of hand-eye coordination. Sample this from a seasoned major league baseball hitter or a top cricket player. The ability to hit a fast-moving, bouncing ball with precision is a skill we can’t neglect.

Photo Credit: LA Times
Photo Credit: LA Times

Serving Up Success

Let’s not be foolish and skip over serving skill! A pitcher's fine-tuned control and accuracy, or perhaps a tennis player's serve power and spin, would be a perfect pinch of pizzazz to our serving concoction.

Photo Credit: The Australian

Stirring in Mental Fortitude

Of course, we can’t neglect the importance of mental toughness for a top pickleball player to succeed. Let's stir in a boxer’s resolve, even after numerous rounds, can still deliver a knockout punch (not unlike Homer Simpson, that one time…). Mental toughness will keep our pickleball player competitive when the going gets tough: a must-need for all the elite pickleball players of the world.

Don't forget about resilience – a rugby player’s resilience could be the perfect addition. Our athlete needs to bounce back from a challenging rally, a lost game, or even an injury. Just like a soufflé that doesn't rise, there may be setbacks, but if national championships are on the life, a great player won't get disheartened.

Photo Credit: Daily Sabah
Photo Credit: Daily Sabah

A Pinch of Humility

No great dish is complete without a secret ingredient, and our perfect pickleball player is no exception. A dash of humility and a good measure of sportsmanship will round out our athlete ­– because even if they win all the top championships, nobody likes a sore winner. Borrow from golfers, who often applaud their opponents' good shots.

Photo: Masters Golf Tournament
Photo: Masters Golf Tournament

Fanning the Flames of Competition

Like a soufflé, our perfect pickleball player must rise to the occasion, so let's infuse a dose of competitive spirit, borrowing from the fierce determination and spirit of an Olympic gymnast.

Next: adaptability. Not every match, nor every opponent, are created equal. Borrow the adaptability of a seasoned explorer, like Survivorman, who adjusts to different climates and terrains, always ready for the unexpected.

Photo Credit: Anchored Outdoors
Les Stroud, Survivorman. Photo Credit: Anchored Outdoors

Dancing to the Beat

An essential part of any recipe is timing, and professional pickleball players is no different. Let's blend in the rhythm and musicality of a dancer, who knows just when to make a move. Our player will have the ability to hit the ball at the perfect moment, sending it to the right place at the right time.

Photo Credit: A Dancer's Life
Photo Credit: A Dancer's Life

The Secret Ingredient of Consistency

Next, fold in a heaping spoonful of consistency from a professional archer, who can hit the bull's-eye again and again. In all professional pickleball players, consistency in delivering strong serves, accurate returns, and precise placements is key. Consistency, like the perfect crème brûlée, is all about maintaining a steady hand and focus.

Photo Credit: Archery 360
Photo Credit: Archery 360

Savor with Passion

Lastly, but just as importantly, can’t forget passion for the game. Let’s add a dash of a child's enthusiasm, who plays for pure joy and nothing else. Like the aroma of a freshly baked baguette, passion will permeate through our player's game, making each match a contagiously fun feast to watch.

Photo Credit: Team Snap
Photo Credit: Team Snap

Blend It All Together

Bake all these ingredients together under the high heat of tournament competition and watch as our player rises to perfection. Just as the flavors in a bouillabaisse meld and enhance each other over time, our player will evolve, grow, and continue to perfect his or her game, training and playing in different conditions and against varied opponents.

And finally, just like the cherry on a well-crafted tart, top off with a powerful yet controlled swing developed over time and practice.


And there you have it! Through this recipe, we've concocted the 'perfect' pickleball player, or at least, our version of it. Remember, though, like any recipe, this can and should be adjusted to personal taste. After all, sports, like cooking, is as much about the journey as it is about the final product.

Now, who's ready for a match of pickleball? We hope we've sparked your appetite in this delightful game. Bon appétit!

Photo Credit: Max


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