The Best Pickleball Books of 2024

Have you ever found yourself standing on a pickleball court, paddle in hand, feeling as lost as a ping pong ball in a badminton match? You’re not alone. In fact, just a few short years ago, that was me. Now, I’m here to help you catapult out of that beginner’s trench faster than a pickleball shot off a graphite paddle!

As much as I’d love to say I reached pickleball proficiency purely through raw talent and grit (not to mention a bit of elbow grease), I’ve got to be honest with you – I had some help. And a good chunk of that came from the written wisdom of those who’ve been lobbing and volleying long before I even knew what a pickleball was. Yes, my pickleball pals, I’m talking about books!

So, pull up a chair, grab a pickle (c’mon, you didn’t think I’d let the opportunity pass to slip a pickle joke in there, did you?), and get ready for a tour of the best pickleball books out there. The kind of books that will transform you from a pickleball novice into a skilled player, able to smash, drop, and dink with the best of them. Buckle up, it’s going to be a ride!


My Top Pickleball Book Picks


Best Overall Pickleball Book

1. How to Play Pickleball: The Complete Guide from A to Z

What We Like: written by pickleball legend “Coach Mo” to be a totally comprehensive book on pickleball.
What We Don’t: only available in paperback – no Kindle or Audible option.

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Ah, the gem of my pickleball book collection, ‘How to Play Pickleball: The Complete Guide from A to Z.’ Don’t let the title’s straightforwardness fool you. This book packs more punch than a power shot at the baseline, and it’s my top pick for the Best Overall Pickleball Book.

Right off the bat, this book throws you into the thick of the game. It’s got you covered from the basic rules and scoring system, right up to strategy and technique for each kind of shot – even ones you didn’t know existed! It’s like having a wise pickleball sensei in paperback form, minus the white beard and mysterious proverbs. The author’s flair for explaining complex concepts in a digestible manner made me feel like I was learning to dance, not just smash a wiffle ball across a net.

Here’s where it gets even better. The author clearly hasn’t forgotten what it’s like to be a beginner. The book takes you gently by the hand, but isn’t afraid to give you a friendly shove towards improvement. It’s filled with drills and practice suggestions that encourage you to get out there and try, try again. It was like having a supportive coach whispering in my ear, “Come on, you can do this!”

One of the standout features of ‘How to Play Pickleball: The Complete Guide from A to Z’ is its emphasis on strategy. No, this isn’t your Grandpa’s chess guide. This is about real, applicable, pickleball-specific tactics that you can implement right away. The book provides detailed strategies for singles and doubles play, handling different kinds of opponents, and even mental game tips to keep your cool when the pressure’s on. This book isn’t just a guide – it’s your golden ticket to pickleball prowess.

See the How to Play Pickleball: The Complete Guide from A to Z

Best Book for Beginners

2. Pickleball For Dummies

What We Like: extremely beginner friendly.
What We Don’t: it’s definitely on the basic side, and has a bit of “fluff” before it gets to the good stuff on improving your game.

Let me tell you about a book that’s as familiar as the smell of new pickleball shoes – yes, it’s ‘Pickleball for Dummies.’ Now, before you start thinking this is a jab at your playing skills, rest assured it’s anything but. This book, my friends, is a lifesaver for those who are just getting started with our beloved sport, and that’s why it gets my gold medal for the Best Book for Beginners.

I can’t emphasize enough how approachable this book is. It starts with the basics – the ‘Pickleball 101’ if you will. How to grip the paddle? Check. How to serve? Check. What’s a kitchen and why should I stay out of it? Double check. It explains all the rules in a way that’s easy to understand and hard to forget, making it an ideal companion for those stepping on the court for the first time.

The beauty of ‘Pickleball for Dummies’ lies in its simplicity and clarity. The book breaks down techniques into bite-sized pieces, each explained with easy-to-understand language, fun diagrams, and even some humor. The result? A crash course that’s as enjoyable as it is educational. It’s as if the book is saying, “Hey there, we’ve all been beginners once. Let’s make your journey a tad easier, shall we?”

But don’t let the title fool you, this book isn’t just for raw beginners. As you progress, ‘Pickleball for Dummies’ evolves with you, offering tips and tactics to improve your game. It’s like a trusty sidekick, ready to give you the lowdown on some more advanced tricks once you’ve got your bearings. And that’s the mark of a true pickleball companion – it meets you where you’re at, and nudges you to go further. For the beginners out there, I say look no further than ‘Pickleball for Dummies’ – your gateway to the amazing world of pickleball.

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Best Book for Intermediate Players

3. Pickleball: Tips, Lessons, Strategies, & Myths

What We Like: Coach John Callahan has serious credentials (US Open Gold Medal Winner).
What We Don’t: it doesn’t go extremely in depth into any one topic… more of a broad overview.

This book is like that second bowl of chili on a cold winter’s day – you don’t know you need it until you dive in, and boy, does it hit the spot. It’s my go-to recommendation for those who have moved past the beginner stage and are looking to step up their game. That’s why it clinches the title for Best Book for Intermediate Players.

This book is like a treasure chest, brimming with a wealth of insights. You’ve got your basics down – great! But now, you’re itching to add some finesse to your game, aren’t you? Well, this book’s got you covered like a well-placed lob. It dives into techniques and strategies that’ll leave your opponents scratching their heads. We’re talking about game-changing concepts like deceptive shots, power lobs, and trick serves.

But what I love most about ‘Pickleball: Tips, Lessons, Strategies, & Myths’ is how it challenges and debunks common misconceptions. Think you know everything about pickleball? Well, this book might just have you thinking again. It’s like the Mythbusters of pickleball, providing clear, concise answers to common doubts and misunderstandings. It’s not afraid to tell you when you’re wrong, but it does so in a way that’s constructive, not patronizing.

But wait, there’s more! The book also includes detailed lessons and drills designed specifically to help you apply and practice these new strategies and techniques. It’s like having a pickleball coach on standby, ready to give you some handy tips whenever you feel like your game’s gone a bit stale. If you’re at the intermediate level and ready to take that next big leap, ‘Pickleball: Tips, Lessons, Strategies, & Myths’ is your trusty springboard. Trust me, your pickleball future self will thank you!

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Best Book for High Level Strategy

4. Pickleball Strategy Book: Improve Your Pickleball Game

What We Like: perfect for anyone who wants to see how pros think about the game.
What We Don’t: too advanced for beginner players.

Well pickleballers, strap in because we’re about to venture into the deep end of strategy with ‘Pickleball Strategy Book: Improve Your Pickleball Game.’ This isn’t just another pickleball guide. Oh no, this is the equivalent of getting a masterclass in pickleball strategy. Hence, it’s my top pick for the Best Book for High-Level Strategy.

Imagine having a seasoned pickleball pro take you on a deep dive into the tactical nitty-gritty of the game. That’s exactly what this book does. It goes beyond the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ and explores the all-important ‘why.’ It’s like a backstage pass, showing you the strategic thought process that guides each shot selection and positioning decision. Talk about an insider scoop!

This book is packed to the brim with detailed, insightful game plans for every possible scenario. Whether you’re playing singles or doubles, whether you’re up against aggressive hitters or strategic lobbers, ‘Pickleball Strategy Book: Improve Your Pickleball Game’ has a tactical solution up its sleeve. It’s like a Swiss Army knife of strategies – versatile, handy, and a game changer when you’re in a tight spot.

But the cherry on top? This book doesn’t just lay out a bunch of strategies; it teaches you how to think strategically. It prompts you to analyze your opponents, to adapt mid-game, and to always be one step ahead. If there was a university for pickleball, this would be the textbook for Strategy 101. So, if you’re ready to don the cap of a tactical genius, pick up ‘Pickleball Strategy Book: Improve Your Pickleball Game.’ I guarantee you, it’s a game-changer!

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Best Book for Staying Injury Free

5. Pickleball for Life

What We Like: there aren’t many books on this topic, and staying injury free is KEY for having fun and getting better.
What We Don’t: narrowly focused on injury prevention.

Allow me to introduce you to ‘Pickleball for Life,’ a tome that has a special place in my heart – and my bookshelf. This little number earns my highest respect and accolades for the Best Book for Staying Injury Free. It’s all about ensuring you and I can play our beloved game not just today, not just tomorrow, but for a lifetime.

‘Pickleball for Life’ steps in as your personal trainer and physiotherapist, all rolled into one. It provides a comprehensive rundown on proper warm-ups, cool-downs, and stretching routines that would make a yoga instructor proud. It’s not just about the game; it’s about playing the game in a way that your body will thank you for.

The book’s got a killer section on body mechanics and posture during gameplay that’s worth its weight in pickleballs. It details the dos and don’ts of pickleball movement, highlighting how the right techniques can not only improve your game but also prevent those pesky injuries. It’s like having a mirror held up to your movements, allowing you to understand what you’re doing right and what could be your fast track to a sprain.

But the standout of ‘Pickleball for Life’ is its focus on long-term health. It’s not just about getting back to the game after an injury; it’s about injury prevention and sustaining your body for the long haul. And let’s be honest, we’re all here because we want to be playing pickleball until we’re rocking it on the court with our future grandkids. So, for the love of your joints, muscles, and lifelong pickleball career, do yourself a favor and grab a copy of ‘Pickleball for Life.’ It’s like the best health insurance policy a pickleballer can get.

See the Pickleball for Life

What To Look for in a Pickleball Book

Let’s dive into the must-have features in a pickleball book. It’s not just about the cover or the catchy title. There’s more to it, kind of like how there’s more to pickleball than just smacking a ball across a net.

1. Comprehensive Coverage: The best pickleball books cover everything from the basics to advanced tactics. They’re a one-stop-shop for all things pickleball. It’s like going to a buffet – you want all the good stuff in one place.

2. Clear and Understandable: Look for books that break down complex tactics and rules into easy-to-digest sections. They should speak your language, not some alien jargon.

3. Illustrations and Diagrams: A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Good books come with illustrations and diagrams to help explain techniques and strategies. These visual aids can be your best friend when you’re trying to master a new skill.

4. Real-life Examples and Scenarios: The best books take theory and apply it to real-life scenarios. This not only helps you understand but also shows you how to implement what you’ve learned in actual games.

5. Suitable for Your Skill Level: A book that’s perfect for a beginner might not be the best choice for an advanced player, and vice versa. Choose a book that matches your current skill level and can help you progress further.

Q&A Section

Q: Are books specific to singles or doubles? A: Some books cater to both styles, while others might focus on one. It’s important to check this out based on your preference of play.

Q: Can a pickleball book help me if I’m recovering from an injury? A: Absolutely! There are books, like ‘Pickleball for Life,’ that focus on playing safely and staying injury-free. They can provide valuable advice on how to play while protecting your body.

Q: Do all pickleball books come with illustrations? A: Not all, but most do. Illustrations and diagrams can be incredibly helpful when trying to understand specific tactics or strategies, so it’s a plus if a book has them.

Q: I’m an advanced player. Will a book really help me improve my game? A: Yes, even if you’re a seasoned player, a good pickleball book can offer fresh perspectives, introduce new strategies, and even help you fine-tune your existing skills.

So there you have it, folks! Finding the right pickleball book is like finding the perfect pickleball partner. It should match your skill level, challenge you, and make your journey in the sport more enjoyable. Happy reading, pickleballers!

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