Every time you play a game of pickleball, you should be thinking of one area to work on to improve your game. Rather than overwhelming yourself, pick one part of your game with the goal of improving in the that area. Pickleball games are short, so you can target different areas. I will sometimes spend a whole day of games just working on getting my returns of serve deep, or being more aggressive with poaching at the non-volley line for example.
Every racquet sport (tennis, badminton, table tennis, etc.) has the same potential for giving away points or potentially the entire game due to unforced errors. Often we get impatient and want to end the rally with a dramatic winner but often when you stretch out the rally, you can force your opponent into an unforced error. Try to be patient, more points are won with your opponents unforced errors than with your winners!
One of the best ways to improve your game and to keep your shots from being attacked by your opponents around the non-volley zone (NVZ) is to keep your shots as close as possible to the top of the net. More winners are hit and balls attacked when you allow your opponent to hit down on the ball. When you keep your shots low to the net, you force your opponent to hit up on the ball, not down.
Check out this great video how the sport of Pickleball started back in 1965.
This is a pretty good video that provides you with a decent overview of how the game is played. It leaves out some important information regarding what is legal about being in the non-volley zone or "kitchen", but overall it is useful.
Had fun at Chelmsford Telemedia recently as a guest for the first show of "The Current Buzz" season with Dean Contover, talking up all things pickleball. Check it out!