Summer play outdoors can be hot and so can the temperature on the pickleball court. Being from Southern California I am accustomed to warm weather, but those coming from indoor play and cooler climates have more of a challenge. The heat-trapping surface of a pickleball court can leave a player sapped of energy. Here are few tips to keep your body cool so you can perform well.
Your Feet: Hard courts trap heat sending it right up through your feet. Wearing quality court shoes will keep the bottoms of your feet and the rest of your body cool. Wear flip flops to the court and change into your shoes right before your match. Wear socks made of wicking material to pull sweat away from your skin and help prevent blisters. Stash an extra pair of socks in your bag for those extra-long days. I remember years ago a tennis pro told me always buy the cushioned Thorlo socks; the padding helps absorbs shock and your feet are worth the $13 cost. (Thorlo claims that their socks are designed to relieve problems – reduce blisters, moisture, pain and pressure).
Tend to your Neck: Your body’s pulse points, such as behind the ears, the temples and the wrists, are sensitive to the cold. Sticking your wrists under cold water, or placing ice on your neck, can produce a cooling effect. When you’re on the court, use a bandana or wrist bands soaked in cold water to help you stay cool. Several companies make cooling bandanas, which are designed to stay cold longer.