This probably needs no explanation, but just in case: When you’re just playing recreationally, or in pickup games, go ahead and experiment. Learn new techniques, find and exceed your limits. It doesn’t matter that you’re making a mess. Then, when you’re in a serious competition, you can employ all you’ve learned in these practice games.
“You can play pickleball to get better or to win. Doing the former will result in the latter.” – Curtis Mortenson