I love pickleball. I have heard it said on many occasions that one can easily become “addicted” to the sport – and I got to tell you – I understand why. I have wanted to compile a list like this for a while now – and now seems to be the perfect time.
In a previous blog post, I mentioned that I recall playing Pickleball for the first time in Physical Education Class in 7th or 8th grade. I didn’t pick up the sport again until about two years ago when my mother-in-law invited me to play at our local church, Woodside Bible Church, in Troy, Michigan. I’ve been hooked ever since – and perhaps some (particularly my wife) would even say I’m addicted to it.
So what is it that engenders such a deep love for the game played with a paddle and Whiffle ball? Without further ado, here are ten reasons why I love pickleball.
- Pickleball does not have a steep learning curve. Although playing tennis, racquetball or squash previously certainly helps, the game can be picked up quite quickly by most – and with a little bit of practice, you’ll be having some great rallies in no time.
- Pickleball can be enjoyed by people of all ages. If fact, it’s likely that if you partner with your grandma or grandpa you will dominate the competition.
- Scoring is much more intuitive than tennis. Unlike tennis, there is no such thing as love, deuce or ad – and the game isn’t scored with the arbitrary numbers of 15, 30, and 40. Rather, most games are simply played to 11 points, win by 2. The only wrinkle is that you can only win points on your own serve or your partner’s serve – similar to volleyball.
- The Pickleball court is much smaller. An official pickleball court has an area approximately 3-4 times smaller than a tennis court. This means longer rallies and less real estate to cover – ideal for those of us who don’t move as well as we once did.
- It’s portable and mobile – In addition to playing pickleball at dedicated facilities, you can also bring your own net (or something to use as a make-shift net such as lawn chairs, bicycles, blocks of wood, etc.) to your venue of choice. Then simply chalk in some lines and grab your paddle and ball and you’re ready to play. If you don’t have pickleball courts nearby don’t fret. You can play on your local tennis courts, your driveway or your dead-end street. If you’re really gung-ho, build your own pickleball court in the backyard! There’s really no shortage of options.
- Pickleball has a great fun/social aspect to it. Whether you are socializing with your doubles partner, your opponents or those playing on other courts, pickleball is downright fun – and laughter is bound to ensue. Laughter not only provides one with a sense of well-being but it also helps to reduce stress. Pickleball definitely provides ample opportunity for laughter and fun.
- Pickleball can be competitive. In addition to the fun/social aspect, pickleball can also quench the competitive thirst for those who are a bit more “cutthroat.” Whether it is participating in the Senior Olympics, playing in a USAPA sanctioned event, or just competing against your Tuesday afternoon “nemesis,” pickleball provides an opportunity for spirited competition.
- Pickleball has numerous health benefits. This may come in the form of lower blood pressure, a boosting of the immune system, stress reduction, improved mental acuity or just getting/keeping one in shape. It sure beats getting on the treadmill for an hour!
- Pickleball is relatively inexpensive to play. Courts are popping up all over the place where you can play – outdoor parks, churches, schools, and tennis facilities where they have converted tennis courts into pickleball courts. With paddle prices less than $100 and courts that are becoming more ever-present, the cost is typically not a factor. Most places to play are either free or have a relatively small charge for “court-time.”
- Pickleball can break up the monotony of golf in the morning and dinner on the patio in the evening – it’s a rough life for those retired folks, isn’t it?
So these are my ten reasons why I love pickleball. Please let me know why you love the sport by commenting below. I would love to hear from you!