Pickleball Myths & Misconceptions
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Top 5 Myths & Misconceptions about the Sport of Pickleball

Each sport has myths/misconceptions associated with it – and pickleball is no different. Invented in 1965, there are many such myths that need to be debunked here in 2022. Here are my top five.

Myth #1 – Pickleball is a Brand New Sport

Although the growth has been skyrocketing in the last couple of years, pickleball is not a brand new sport. The sport actually sport goes back several decades. In 1965, with their children bored with their “typical” summertime activities, three dads – Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum – created a game that incorporated elements of tennis, ping-pong, and badminton.

Myth #2 – Pickleball is just a Miniature Version of Tennis

While there are certainly similarities between the two racket/paddle sports, pickleball is definitely not just a miniature version of tennis.

The non-volley zone, for example – the area of the court extending 7 feet from the net on each side of the court bound by the sidelines – creates unique strategies and challenges in the game of pickleball that are not present in the game of tennis. Here are 10 additional similarities and differences between the two sports.

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Myth #3 – Pickleball is Only for “Old” People

While this generalization may have been appropriate years ago, that is certainly not the case any longer. Younger and younger players are flocking to the sport.

According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association’s (SFIA) 2022 Topline Participation Report, released in Feb. 2022, the average age for all pickleball players is 38.1 years old – with the average age for Core players being 47.5 and Casual players being 33.6.

Myth #4 – Pickleball Players are not Competitive and Play “Just for Fun”

While players definitely enjoy the social and “fun” aspect of the game, pickleball players are definitely competitive. Just witness the number of pickleball ladder leagues popping up at your local pickleball clubs – or the number of tournament options that players have.

In 2021, for example, tournament software, PickleballTournaments.com, listed 780 pickleball tournaments on their website – equivalent to 15 tournaments per week. And that number has only skyrocketed in 2022. Additionally, professional pickleball tours – the APP and PPA – also have near-weekly tournaments showcasing the best pickleball players in the world as they compete for prize money.

Myth #5 – One Doesn’t Get a Workout Playing Pickleball

Not getting in a good workout when playing pickleball is, perhaps, the farthest thing from the truth. Few would argue that physical activity lowers your risk for high blood pressure and stroke, and improves aerobic fitness, mental health, and cognitive function. It also helps reduce/prevent arthritis symptoms, stress, and weight gain.

All these benefits can be reaped by playing pickleball because of the powerful workout it provides.

With quick bursts and changes of direction, you’re bound to get in a great workout and be sweating in the process!

Final Thoughts

These are just some of the myths/misconceptions about pickleball. Before believing any of these myths, however, I challenge you to give pickleball a try for yourself. I’m quite sure you’ll love it!

See you on the courts!

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Coach Todd
About Todd

Todd is the talent behind PickleballMAX. He knows pickleball and demonstrates it on the court as a 4.5 – 5.0 player. In addition to creating content and running the PickleballMAX business, Todd is IPTPA Level II certified. As an instructor at the Ohio Pickleball Academy, he instructs students and runs adult and youth clinics. He also manages tournament desks throughout the tri state for tournaments ranging from 100-500 participants.

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