The late John Wooden once said, “Sports do not build character. They reveal it.” Furthermore it is said of my own inspirational athletic hero Eric Liddell that he "believed that to win was to honor God only if he did it in a way that affirmed God’s design and desire". A story from Eric's life captured in the movie "Chariots of Fire" portrays the following:
" On the morning of the 40-meter race, as he (Liddell) left his hotel that morning, a British masseur pressed a folded piece of paper into his hand. Liddell thanked the man for it and said he would read the message later. In his dressing room at the stadium, Liddell unfolded the note and read the following: “It says in the Old Book, Him that honors me, I will honor, Wishing you the best of success always.”
One simple way I find to honor God while I play pickleball is to remain positive in my remarks by acknowledging the good play of my doubles partner ...and my opponent's play ....consistent with what the Bible says about what our words to others should be:
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29 New International Version (NIV)
So next time you play pickleball, trying building up others with your words. It is contagious!
For more on this topic and from where the above thoughts are taken from, I suggest you read "Competition Isn’t Unchristian—but Motive Matters by Hugh Whelchel January 29, 2018 found at: https://tifwe.org/competition-unchristian-motive-matters/?mc_cid=d44a468136&mc_eid=f97b2c1bad
Today I played pickleball with a group of 22 people only 3 of which I even knew a year ago when I first began to seek out venues to play pickleball . In my 40 + years of playing racket sports I have never looked forward so much to playing a sport and as matter been so consistent in regular exercise than playing pickleball which I currently play 3 times a week for 2 hours plus a session. What's the appeal, the following post describes it well:
"It’s hard for people to be social on tennis courts, since they are so big. There is a lot more competitiveness on tennis courts, which prevents people from becoming too social. Pickleball brings people together, and is a lot more fun to play than tennis. But don’t mistake having fun for a lack of competitiveness. Pickleball is quite competitive, that’s why people get hooked so easily. If you watch a few pickleball games, you will see people of all ages playing together. It’s not uncommon to see younger and older people playing against each other.
> taken from: https://www.wolfesports.com/blogs/pickleball/pickleball-popularity-is-growing-fast-in-the-united-states
Great tips from Sarah Ansboury on "where you should contact the Ball? While making contact with the ball to the side of you may work in tennis, in pickleball we must make contact with the ball in front of us. This was a hard habit for me to break. In addition to hitting the ball on the side, like many tennis players, I often had my wrist and paddle in a V shape. This can cause several challenges:
Get Rid of the V - When dinking or hitting a third shot drop I needed to learn to get rid of the V. Instead I want my paddle to drop down in front of me so I can lift the ball over the net. My paddle and hand are below my wrist, and my wrist is facing the ball. If you are not hitting a third shot drop consistently over the net check to make sure you are hitting the ball in front of you and that the paddle is hanging below your wrist.
Hitting From Behind - When I notice a player not hitting the ball in front of them, I know I can work my next shot(s) to put them on defense. I continue to hit the ball back to that same spot. It may take a shot or two, but they are likely to make an error…either hitting into the net or popping it up so my partner or I can put it away.
Keep it in Front of You - When we played tennis, we used bigger swings…but keep in mind the court was a lot bigger too. In pickleball, we never need our paddle to go behind us. The more the paddle stays in front of us, the quicker our recovery and the better prepared we are for the next shot. Contact the ball in front of you if you want to improve."
Levels of Play - suggest playing at a level that best meets your ability for safety and enjoyment of all players.Read Now
Levels of Play for Pickleball For the safety and enjoyment of all players - the Villages Recreation Department encourages players participate in their level of play that best meets their play ability. The Recreation Department has provided a helpful descriptor of the different types of play currently offered. The intent of the information provided is to allow a safe and enjoyable experience for all participants.
Open Play -vThis is all levels of player ability. No courts are reserved, but are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please abide by the posted courtesy rules to allow fellow residents the opportunity to play.
Beginner - These players keep some short rallies going but still fail to return balls frequently. They have played a few games and know how to keep score and know the basic rules of the game. These players are learning to judge where the ball is going and can sustain a short rally with players of equal ability. They have obvious weaknesses in their strokes and are working to improve these weaknesses. This player has attended Pickleball lessons.
Advanced Beginner - These players are able to keep quite a few balls going with their forehands, make most easier volleys and are beginning to make more backhands, but need to work more on developing their strokes. They are thinking more about coming up to the non-volley zone to hit volleys and are making an effort to be more aggressive. They are thinking more about the use of dinks and lobs.
Intermediate - These players are fairly consistent when hitting medium-paced shots, but are not comfortable with all strokes and lack control when trying for direction, depth, or power on their shots. They are using dinks and lobs on a regular basis as an important part of the game. This player has become knowledgeable with the rules and communication with partner during play.
Advanced - These players have dependable strokes, including directional control and depth on both forehand and backhand sides. They can use lobs, overheads, approach shots and volleys with success and occasionally force errors when serving. Rallies may be lost due to impatience. Teamwork in doubles is evident. Use dinks and lobs as a major part of their game.
Taken from :
According to USAPA.org, there are over 15,000 indoor and outdoor courts in the United States; and at least one location in all 50 states. Pickleball is being introduced to kids in teenagers in physical education classes in middle and high schools. And though the sport has become more competitive through the years, many players enjoy the social aspects of the game and the ability to stay active in their own towns and communities. As more retirement locations have adopted pickleball as an integrated sports activity for their population of residents, we have a seen an explosion of new court construction throughout the United States – especially in the southern states. Tennis, racquetball and ping pong players love the competitive nature of the sport and regularly participate in local, regional, and national tournaments.
According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association’s (SFIA) 2016 Participant Report, there are more than 2.5 million pickleball participants in the United States. SFIA is the premier trade association for top brands, manufacturers, retailers and marketers in the American sporting goods and fitness industry and have been in existence since 1906.
> taken form https://www.usapa.org/what-is-pickleball-a-game-for-everyone/
Playing Pickleball began for me in November of 2017 when a friend of mine's brother challenged him to play. Neither of us had even heard of the game. Going to Wikipedia I found the following: "Pickleball is a paddle sport (similar to a racquet sport) that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis. Two, three, or four players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated polymer ball, similar to a wiffle ball, over a net. The sport shares features of other racquet sports, the dimensions and layout of a badminton court, and a net and rules somewhat similar to tennis, with several modifications. Pickleball was invented in the mid 1960s as a children's backyard pastime but has become one of America's most popular growing sports among all ages. "
We got some paddles and balls and went to a nearby tennis court to try out this new sport and we have been playing ever since.
My reasons for continuing to play are really quite simple:
(a) It is a great sport to remain active and help stay fit (I am in my early 60's),
(b) it is less punishing on my aging body,
(c) it is a lot of fun, and
(d) it has been a great way to make new friends.
I love the strategic part of the game and I am always looking for ways to improve and honestly for the first time in a long time I look forward with anticipation of getting a good workout playing 3 times a week for approximately 2 hours a shot. I am in the best shape I have been in decades with I find a lot more energy during the day and sleeping better at night.
Finally, it has given me an outlet to teach others from which I get a lot of personal satisfaction seeing people improve so rapidly as the racket skills are not hard to learn as play can actually begin in minutes for some with racket sport bacgrounds after instruction in the unique rules of the game which most approximate tennis with a few twists. I also enjoy organizing round robin play and have recently launched a beginners clinic at Bohrer Park Activity Center which has become very popular very quickly and is a blast to do. every Friday morning from 8:30am until 10:00am.
Give pickleball a try. I am warning you though you may be hooked for life!
Art has been playing pickleball since Nov 2017. He enjoys playing this active, low physical impact game of skill and strategy. And finds that it can be played at all levels competitively while being a wonderful way to make new friends.