With the 7’ “kitchen” on either side of the net and the optimal 6’ separation between partners, pickleball seems to be the perfect sport given the current health concerns. It is clear that personal distance recommendations are going to be in place for much longer than anyone might have anticipated. It is important to adapt to circumstances, maintain fitness, laugh, and be together safely.
In a recent article by Dan Kois published in Slate Magazine, Dan recounts his search for a sport that he and his wife could do together. After repetitively walking the neighborhood and struggling with the eventual boredom that the day’s routine delivered, he was determined to find a new activity. Having no sport in common and seemingly opposite skill sets, Dan and his wife decided to try pickleball. Dan explains that this sport was a great equalizer for them, with both being able to parlay their athletic skills to a new sport.
A tennis player, Dan discovered how different the game of pickleball actually is. “If you’ve played a lot of tennis, you sort of have an advantage, but it is also way less like tennis than you think it is, so your tennis instincts will often betray you.”
The game is easy to learn, requires very little equipment, and can be played by people with various levels of physical abilities. Strategy and finesse go a long way to combat other players’ power and speed.
“My wife and I tried out pickleball, and pretty quickly we were competitive with each other: She wins sometimes, and I win sometimes. It’s perfect for this era of social distancing—we played against some friends who had never even heard of the game, and they nearly beat us on their first go-round. And pickleball is a great intergenerational sport. Sometimes we allow our kids to come with us to pickleball, and they play it fine. Older people can play with ease. In fact, pickleball courts are reportedly becoming a must-have amenity in finer retirement communities. Grandchildren and grandparents can even play together.”
SaddleBrooke Pickleball Association (SPA) members, numbering over 600, can confirm what others are discovering every day. Playing together, while maintaining the recommended safe physical distance, is adding much richness to a new daily reality. SPA has organized play with safety in mind. Reservations are easy to make, members come and go five minutes apart through separate access points, and sanitizing protocols are in place. As a club in SaddleBrooke, membership is as easy as signing up and paying the annual fee. From there, New Membership Director Sandy Lindquist will facilitate initial play, help to connect new members to games, and make sure members are immediately able to fully enjoy pickleball at SaddleBrooke.
For membership information, please visit the club’s website at www.spa.clubexpress.com.
See you on the courts!