Want to increase fun and fitness? Try pickleball


Andrea Molberg

Want to exercise more, get to know your neighbors, and have fun? Join us out on the pickleball court. You’ll see why pickleball, one of the fastest growing sports in the country, has really taken off in SaddleBrooke. This multi-generational game is both easy to play and easy to learn.

Playing pickleball allows you to work on balance, agility, eye-hand coordination and reflexes without excessively straining your body. It’s a fun way to get fit, even for those who haven’t played other sports. Providing competition and camaraderie, pickleball also serves as a great alternative for older players who used to play tennis but have physical limitations such as shoulder, hip, knee or other joint problems. About 70 percent of USA Pickleball Association members are over 60, and about a quarter are in the 40-59 age category. Men and women play in about equal numbers. Kids are being taught the fundamentals in school.

SaddleBrooke Pickleball Association (SPA) makes learning the sport easy. For those new to pickleball, SPA offers ongoing monthly introductory lessons. Soon you’ll be talking the lingo of “staying out of the kitchen,” “dinking,” and “the two-bounce rule.” Shawne Cryderman, Leigh Beaty and Nancy Boklund provide these lessons for newcomers. Please be sure to pre-register by reaching Shawne at [email protected] or calling 818-2690, so there will be enough places and paddles for everyone.

SPA also provides its members with four other levels of lessons: Assisted Play, Advanced Assisted Play Lessons, 3.0 and 3.5 instruction. For more information contact Greg Nelson at [email protected] about Assisted Play, Bob Kramer at [email protected] about Advanced Assisted Play Lessons and Mark McNown at [email protected] and Brent Carlson at [email protected] about the 3.0 and 3.5 lessons.

Although this game with a funny name has only been officially recognized for a little over a dozen years, it’s extremely popular and sometimes called addictive. According to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association 2016 survey, there are now 2.5 million pickleball players. The executive director of the USAPA Justin Maloof says membership in the national organization has risen 325 percent in just the past four years.

In SaddleBrooke you probably saw some 60-, 70- and 80-year-olds having a great time going up against their kids and grandkids over the holidays. What a wonderful way to have fun and fellowship. Join in and get fit in 2018!