You have a lot of options on how to spend your time, so why is pickleball the fastest growing sport in the US? From personal experience, I can tell you that I have never found a game that challenges me mentally, physically and relationally like pickleball. First physically – I’m not a gym rat or a road warrior, but I want to stay in some kind of shape as I age. Pickleball has been my ticket. I can easily lose 4 pounds of sweat in a 90 minute session putting in 6000+ steps and not even realizing that I am exercising except for the drenched clothes when I’m done. I lost 30 pounds the first year I opened the PoP (I managed to find 12 of them back!) Mentally, the more I play pickleball and the better I get, I realize that this game is chess on a court. You are not hitting for the winner, you are thinking 3 shots out to set up the winner. You don’t overpower, but you out-fox your competition.
Finally, the relational side of pickleball is great. Old can play and beat the young, patient women can outlast banger males and everybody can improve the mental game over time. It’s more than physical skill that determines the winner. As a result, I have a new set of friends that gather multiple times a week and we have time to share good competition, a few texted jokes and nail each other on court for a few laughs (its actually ok to hit the pickleball (a wiffleball) at your opponents to win a point, but it comes with a bit of risk too. Those that say it’s a little court (no exercise) and its easy to master (learning curve is really fast at the beginning) have not played the sport more than a few times. Its not tennis on a little court or racquetball without walls – it’s a strategy game in and of itself and the source of joy for an ever expanding following.