August 18, 2009

Why do we play pickleball?? By Don Kolke


By Don Kolke

I want to speak up for Pickleball, not as a "Tournament Sport" or a "Ladder Climbing Sport", but as a "Get Together and Have Fun Sport".

Possibly those who have no interest in Tournaments or Ladders think there is no room for them in Pickleball........."au contraire".......there is a place for you!! It's called "drop-in and play." My wife and I thoroughly enjoy this type of Pickleball. We can play it 5 times per week near us if we so choose, but are not obligated to show up if we decide to do something else, such as golf or tennis, or just sitting around reading. We can play it at the Sterling Heights Senior Center for a nominal fee on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday, and at Clinton Township Senior Center on Thursdays for the price of a membership.

Pickleball provides, for us, great exercise (I sweat......she glows), camaraderie (win or lose, those with whom we play all seem to remain friends), and, best of all, FUN.

There are no ladders to climb (we play with and against all levels of players as long as they understand that we are playing for fun.....and they are free to decide if they want to play with or against someone based on how they play.)

There are no tournaments among us. We win some, we lose some and, if you lose, you are not eliminated from further just play again when a court is available. We keep no written records of wins and losses we just play as much as we are physically able to, or until time, or partners/opponents run out for that day. We've dropped-in and played Pickleball here in the Detroit area as well as in Arizona and Florida, and have had a ball doing it.

We do compete, and enjoy competing, but when the game is over, it's over.....and we can laugh and joke about the game, our performance and/or others' performances with no angry feelings, because a few minutes from the end of that game we are playing again with a different partner and different opponents.

This, I feel, is the REAL joy of playing this game called Pickleball. Just the fact that it was named after Pickles, the dog of one of the inventors makes one realize that it is a FUN experience without all of the seriousness, and pressure of formalized competition. I highly recommend "drop-in and play" Pickleball for all who wish to enjoy a fun and healthy exercise. It is, as far as I know, available at all Pickleball venues.