Pickleball is fast gaining traction as a sport in the USA and in some other parts of the world but some are still asking why should they be playing pickleball. Well, there multiple reasons why and while most of them below are personal ones, you might want to try to pickleball to experience the same before taking a final call.
It’s a Fun Sport
Now which sport isn’t fun, you might argue. True that, but there are fun sports and then there are fun sports!
And pickleball falls in the category of being easy to play and at the same time allows those competing to get into a solid routine and generally have an awesome time, at times laughing away at some of the bloopers on court.
Not to mention, one of the most beautiful sounds you could hear is that of the pickleball hitting the meaty portion of the paddle. Its easy-paced nature, although you can tweak things around by cranking up the pace, allows friends to have a good time out over a weekend, nicely fitting into the narrative of being a fun sport.
And it’s Easy to Pick Up
Pickleball is said to be a sport that brings elements of table tennis, badminton and tennis but it’s not as tough as that.
It does not combine the difficult aspects of the three sports for sure; like the scoring is straightforward, the shot-making even more so and while there is an added element of the pickleball no-volley zone or the kitchen, the learning curve is quick.
There is a list of pickleball terms one should endeavour to know – always good to show off too! – but with regular play, it isn’t something you need to specially go and learn. Most rules are straightforward enough to get you started and you can then get into the intricacies with time.
This is also why it’s a sport for all ages as mentioned in one of the sections below.
Still Need to be on Top of Your Strategy
Yes, it’s fun but if you thought pickleball is just about two players throw their rackets at a ball you would be wrong. There is a lot of strategy involved in the sport, and you need to be on the top of your game, tactically, in order to get past your opponent.
Pickleball is an amalgamation of multiple aspects of the game coming good, and even a ‘quick reference guide’ for pickleball doubles on the official USAPC website consists of nine steps starting from the service to returns, reading opponent’s weaknesses, and among other things, “The Third Shot”.
We will go into greater details with the pickleball strategies over the course of our time here on this website, but for now the point we are making is pickleball is not all about a hit-and-giggle but also needs players to strategically out-manoeuvre their opponents.
It’s a Cost-Effective Sport
Tennis is a very popular sport but one of the reasons why it’s not as easy to play it at a recreational level as it is to play pickleball is the cost involved. Pickleball is as close as it could get to playing tennis without spending as much as one would on the latter; the courts, the rackets and even the coaches.
And let’s not even compare it with golf, which is bit of an elitist sport with the need for multiple golf clubs and other equipment and kit.
Pickleball, on the other hand, needs you to own – or rent – a paddle which usually doesn’t cost too much more than $50 and add a pickleball and shoes and it should still fit in your budget as an inexpensive sport.
If you are looking for pickleball courts, there are multiple ways to do that and some of these could be quite low-priced or even free.
You Don’t Need a Team of Players
One can argue football, or soccer as it’s called in the USA, is also a very inexpensive sport. In fact, to be frank it’s probably cheaper than pickleball but you need to arrange for a fair number of players to be able to play the sport.
Pickleball just needs you and your opponent to be ready to play, and you can book your pickleball court and get going (and booking courts is quite simple, whether indoors or outdoors).
You could probably also get to the court you have booked and there would be others like you happy to take you on in a game.
…and Yet it’s Such a Social Sport!
Don’t you love it when an opponent is so marvelled by your shot he/she appreciates as well. Tennis, at times, sees a bit of an applause from the opponent when you have made an excellent pass or a razor-sharp lob but even that’s not too often.
Pickleball is a more special – and social – sport in that the sense of camaraderie between opponents is usually quite something. While there’s often competition, it is also a sport which fosters a sense of belonging, a feeling of being an early part of a community and that leads to a lot of personal interaction and chat.
This is typically played by booking courts and most facilities have multiple pickleball courts almost sewn close to each other. Since, unlike tennis, the pickleball courts are much smaller in dimensions, there’s also a feeling of closeness across matches and always a chance to share tips and tricks after a game between players across the arena.
It’s a Sport for All Ages
Many of the racket sports cannot be played by fans beyond a certain age; some are too rigorous, while others might be too quick to actually enjoy them (although table tennis does have an international world cup for senior players of ages over 85 too!).
Pickleball is one of the rare sports which can be played by people of all ages.
The fun and social aspect of pickleball makes it even more enticing for elders but more vitally, unlike some of the other sports, it’s a low-injury risk sport, and with games not lasting more than 15 minutes, a quick break allows players to gauge whether or not to continue.
Doubles play on those small pickleball courts also reduces stress on the knee and that makes it an all-age sport, as well as a social sport as mentioned earlier.
Crank it up to Give Yourself a Cardio Workout
It’s not just for the elders. Pickleball can be played very seriously, and competitively and when you crank it up in singles, a good hour or so of playing the sport allows you a cardio workout too.
If you are just starting out looking to get to a basic level of fitness following a sedentary lifestyle, you could start off with doubles. However if you are looking to add cardio to your routine, an hour of pickleball singles every other day could get you pumping for a better lifestyle.
Not to mention, like most racket sports, regular doses of pickleball help add balance, reflexes, agility and hand-eye coordination.
It’s a Sport for the Future
Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the world with 3 million people playing pickleball in the US alone. Not to mention this has now been picked up by geographies like India, which traditionally are more focussed on a single sport but have begun to diversify into other sports too.
If nations like India – and China – can also get interested in pickleball, it won’t be too long before pickleball becomes an Olympics sport. And we, as the initial pickleball-loving players of this sport would be carving out our own pieces in its history.