Article Written By Sophia
PICK. CALL. BALL.
Sleepyhead is a description that best fits me. It is even a huge part of my personality. Despite this, I have never neglected my drive to have a good performance in my studies no matter how heavy my eyelids get during classes. I still persevere and try my best just to comply. However, Physical Education is not really a course I’m fond of. I have a certain dislike for the course simply because I am neither active nor a sporty person for quite a long time because of the pandemic. So, experiencing sports face-to-face with my classmates after two years really is new to me.
Pickleball is a mix of 3 sports
Pickleball has been a part of our curriculum and to be honest, I wouldn’t have been aware of the sport if it weren’t for that course. This fun sport is a combination of 3 sports namely: badminton, lawn tennis, and table tennis. It can either be an indoor or outdoor sport just as long as it is played on a badminton-sized court using an altered lawn tennis net. The game uses paddles and plastic balls with perforated holes, and it can also be an individual or dual sport. The mechanics of the game is simple, it is just like playing lawn tennis while using strokes that are applicable to table tennis and badminton. The goal is to get the ball on the other side.
During the service, the ball must exceed the perimeters of the kitchen and it must land on the other side of the court. After this is the relay, you should play full force to score but you can only hit the ball after it reaches your side of the court or after it bounces once. Note that you can’t hit the ball after it has bounced two times on your side of the court. With this, I have made a systematic way to narrate my experience and I call it Pick-Call-Ball.
Pick the sport not just for requirement or leisure but Pick the sport because you want to learn and appreciate its value. I have been playing for quite some time now and I found fun in it since badminton has been my sport since I was 13 years old and the fact that I had to do it excellently due to requirement purposes made it more thrilling. I actually loved the sport more because of the way it promoted fairness.
Since it was a new sport at the university, none of my block mates know how to play the sport, therefore, there were no upper hands; we all started with a blank slate, and we all learned something new. Although I try to master the sport, I still consider myself a beginner because there’s a lot of room for improvement on this one. We are the pioneers of this sport in our university, so we are all practically still new learners.
However, this does not hinder our eagerness to learn and master the sport. And it is very vital that we also choose the sport not only to get good grades but to get the gist and internalize the essence of the sport. Through this, you will see the art behind the sport and it will make you love pickleball more. It is important to remember that it is not the sport that will pick you, it is you who should pick the sport.
It will always be your call on how you will hit the ball. Pickleball has types of strokes and shots but my favorite shot would be the drive because of its guarantee of having a score. Aside from that, it exercises my upper body strength and alertness while playing the sport. It also somehow shows one’s proficiency in the sport, giving you a good image when you do that kind of shot.
During play, there is a portion of the court called the Kitchen where the ball needs to go over that part during service. If I were to change the name Kitchen into something else, I guess I would call it “Flop Area” because I think it is fitting for millennial slang; it’s like saying “Flop Era” which is synonymous with failure. It would mean the same with not reaching the kitchen during service, you would miss a chance to earn a point and you would give a score to the opponent.
Moreover, we already had practicums in this course but the best game I had was the one I had with my friend. I found it really fun because it was interactive and he taught me techniques and taught me how to improve my play. He made pickleball not as hard as it may seem to be.
You always learn something new with Pickleball
After every game, I always learn something new and I always concluded that I can still improve on a lot of aspects even on things I already know how to do. I have a lot of stuff to improve especially during rallies where the ball gets on my opposite side and I can’t hit it because I can’t catch up. I think I have to improve my agility, my balance, and my hand-eye coordination.
With this, I realized that my skills are useless if I don’t make the call to chase the ball. It will always be your call because this is a hit-or-miss game, so you either strike the ball with the paddle or you lose a chance to earn a point. It will always be your call to hit, it won’t guarantee a score, but you can either hit and score or miss.
Despite having opponents, the ball will be your greatest enemy. As a small person who’s not that fast, the court is too big for me so I would prefer double because I will need all the help I can get. It’s also good for developing camaraderie and cooperation.
The ball can go to every nook and cranny of the court and my legs can only take me so far. It is through this that I realized it is not my opponent that I should keep my eyes on, it should be the ball. My skills should not be by my opponents but in the direction where the ball lands. This shows how pickleball is such an interesting sport, not only that but also the stories of its origin.
There are lots of stories to its origin but I think it is called pickleball because it follows the concept of a pickle. Just like how a pickle changes a recipe by adding other ingredients and making a new product that lasts long, the same goes with pickleball. The sport originated from different sports which are badminton, table tennis, and lawn tennis and these were put together to create a new sport, and this will be preserved and will last for a long time.
Even though I am still a long way from mastering Pickleball, I know that I will love my journey. Pickleball lessened my dislike for Physical Education because it is interactive and unique. After having the experience of playing pickleball, I know that I did not do this for compliance, I did this for the knowledge and experience.
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