Article Written By Luan Bosch
Why I love pickleball by Luan Bosch
I started playing Pickleball around two years ago here in sunny South Africa, and since then, the journey has been absolutely amazing. Pickleball is one of the most enjoyable sports I have ever played, especially when it comes to playing with friends.
Let me tell you more about why I love pickleball and how it all started.
My pickleball journey
I’ve always been a tennis player. I have been playing tennis for over 15 years now, but one day I heard of this new sport called pickleball. I remember looking it up and reading about the rules, and how to play then I realized this is basically minis in tennis (You only play in the service blocks). So I thought this was definitely going to be my game since I have excellent hands (A good feel for the ball) in tennis, and my volleys are on point!
The only issue was we never had any pickleball courts here in South Africa. Luckily the tennis brand and academy that I work for had the budget to invest in pickleball courts. I mean, pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the United States, so it wasn’t hard to convince them to invest in a set of courts, especially since there were no other pickleball courts in the area.
On top of that, we don’t have to build courts from scratch. We only resurfaced an old tennis court which is a lot more affordable. Then, two weeks later, the courts are done and ready to play on. We had an open day with over 70 people who attended, which was not bad considering we only had four pickleball courts at the time.
Since the open day, I have been playing almost on a daily basis. I even started with my first pickleball coaching qualification as I’m busy teaching other people how to play and some strategies.
What makes pickleball so fun?
The social aspect of any game is what makes it the most fun for me. Not just that, pickleball is a tennis-like game with a ball and a racquet, and I really like racquet sports. I also mentioned earlier I used to love playing minis in tennis because you don’t move as much as in tennis when playing full court. It also requires more touch and soft hands to place the balls exactly where you want.
Summary of why I love pickleball:
- The social part and having fun with others.
- It is a racquet and ball sport.
- It requires less movement than tennis, making it playable for everyone.
- It’s not about power or speed. It’s all about skill and placing the ball where you aim.
- Strategy, the game is all about strategy, and when you’re playing doubles, you work with your partner to outplay the other team.
Do I enjoy singles or doubles more?
I’ve always enjoyed doubles more than singles. This is all because I love working in a team, creating game plans, and developing strategies to beat the other team. Obviously, not everyone loves working in teams, and some people would prefer singles, but doubles are the game for me.
Doubles are usually more fast-paced than singles and primarily focused on serve and volley, whereas singles can have longer rallies, more ground strokes, and fewer volleys.
What is my favorite pickleball strategy?
You could have guessed it from reading the previous section. If you guessed serve and volley, you are indeed correct! The reason I love the serve and volley strategy so much is that I’ve always had a good serve, even in tennis. I have experience with all of the different techniques, where to place the ball, and how to come in for a volley right after the serve.
The reason why the serve and volley strategy is so effective is that if you have a great serve, one of a few things will happen. Your opponent will either miss the return, meaning you get the point right away, or hit a short ball which will allow you to run to the net and start volleying, or hit the ball down the middle, which also allows you to approach the net and start volleying.
The key with this is you need to have a good serve, and you need to have a good follow-up volley, and strategically place the ball so you can beat your opponent.
What do I wear when playing Pickleball?
Pickleball challenges you to move in ways that you might not have previously thought possible with your body, such as running, stretching, twisting, jumping, and more. Wearing clothing associated with the game must allow you to move freely and comfortably.
They should also protect you from the sun when it’s hot or keep you warm when it’s cold. Not least, you want them to seem appropriate. Thankfully, some companies have spent years developing materials and designs that can meet each of these demands.
This is usually what I wear when playing Pickleball:
- A short-sleeve cotton or polyester fabric that is breathable, light, and easy to move in.
- Shorts that are both cozy and absorbent to play in.
- Court shoes, the color doesn’t matter to me. It’s all about comfort!
What equipment and accessories I take to a pickleball match?
Whether you play pickleball on the weekends, five nights a week, or regularly at tournaments, properly stocking your bag with the necessary pickleball accessories is essential. Pickleball paddles are an investment you’ve already made, so you’re looking for the next best thing to improve your game.
1. Pickleball Backpack
You want a pickleball backpack that is big enough to contain at least two pickleball paddles, a water bottle, an extra shirt, an extra pair of socks, an extra pair of shoes or flip-flops, and sunscreen.
You need to make sure to bring a few spare pickleballs to your game. Whether it’s for warm-up or the match, it’s always a good idea to bring a few extra balls.
3. Spare grips
Some people prefer overgrips, while other people prefer replacement grips, make sure to bring a few extra grips that you like in case your grip wears out. I would recommend you look at your grip before playing anyway, don’t change your grip in your match, as that takes up to much time.
This is a no-brainer, especially in hot countries! Always make sure to have your sunscreen in your bag and put it on before you start playing, as your hands will get slippery, and you need to wash it before you start playing.
5. A towel
Another one people often overlook is bringing a towel. Remember you’re going to be doing a lot of running and most probably sweat a lot so bring a towel to wipe your face and hands, so the sweat doesn’t get into your eyes or make your hands slip.
6. An emergency case
If you find yourself in an emergency on the pickleball court, it is helpful to have an emergency case containing a few simple items. In this situation, things that you may bring include painkillers, stretch tape, plasters, a scissor, magnesium tablets, and some form of cramping cream.
Without a doubt, pickleball has become one of my favorite games I’ve ever played, and I would recommend it for anyone to try out, no matter how old or unfit you are! I hope this article inspired you to start your pickleball journey!
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