I won’t talk about the highest skilled game I played this week (even though it was a really fun session). Instead, this week’s highlighted match was a company outing.
Since the spring, every Wednesday before lunch, our small company has left the office for an hour of spirited pickleball at a park nearby. At first, Warkittens and I were the only two that played pickleball, and I was the only one playing consistently. The quality of the games was poor, but all the participants were good sports and had fun, and gradually, more and more people in the company game started playing consistently on our own. Naturally, the quality of the games improved, and we’re at the point now where 2 out of 3 of the games are highly competitive and spirited.
This has become part of our week that we all looked forward to, and it built camaraderie within our company. It was such a hit that we created a pickleball mini-tournament in lieu of a traditional holiday party (Warkittens team beat mine…though I feel like he had to have rigged it somewhere since he’s in charge).
While there have certainly higher-skilled groups that I’ve played with in my time on the court, this reinforced to me what a great game pickleball is because of the communal and social aspects of the game- and that the skill gap from the highest to the lowest player isn’t so large that they can’t coexist on the same court (especially if there’s some poaching involved).
For a variety of circumstances, some of the core players in our weekly game have recently left the company in the past couple of months, and this might have been one of our last chances to get together as a group. I’m sure we’ll find a time to get together to play (and trash-talk, especially after Ernes), but we’ve had a special time getting to learn and grow as people and as players together.