This week’s MotW was far from my best match- in fact, it wasn’t even good enough to make my spreadsheet in which I’m tracking every competitive game I play this year.
And, it was on a gym floor playing with the soft ball…which is something I generally avoid doing (be on the lookout for the 3 bad habits created from playing on those conditions).
But what made this my MotW? It’s what draws us all to pickleball: it’s a fun game, and the disparity from the best to the worst player (if they have any level of experience) is not so cataclysmic that there can’t be an enjoyable game.
I realized pretty quickly that this wasn’t going to be my normal competitive crowd, so I switched off my own competitive mindset and shifted over to having fun. I wasn’t going to drive from the baseline or smash any overheads or try out my best serve. Instead, it became about the laughter, the fun points I could contribute to by keeping a rally going, and encouraging teammates.
At the end of one game, I was complimented by one player thanking me for letting her play “real pickleball.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Everyone hear just wants to wail on the ball and prove they can hit it by us old folks. You only hit drop shots, and we got to the net and finally were able to have some dinking. What a blast that was!”
That made my day and was a reminder to never say now when invited to play pickleball- there’s something for everyone.