Saturday, October 16, 2021

The Sport of a Lifetime

Coach Wayne’s Corner

Tennis was once referred to as “the sport of a lifetime.” I have been a tennis player my entire life and I have now been a pickleball player for about ten years. While the two sports have a lot in common, as both an instructor and a competitor, I have discovered that the fundamentals which must be learned to be able to play pickleball can be conquered in a much shorter span of time than in tennis.

Pickleball truly is the new sport of a lifetime, for all ages.

Whether we are veteran players making the transition from other sports like tennis, racquet ball and paddle tennis, or if we have never played any type of racquet sport in our life, the learning curve, which is required to get us up to speed in the game and actually begin playing and competing in pickleball, is very short.

The ease of becoming competitively proficient and the social aspects of the game are all part of what is bringing a wide variety of players into the sport of pickleball.

Along with all of the baby boomers taking up the sport as rookie athletes, I am seeing an ever-increasing number of millennials, Generation X, and younger people (aka yoots/youths) now playing pickleball. In addition, I am seeing a lot of higher level 4.0+, die hard tennis players, now coming around to the sport of pickleball, because they are discovering that as we all mature in age, that we can compete on a caliber of play, the way we did in tennis when we were yoots. 

As instructors, with our youth programing at The Pickleball Academy of Southwest Florida, we are offering all of the joys of the sport of pickleball to the next generation of kids, which are now being coined as “Generation Alpha.” 

In association with this effort of love and devotion for the game by instructors at The Academy, I feel the time has come for local school boards here in the state of Florida, as well as across the county, to begin to offer pickleball as a competitive team sport and make it a part of the regular school athletic curriculum. 

Generation Alpha will need a sport for their lifetime, and I believe that pickleball is the perfect fit. Pickleball truly is the new sport of a lifetime, for all ages.


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