Pickleball. Just a simple game right? It's the sport with a funny sounding name that's played with a paddle, ball, and net. Just one of thousands of games and hobbies that someone could get into. While that is technically true, dig a little deeper and you'll discover pickleball is a unique game with more to it than initially meets the eye.
Below you'll find an inspiring video about Cathy Sykes. Through pickleball, Cathy was able to improve her quality of life. We believe that through the game of pickleball, we can all be a little bit healthier and happier. If you haven't tried pickleball yet we would encourage to learn more and consider giving it a try. The small act of picking up a paddle and going to that first class or open gym could be life changing.
When we first heard about the impact pickleball had on Cathy's life and were totally inspired. It confirmed what so many pickleballers say. Things like "pickleball is my therapy", or "no matter my mood, I'm always smiling and laughing once I get on the pickleball court." The combination of physically moving your body, engaging your mind, and being around a supportive community of people seems to be a powerful thing. The video tells Cathy's story better than we can in a few words here so please check it out.
Each of us has our own story with unique goals, motivations, and challenges. But no matter our circumstances, there is something positive that virtually every one of us could take from this sport. We hope Cathy's story inspires others to grab a paddle and get out there too. As we've gotten to know Cathy a little bit we've been touched by her kindness, warmth, and true love of this sport. Cathy - Way to go! You've inspired us and we know you will inspire many others. May pickleball continue to bring a smile to your face.
You can watch the video about Cathy here:
What is it about pickleball that makes it such a special sport?
Pickleball = Physical Activity: Exercise has numerous benefits. Pickleball is a great (and fun) way to stay active. Benefits of physical activity include:
- Maintaining the ability to live independently longer
- Reducing the risk of falling and breaking bones
- Promoting healthy muscles, joints, and tendons
- The hand/eye coordination of pickleball is even said to help people battling Parksinson's disease
Pickleball = Brain Games: Exercise doesn't just have physical benefits for our bodies. It also has wonderful benefits for our minds. Studies show time and time again that exercise has a significant anti-depressive effect. You may have heard of a "runners high" that marathoners feel after a long run? Well there is a "pickleball high" too! The dopamine rush that pickleballers feels keeps them coming back to the court! In addition to the physical and 'feel good' benefits, studies have shown that exercise is associated with long-term improvements in mental function and is the single best thing you can do to slow the cognitive decline that occurs as we age.
Pickleball = Friendship & Community: Humans are social creatures and we're hard wired to connect with other humans. In today's digital world it can sometimes be challenging to find ways to connect with others. This is especially true across generations. Pickleball is a great way to connect and make new friends (no iPhone required!). The pickleball community is incredibly supportive and friendly. Pickleball is known to have a lighthearted culture - most players don't take themselves too seriously. You'll find people often have a good laugh and smile on both the amazing good shots AND the amazing bad shots!
Pickleball = Accessibility - You don't need to be particularly athletic to get something meaningful from pickleball. This is a game that literally has players that range in age from 9 years old and 90 years old. What other sport can say that? You can play casually with other beginners. If you're a bit nervous or intimated to try something new, consider signing up for a beginner class. It helps to go through the learning process with others. Lastly, pickleball is not an expensive sport. Paddles are relatively inexpensive and will last for years. And you can often find places to play for free.
Pickleball = FUN: You'd be hard pressed to find someone that has played pickleball that wouldn't describe it as fun. It is almost a guarantee that you'll be laughing and smiling before, during, and after playing pickleball. Life is too short not to be having fun!
What Will Your Story Be?
What will your story be? Maybe it will be making a new friend. Maybe it will be getting off the couch and being active once a week. Maybe it's a fun way to connect with your grand-kids or another family member. Maybe it's being on less medication. Maybe it will just be that one hour a week of "me time" where you just have fun. So... if you haven't tried pickleball yet give it a try. You never know, it just might change your life!