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Pickleball Fun in a Pandemic

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During this awkward time we’re living in, pickleball pros and other passionate players around the world have participated in some good “new-fashioned” fun.

Some of you created videos and tutorials on how- to’s and what-to’s and did at-home interviews. And
of course, we hope you’ve seen some of the awesome virtual video rallies that several pros, youth, brands, and international friends have done—so cool!

Players have creatively built courts at home, practiced drills, stayed fit and healthy (or maybe that’s still
on your to-do list), and created at-home challenges for themselves and others, all to connect with the pickleball community near and far.

Some states luckily never closed their pickleball courts, and players there continued with round robins, charity events and even tournaments. Sadly, this has not been our reality.

What have we been doing in California as the changing closed/not closed/closed courts have been happening? Together we have enjoyed a lot of skinny singles. And I mean a lot! We meet up at a friend’s private court (thank goodness we have some connections—and friends!) and we battle against each other for hours. We both love this drill (only this drill!). When we play, we often reminisce about the many years we competed against each other in numerous Open Singles finals at both Nationals and Tournament of Champions.

Other pros and players whose local courts were closed also had to get creative. Here is a small sample of how some of our addicted pickleball player friends have continued to get their “fix” while social distancing.

• Michael, from Ottawa, Ontario, shared with us that his ball machine is getting him through these tough times with drilling 1 to 2 hours a day.
• Ilana, from Kingston, Ontario, chalked and taped out a court on her street and helped spread the love by writing this on her homemade court: “Pickleball…(silly name BUT… best game ever!) Google it.”
• Another Ontario friend, Vic, from St. Thomas, said she’s happy to get invited to play on a friend’s private court and included “Long Live Pickleball!”
• Wayne is a pickleball instructor from Sarnia, Ontario, who created a dink station in the garage and attempted to practice with his wife. The teacher learned a few lessons about his lovely wife—she uses every opportunity to attack, and her line calls are terrible! He doesn’t think their dink skills have improved, but they are having fun and many laughs.

The pros, thanks to help from Simone Jardim and the Eddie & Webby podcast, held virtual men’s
and women’s Easter Bowl tournaments—one-on-one competition using various pickleball “skills.” Be sure to check them out, especially if you want to see the silly events they competed in—like Alex using a skillet to hit volleys against an ironing board. Wonder who won that round? Find these funny “Easter Bowl Challenges” on Simone’s YouTube channel.

Even businesses have gotten involved—a recent New York Times article asked, “Is Pickleball the Perfect Pandemic Pastime?” Naturally, we say YES.

And Margaritaville’s chief marketing officer, Tamara Baldanza Dekker, shared, “As we’re going through this together and trying to find things to do as a family or small group, it’s a perfect sport to take up.” Tamara also noted that Margaritaville has pickleball courts in each of its locations. Smart business decision!

We hope you are finding creative ways to continue your pickleball and, if not, we are glad we could share some ideas. Take care and see you on the courts … Soon!

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