My father, Jim Watson, first introduced me to pickleball a few years ago. We did not even set foot on a court.
“You should join me and come play pickleball,” he insisted, as we were discussing an upcoming visit to Squamish. “I think you would really enjoy the game given your interest in playing team sports. I have a paddle you can borrow and don’t forget to bring your runners!”
He continued to talk about the game and how much he enjoyed playing.
I had not considered playing pickleball before that conversation, so, I thought, why not give it a try! After a few failed attempts at coordinating schedules, we were finally able to head down to the courts during what seemed like the hottest week in July.
I must admit that I thought pickleball was a sport for the retired community. It became apparent to me after observing the players on the court that I was clearly mistaken. I was pleasantly surprised to see many players with ages ranging from 14 to 80 years old.
From the moment I arrived, I was welcomed with smiles, enthusiasm, and encouragement. During that first day, I learned the basic rules, how to properly hold a paddle, and partner etiquette.
Pickleball combines elements of tennis, ping-pong, and badminton, so I felt more comfortable drawing upon my previous knowledge of racquet sports. While I am only a beginner, I can see how this game can quickly turn into a competitive, entertaining, and fast-paced sport.
As I continued to play, I was becoming more and more frustrated with my backhand stroke. Turns out my previous racquet sports knowledge ended up being more of a hinderance than a benefit. My father commented that I was holding my paddle in the position of the “chicken wing”.
He began to show me examples of the correct stroke and where to position my hand and wrist. Suddenly, it became clear that learning correct skills early on will help you in the future. After correcting the backhand stroke, I was successfully getting the ball over the net more frequently. Everyone on the court kept giving me pointers, advice, and even complimenting me on my serves which were skimming the net.
I enjoyed pickleball so much that I ended up playing for four days throughout my visit to Squamish. I felt like I had been accepted into the Pickleball Squamish community.
While I am a little disappointed that the pickleball club in the place where I live has a waitlist, I was happy to hear that Pickleball Squamish has received a 20% increase in memberships in the past few weeks.
Everyone at Pickleball Squamish is so accommodating and encouraging I am not surprised that they have had such a high interest in pickleball memberships. I highly suggest you join the fastest-growing sport in North America! So, why not give pickleball a try? You never know.
You may become interested in the game, make new friends, and you will get a great workout.
Pickleball Squamish offers scheduled times for different levels. Please see their website at https://www.pickleballsquamish.ca/ and join their Facebook Page for more information.
Kimberly Watson is an educator and Pickleball enthusiast.