Curious about pickleball and feeling a little salty about not knowing where to start? We've got you covered! From the popular ...For Dummies book series, is the newly released Pickleball For Dummies. Enjoy this guest blog from Pickleball for Dummies co-author Diana Landau.
Even if you hadn't heard of pickleball a few years ago, chances are you have now -- because pickleball is being played everywhere! Pickleball is played in middle schools, gyms, public parks, sports complexes, on ESPN, CBS and more. Sports legends like Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Kim Clijsters are all getting involved and investing in professional pickleball. The sport grew exponentially during the pandemic because it's fun, easy and inexpensive to start, and just about everyone young and old can play. Pickleball has become one of the fastest growing sports in the world, with over 5 million players and counting.
What is pickleball?
Created in 1965, pickleball is a hybrid of tennis, table tennis, and badminton. The game is played on a court with a three-foot high net, and the aim is to hit a perforated plastic ball over the net with a paddle (about twice the size of a table tennis paddle). At first glance, it looks a lot like tennis on a miniature court. This means there is less running involved, which is great if your knees don’t like that sort of thing. Once players are introduced to the sport, they find they can't stop smiling.
The benefits of pickleball
Sometimes people assume pickleball is only played by retirees and older people. Not true. There are many good reasons to play pickleball. It starts with body and mind--and the obvious health benefits from regular exercise. Pickleball is relatively low-impact yet provides a great workout. The body releases endorphins while you play, improving your mood. Keeping score and devising strategies to win are enough to keep your brain engaged for hours. The significant social aspect of the sport means it’s easy to meet lots of new people – let’s face it, it can be hard making new friends as an adult. Best of all, you get to channel your inner kid and play, play, play! Your mental, physical, and emotional well-being – it's all connected, and pickleball checks every box.
When Pickleball For Dummies co-author Reine Steel discovered pickleball, she was your typical work-from-home programmer leading a boring, sedentary lifestyle. She felt isolated, depressed, and out of shape. Clearly, she needed a hobby. After failing to find much interest in knitting, hot yoga, soap making, or matchstick model making, something new in the adult learning class catalog caught her eye – pickleball?! This sounded right up her alley. Not only was it enjoyable to play, she was meeting lots of interesting, fun-loving people, and laughing more than she had in years. In a very short time, pickleball brought joy back into her life, transformed her health and self-confidence, and has led to many close friendships.
Pickleball for all
Former athletes are discovering pickleball and competing again for the first time in decades, igniting a spark they once thought was lost. Lonely folks are finding themselves immediately welcomed into a community of people who share a passion for this quirky, addictive game. Those struggling with various health issues are finding pickleball a safe, accessible option for getting more fresh air and exercise (definitely way more fun than using an elliptical – yuck!) The list goes on and on. Can pickleball save the world? Probably not. But there’s no doubt it’s saving lives.
Learn to play pickleball with Pickleball for Dummies
If you're just getting started in the sport, Pickleball For Dummies is a great intro. And if you're a more seasoned pickleball player, the book can help you improve and learn some of the finer points of the sport. Pickleball For Dummies features chapters on beginning, intermediate and advanced play.
You will discover everything you need to know about pickleball, including how and where to play, body mechanics, drills and strategies as you improve.
Pickleball For Dummies, from John Wiley and Sons, Inc, is available now at Barnes & Noble and independent bookstores. You can also order from Amazon now.
Mo Nard and Reine Steel, certified pickleball teaching pros and co-founders of Positive Dinking, and Diana Landau and Carl Landau, Founders of Pickleball Media and Host of I Used to be Somebody podcast, co-wrote Pickleball For Dummies.