Pickleball Slam

My First Day of Pickleball – A Beginner’s Journey

A Little Insight into My History with Sports

In my youth I was a very athletic person, playing football, basketball, baseball and track. In my twenties, I played doubles beach volleyball. I have always had an affinity for the concepts and gameplanning of sports and overcoming even if you are not as athletic as your opponent. But as I grew older and my body changed, I seldom took part in sports except for coaching my children.

The Tournament Experience

My First Day Playing Pickleball was on 3/11/23, and I was intrigued by the sport. Although I was slightly familiar with the game, I had never really had the time to play. It wasn’t until my son AJ entered a tournament with his partner Tristan in Mandeville (2023 Paddles for Paddy’s Day Pickleball at Pelican Park) that I got to witness firsthand the sheer number of people participating and the variance in age. I was repeatedly surprised to see older and heavier players with quick hands and a great understanding of the game. It truly spurned a new interest in the game and gave me the confidence to give it a try, despite my hesitancy.

2023 Paddles for Paddy's Day Pickleball Tournament
2023 Paddles for Paddy’s Day Pickleball Tournament Doubles Silver Medal

Aj and his partner ended up finishing 2nd in the tournament, and on the car ride back home, we chatted about the tournament and the sport in general. When we arrived at Pontiff, a local playground with pickleball courts, I initially planned to watch as usual. But after the first game, I decided to give it a shot.

My First Pickleball Game

We started playing, and I was playing with opponents far above my skill level. Luckily, I had AJ as a partner, who covered most of the court and made up for my inexperience. However, I fell into the normal need to slam the ball because it looked cool. I continued to try to slam the ball each time it came to me, and unfortunately, hit the ball into the net or far out of bounds. Despite the frustration, I enjoyed the exercise and saw the potential to get better if I understood the rules, positioning, and scorekeeping better.

Learning the Rules and Concepts

Looking back on my first day, I did really bad, but I learned quite a bit about the concepts, scorekeeping, and positioning. I am still optimistic that I can improve at the game and will continue to play a few hours a week. Although there are some rules that I still don’t understand, I now understand how to serve, not to hit the ball with 100% power every time, and to keep my paddle up at all times.

Looking Forward to the Future

Join me on my journey of learning and experiencing Pickleball as a beginner. I am excited to share my thoughts, experiences, and learnings about the game with you. Stay tuned for my next experience.

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