Think pickleball is just a passing fad? Think again. The sport that combines elements of tennis, ping pong, badminton, and volleyball is one of the fastest growing in the USA. According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) 2017 Pickleball Participant Report, almost 3.1 million Americans play the game, which represents an impressive 12% increase over 2016. What’s more, 75% of people who are age 55+ play at least eight games a year on average. It’s no surprise that pickleball courts are in high-demand at active adult communities …and it’s safe to say that this enjoyable court sport is here to stay. Here’s why:
It’s great exercise
What makes pickleball popular with those 55+ is that it’s a low-impact sport. It’s easier on player’s knees and joints than other racquet sports, like tennis. Also, the court is about half the size of a typical tennis court, so opponents don’t have to cover as much ground. Granted, it’s still a fast-paced game that boosts fitness levels, but without being overly demanding on the knees and joints, especially if you do a proper warm-up.
It’s an opportunity to socialize
Pickleball games and tournaments offer an excellent way to cultivate and grow friendships among fellow players and spectators. It’s a game that can be played in singles or doubles, just like tennis. And because it’s comfortably interactive, it’s easy to strike up a conversation at any point…like while walking to the net, during a break, or after the match. There are always the post-game socials too.
Compared to other recreational sports, especially one like golf, pickleball is inexpensive to play. If you’ve got a good pair of tennis shoes and access to a pickleball court, the only other equipment you’ll need is a regulation paddle and some pickleballs. You’ll be happy to know that both of those are reasonably priced. Of course, you can go overboard with lots of pricy, high-end gear, but to get started, the up-front costs are easy to attain and affordable.
It’s tons of fun
Pickleball is a simple game that’s a cinch to learn. Once you get the basics down, don’t be surprised if you find yourself trying new, shots, techniques, and strategies. Sure, you’re going to make mistakes along the way, just like everyone else does, but fellow players typically respond with good-natured banter and laughter.
Ready to have some laughs and give pickleball a try? Here at Soleil, we have a lot of friendly folks who love to play. Come visit us and take a look at our top-notch tennis/pickleball facility. It features six clay and two all-weather courts that can be lit for evening play, a pro-shop, and a friendly, full-time teaching professional on staff. Contact us now to start planning your visit today.