Pickleball Is My “Third Place”

Pickleball players tend to fall hard for the sport. 

The path to addiction is so quick that friends and families are often caught off guard.

There’s a reason many of us often hear, “Pickleball, again?!

And it’s not said in the nicest of tones. 

Well, I’m not sure about you, but it occurred to me recently that pickleball is my “third place.”

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Pickleball Journey: Lessons From My Latest Tournament

I played in a Thanksgiving pickleball tournament last night. It was my first tournament in months, and I had a nervous energy pulsing through me as I approached the facility.

My teammate and I were ready to give it our all. 

And we came out hot.

We won our first six games with confidence and steady gameplay, advancing to the finals. 

Then everything changed in an instant. 

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How Long Does it Take to Get Good at Pickleball?

One year ago, I stepped onto the pickleball court for an APP class taught by Zane Navratil

While I can confidently say I’m a better player today, my growth curve hasn’t been as steep as I’d hoped.

I’m pretty awful with official self-assessment, but if I had to guess, I’ve shifted from 3.6 territory to maybe 3.9-ish? And that got me wondering, what’s missing from the equation? Why did I see such a dramatic improvement in my game when I first started playing but then the results tapered off? 

So how long does it take to get good at pickleball? The answer is longer than I expected. Here are a few reasons why I might have hit a pickleball plateau.

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Pickleball Wrapped 2022: The Year of the Dink

While Merriam-Webster foolishly chose “gaslighting” as the word of the year, I like my choice better: pickleball.

The three-syllable noun defined my 2022. I started with the sport in March, yet it feels much longer, and that’s a good thing!

I set a goal to play the sport with minimal expectations. But I fell in love; all-consuming love!

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My Pickleball Journey Continues: Am I Now a Marked Man?

I finally figured out why I’ve run into a bit of a wall on my pickleball journey during one of my casual weekly leagues: I’ve become a marked man.

At first, it was my age. Despite being in my mid-forties, I was one of the younger players. This would often lead to players making excuses about their lack of mobility or agility when losing, but it did not stop them from attempting to slam the ball in my face. I was a target.

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