Pickleball is more than a recreational sport to me. I aspire to make it part of my profession; how I make money.
And I am a realist.
I am not going to be a professional pickleball player. I’m not going to make money from playing in tournaments. And, as of today, I don’t have the money to open up my dream pickleball hall that serves up draft beers, dim sum, live music, and features state-of-the-art courts.
Hey, a guy can dream.
However, there has to be a way to tap into my entrepreneurial spirit and connect pickleball to my career. The seeds are this very blog that you are reading. Pickleball Rookie is my attempt to take what I know–creating content that people and search engines enjoy–and leverage the site to build relationships and uncover opportunities that help spread love for the sport. Filling my heart with joy would be nice, too.
As I approach the six-month anniversary of playing pickleball for the first time, it is time to set several goals for the remainder of the year. So here they are, laid out in public glory for all to see. That’s my brand of accountability!
Become a Certified Pickleball Instructor
As an advocate for the sport, I want as many people as possible to play! Getting certified will further drill the game’s fundamentals into my head while giving me a bit of street cred when explaining the sport to my family and community. I think teaching could be fun and rewarding, plus a great way to network as I embark on a pickleball career. There are several roads to getting certified, but after some research, I’ve decided on the Professional Pickleball Registry (PPR), which is currently the official education and certification partner of USA Pickleball. Now I just need them to come back to New York!
Play in a Tournament
During a recent Engage Pickleball Camp, Senior pickleball pro Jose Derisi told a group of us that there is nothing better than playing in a tournament; it’s social and gets you playing with new people who are less predictable than your usual crew. With cooler weather approaching the Northeast, my options may be limited, but I am willing to do some travel to play. I want to start with a 35+, 3.5-level doubles tournament. Next, I need to track down a partner; ideally, someone who plays at one of the pickleball spots I frequent. This will require going out of my comfort zone; Facebook, here I come!
Pickleball Rookie Jr.
I often joke with my 10-year-old son that if I’m the “Pickleball Rookie,” he is “Pickleball Rookie Jr.” We have played pickleball a few times, and he seems to love the game. When I asked him if he was interested in taking lessons, his response was music to my ears.
Of course, he was punished for having a potty mouth, but his enthusiasm was genuine. With the sport growing at a record clip, why not get him started young? Even if scholarships and pickleball Olympics are not in his future, at least this old-timer will have a partner to play with.
-Start a Twitter account to help grow this blog. Commenting, retweeting and getting engaged in pickleball conversations at least FIVE times a day.
-Get video of myself playing pickleball so that I can critique my game and continue to improve. This will require the permission of my partners and setting up my phone alongside the court, but I hear that it’s a great way to evaluate yourself.
There are my pickleball goals, set out into the universe. Wish me luck! And if you need a pickleball accountability partner, leave your goals in the comments section below.