My neighbors next door were always talking about going off to play pickleball. I just nodded and said “have fun”. What was this game with the funny name?  After a number of times hearing them talk about this game and saying “You should try it, you’ll love it! Once you start playing, you’ll never stop!”, I decided I needed to find out more.

So now what to do? How do I find out more? What do I do to start?

I turned to my trusty friend – the internet. There I saw endless pages describing equipment, instruction, and even local programs. There was one site in particular that sounded fairly official – USAPA.COM – The home of the USA Pickleball Association. The USAPA website has all the information that a beginner, intermediate and even a professional (yes, there are professional pickleball players) could need.

I spent time reading the rules, how the game is played and even strategy. While intriguing, much of it sounded Greek to me! Hitting in the kitchen? I was always scolded when I played ball I the house. Getting pickled? Off to do more research.

Next step: Check it out!  The next night they were playing at a local community center, so I stopped by to see what all the excitement was about. They had 3 courts set up across a gym and I had a bit of trouble determining the markings. On one court there was an instructor teaching newbies the game and the other two courts were for more experienced players. After just a few minutes of instruction, the newbies were playing and laughing and having a great time. I’m sure they will be back!

If I brought my tennis shoes, I would have joined them right there! They local community center had a few paddles for the beginners to use so there was nothing for them to bring except a pair of tennis shoes and a great attitude.

I have since jumped in with the newbies, “learned the ropes” (and the lingo!) and purchased my own paddle. There are some great paddles out there for under $50 that will last you for years. I’m playing 2 to 3 times a week, getting fit and most of all having a great time!

So go visit your local center (you can find the places to play right on the internet), grab a paddle and start having fun!