“Choose, Call, Play: Dive into the Action Now!”

INTRO. ENGAGE. EMBRACE.I frequently find myself described as a ‘sleepyhead’, which truthfully is an accurate portrayal of who I am. Nevertheless, my personality has never deterred me from pursuing academic excellence, regardless of how soporific the classes get. Even amidst the yawns, I press on, striving to meet my academic commitments. But I must confess, Physical Education was never really my favourite. In fact, I wasn’t exactly thrilled about it, mainly because I am not athletically inclined and my engagement in physical activities was curtailed by the pandemic. So suddenly indulging in sports with my classmates after a two-year hiatus felt rather alien to me.

Pickleball was introduced in our curriculum, and honestly, I doubt I would have known about it if it wasn’t part of our course. This engaging sport is a fusion of three sports: badminton, lawn tennis, and table tennis, and can be played indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court with a customized lawn tennis net. Pickleball involves the use of paddles, plastic balls with holes and can be played individually or in pairs. With the objective being to get the ball to the opponent’s side, the mechanics of pickleball involve using strokes applicable to lawn tennis, table tennis, and badminton.

During service, the ball must cross the ‘kitchen’ boundary to the opponent’s side of the court. This then initiates the rally where you can play aggressively to score points. Remember, you can only hit the ball once it reaches your side of the court or after it’s bounced once. Two bounces on your side of the court disqualify a hit. My experience with this sport can be summed up into three stages: Intro-Engage-Embrace.

INTRO – Discover and appreciate the sport.
My exploration of pickleball wasn’t just for credits or leisure; it was my desire to appreciate its intrinsic value. Over time, I’ve come to enjoy it and more so because it echoes my passion for badminton. This new sport in our university meant none of us were experts, leveling the playing field. Pickleball became less about winning and more about learning collectively while paving the path for future learners in our university.

ENGAGE – The power is in your hands.
Your playing style in pickleball, especially your choice of shots, will always be your deciding factor. My preferred shot is the drive, which engages my upper body strength and alertness. This shot reflects proficiency and ups your ante in the game. One highlight of the court layout is the ‘Kitchen’, which, if I could rename, would be the ‘Flop Area.’ It resonates with the millennial slang and represents a missed opportunity to score a point. And there’s always room for improvement, as I discovered in my practise games with my friend who guided me on refining my tactics and making the game more enjoyable.

EMBRACE – Claim the challenge.
In Pickleball, the ball is your biggest challenge. My lack of agility makes it tricky to reach all corners of the court, hence my preference for playing doubles. This not only allows for team effort but also emphasizes the importance of focusing on the ball rather than the opponent. The narrative of pickleball’s origin mirrors the essence of the game. Much like a pickle that is created by combining several ingredients, this sport blends elements from badminton, table tennis, and lawn tennis to create a lasting and enjoyable experience.

In spite of my ongoing journey to master Pickleball, I’ve found this sport to be engaging and unique, changing my perception of Physical Education. I would love to hear from others on their pickleball experiences. Reach out to me at [email protected] , and let’s share our love and growth in this fantastic sport.

Related Links:

Why I am a fan of Pickleball

My Pickleball Adventure

Why Pickleball has won my heart by Luan Bosch

The fascination factor of Pickleball.

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