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Why Do We Love Pickleball?

Updated: Jan 9

Hannah Ward Deep River Pickleball

Why do we love pickleball? What is it about Pickleball that makes it so addicting and popular? Grab your paddles and let’s look into it. We did some research!

The New York Times on Why Pickleball is So Popular

Let's start with a summary of what the New York Times has to say about the why pickleball is so popular:

1. Most anyone can play.

“Besides being easier to learn than tennis, pickleball is also slower paced and there’s less ground to cover; you could almost fit four pickleball courts onto one tennis court, and most picklers play doubles.”

2. It’s a good workout

“In one of the few studies that’s been done on pickleball, researchers found that compared to walking at a self-selected pace for half an hour, people who played doubles pickleball for half an hour had 14 percent higher heart rates and burned 36 percent more calories. Another study from Western Colorado University found that picklers averaged a heart rate of 109 beats per minute and burned 354 calories per hour, which qualifies it as a moderate-intensity workout alongside hiking, yoga and water aerobics. The players also saw significant improvements in their cholesterol levels, blood pressure and maximal oxygen uptake, a measure of cardiovascular fitness, after playing for an hour every other day for six weeks.

3. It’s easy to get hooked

“But while 50 percent of people quit exercising six months after starting, research shows that picklers keep coming back to the court again and again, primarily because the game is so social. Pickleball can also improve your well-being: According to another study of picklers age 50 and older, those who were more serious about the sport tended to be more satisfied with their lives. The same researchers found an inverse relationship between “serious leisure” — in this case, playing pickleball competitively — and levels of depression.

Reddit Users Thoughts on Pickleball Popularity

Reddit users had the following thoughts:

“it's easier to learn and play than tennis. It's a smaller court so it requires less physical exertion too, which appeals to some people.

“Because it's easier than tennis and more social

“Price to pay, technical ease, movement, and sociability are all big factors.

“you’re just closer on the court so it’s easier to have the small moments of banter/conversation that are so enjoyable for beginner players

“unique because of the balance of technical skill and strategy.

“anyone can play and excel.”

What Wikipedia Says

From Wikipedia:

“The growth of pickleball has been attributed to several factors, including;

· A new player can start enjoying the sport at the first introduction

· People of varying ages and physical abilities can enjoy the game together

· The sport is relatively inexpensive to start playing if a public court is available

· A strong social aspect has developed within the sport

· Experience in other racket sports can easily transfer to pickleball

· Competitive players find the strategic aspects of the sport an exciting challenge”

What the AI Chatbot says

ChatGPT is the AI (Artificial Intelligence) Chatbot (Robot writer) that is sweeping the world and has an opinion on everything.

Pickleball has become increasingly popular in recent years due to a number of factors. One reason for its popularity is its accessibility. Pickleball can be played by people of all ages and skill levels, and it is relatively easy to learn the basic rules and techniques. This makes it a great option for people who want to try out a new sport without committing to a more physically demanding activity.

Another reason for its popularity is the social aspect of the game. Pickleball is often played in doubles, which allows players to interact and have fun with their partners and opponents. It is also common for pickleball players to form close-knit communities at local clubs or courts, creating a sense of belonging and camaraderie. Finally, pickl

eball offers a number of physical and mental benefits. It is a low-impact sport that can improve cardiovascular endurance, coordination, and flexibility. It is also a great way to relieve stress and improve mental focus and strategy. All of these factors contribute to the popularity of pickleball and make it a beloved activity for people of all ages.

Bottom Line, Why We Love Pickleball

Finally, here’s what we think.

We think it’s all of the above.

Karen's Pickleball Story

Let’s take Karen as an example.

First, she had NEVER played competitive sports before. Somewhere in her past she got the idea she wasn’t athletic. Some of us didn’t believe her. For example, her 23 and Me (genetic background) results had this interesting finding: “Karen has the same muscular structure as an elite athlete.” Karen laughed. A lot. She couldn’t believe it.

Then, three years ago Karen joined a small of group of new players for early morning open play. She had been drawn to join based on visiting her mom in Florida where she couldn’t help noticing the noise and laughter coming from the Pickleball courts. From the get-go Karen was hooked. Initially, it was the people she met. Uncertain about what she was getting herself into, the people she met were welcoming, helpful and encouraging. To her surprise, Karen discovered that she could play and participate as well as anyone. Then got hooked. Now she is one of the top players in our Club. It turns out that not having a sports background is irrelevant.

Jim's Story

My story is a bit different, but ultimately the same. I did grow up playing sports, including tennis. I was always competitive but never a star. When Karen joined pickleball I was pleased for Karen but otherwise disinterested (you can take the player out of tennis but you can’t take the snob out of being a tennis player!). That is until I went out once. I thought I was supporting Karen but going out once was all it took. What got me hooked? I was instantly comfortable. I was competitive. The game was way more fun than I had imagined. Everyone was welcoming. It was a good workout. I could see that with a bit of practice I could move beyond being a banger!

Hannah's Story

Hannah’s story is very similar to mine. Hannah had some tennis background. However, her go-to sport was rugby. Rugby is good competition. It’s also a little rougher than pickleball. It’s good training for falling on the court! When Hannah tried pickleball she recognized the same things we all did: pickleball is competitive, it’s good physical exercise and the people are great. Now Hannah is a certified coach.

In summary, the world loves pickleball for many reasons. What’s great, is the reasons for loving pickleball seem to grow stronger over time. We are more challenged and more skilled. We are in better shape and more strategic. We know more people and have more friends. From the competition to the people, the workout to the skill development, pickleball seems to have it all.

We know you understand!

We’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.

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