Pickleball is the Skyterra sport of the season. Despite being created in 1965 with rules officially codified in 1984, pickleball has recently been pegged as the fastest growing sport in the United States. It also happens to be the fastest growing sport at Skyterra!
In 2020, the Sports and Fitness Industry Association reported 21.3 percent total growth with more than 4.2 million players. Not only is pickleball a constructive way to stay active and get outdoors, but it’s also a sport that virtually anyone can play, being non-contact, low-intensity and great for players of all ages.
Today, we’ll provide you a quick crash course in how to play and we’ll cover a few key techniques to help you up your pickleball game. We’ll also detail just how important it really is to keep the fun in fitness, and how the game of pickleball accomplishes that. Dive into the ultimate pickleball guide from your favorite pickleball lovers at Skyterra.
Stay out of the Kitchen: Pickleball is Easy to Pick Up
The first of many perks of playing pickleball is that it’s easy to learn and not complicated to understand. So how does one play pickleball? Here’s the breakdown.
Pickleball is a paddle sport played with either singles or doubles on a badminton-size court. The wiffle ball is served diagonally (starting with the right-hand service-square), and points can only be scored by the side that serves.
Players on each side must let the ball bounce once before volleys are allowed, and there is a seven-foot no-volley zone, known as the kitchen on each side of the net, to prevent spiking. The server continues to serve, alternating service courts, until he or she faults. The first side scoring 11 points and leading by at least two points wins.
At Skyterra, we like to say that if you know the three strokes in pickleball, you can play the game. In practicing these three strokes, you’ll be a pickleball pro in no time:
- First up, the cross-court serve is the underhand shot that puts the ball in play.
- Second, any stroke you make after the ball has bounced is known as a groundstroke, or hit before bouncing is called a volley.
- Lastly, a dink is a soft, gentle shot only used in and near the kitchen and just barely making it over the net. This makes it challenging for the opponent to return.
Don’t Get Pickled: It Comes With Health Benefits
There are many great benefits that come with getting involved in pickleball, one being that virtually anyone can play. Due to the smaller court size and use of a wiffle ball, not nearly as much ground needs to be covered to play well. It offers aerobic exercise, while being a more gentle option when it comes to moving your body. You are able to break a sweat, improve balance and boost your agility in a lower-intensity environment.
Pickleball offers a great opportunity for all ages to stay active, and for those who are in the beginning stages of incorporating more movement into their lives to do so in a fun and upbeat environment. Pickleball players range from just a few years old to individuals into their 80s and 90s. It’s the perfect activity for a casual pick-up game, but can also be taken to a more competitive level, as in sports like ping-pong, tennis or badminton.
Despite active components, it’s important to note that pickleball is a game of strategy and that no one has any real advantage physically. Whether you’re in the best shape of your life or you have zero athletic experience, anyone can grab a paddle and get involved.
Pickleball grows even more popular around the summertime, when spending time outside in the sunshine becomes everyone’s top priority. There are many benefits to taking your fitness outdoors. Something about being outside in nature makes movement feel less like exercise, and spending time in nature has been shown through research to lower blood pressure and stress levels. Studies have also shown that those who got moving outdoors on a regular basis have higher levels of endorphins than those who stay inside. They also experienced a higher level of serotonin, a hormone that regulates mood.
Pickleball Vocabulary 101: Getting pickled happens when a team scores zero points in a whole game.
Be a Healthy Dinker: It Builds Community
Lastly, pickleball has great potential when it comes to building community and making friends. Above all, pickleball is a social game that brings people together in celebration of movement and human connection. In one study, pickleball players who had the healthiest experience with aging and encountered the most benefits from playing were those that were the most deeply engaged with the culture surrounding the game.
Pickleball at Skyterra has brought our community closer together than ever before. Playing with friends has a significant positive impact on self-confidence and self-esteem, and promotes wellness in many aspects other than just the physical.
Pickleball Vocabulary 101: A dink is a soft, gentle shot only used in and near the kitchen and just barely making it over the net. This makes it challenging for the opponent to return.
Pickleball at Skyterra: We Want You on our Team
At Skyterra, we want to help you integrate wellness practices into your daily life that benefit you in ways beyond just weight loss. We want you to feel holistically healthier among other like-minded individuals, and we’re excited to be able to now offer pickleball in alignment with that mission.
For more information on recreation and adventure at Skyterra, click HERE.