From Paddles to Phenomenon: Why Pickleball is Taking Over
Pickleball is sweeping the nation, and it’s not hard to see why. In recent years, this sport has exploded in popularity, drawing players of all ages into its courts. Today, we’re diving into why pickleball has become the fastest-growing sport, with insights from Laree Mancour, the CBO and Managing Partner at the NAofA, who has a deep love and passion for the sport.
The Pandemic Game Changer
If you’re wondering how pickleball managed to go from a well-kept secret to a sensation, you can thank the COVID-19 pandemic. Just like many of us who were stuck indoors during quarantine, Laree and her husband turned to pickleball for some much-needed outdoor fun. “Like the mass majority of players today, we decided to buy paddles during the time we were told to quarantine during COVID-19,” she revealed. It seems the extra time at home gave many of us the push we needed to pick up a paddle and hit the courts.
A Sport for All Ages
One of the most remarkable aspects of pickleball’s popularity is its appeal to all age groups. Whether you’re a youthful teenager or a seasoned senior citizen, pickleball offers something for everyone. As Laree aptly puts it, “Any age can play and every age can play together!” This inclusivity is a game-changer in the world of sports.
But pickleball isn’t just about hitting a ball with a paddle; it’s about forming connections. Laree shared how pickleball gave her and her husband more than just a new sport. “Pickleball didn’t just give us another sport to play; it gave us back a community,” she emphasized. This sense of belonging is a common theme among pickleball enthusiasts who find warmth and camaraderie on the courts.
Accessible and Welcoming
What sets pickleball apart from passing fads is its accessibility. Unlike other sports that require specialized facilities or expensive memberships, pickleball is democratic in its approach. “Unlike fads like racquetball, you don’t need to find a gym with courts and pay to play,” Laree Mancour noted. Community parks across the nation are adding pickleball courts, making the game easily accessible to all.
A Unifying Force
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of pickleball’s popularity is its potential as a unifying force. Laree’s belief that “if every town had pickleball courts – perhaps our nation would stop being so divided, and people would start being nice to each other again” is a testament to the sport’s power. In a world where divisions seem to grow deeper every day, pickleball is a reminder that sports have the unique ability to bring people together.
Pickleball’s meteoric rise can be attributed to its inclusivity, accessibility, and its knack for fostering communities. With its universal appeal, this sport shows no signs of slowing down. So, whether you’re young or young at heart, it’s time to grab a paddle, hit the court, and experience the pickleball craze for yourself or sign your child up for one of our amazing pickleball youth sports programs in your area!