My mom is now obsessed with pickleball too. (Her story inside).Jun 02, 2022
Moms are the best.
And mine is no exception.
Recently, she played pickleball for the first time and wrote about her experience and what’s it like to watch her son (me) randomly pick up a sport our family hadn’t ever heard of.
What do you do when your kid calls his parents and says he wants to become a professional pickleball player? You either embrace it, negate it or go buy a paddle. So while my husband was at work one day, I bought a cheap paddle.
Then, I headed straight for my local pickleball courts to see what all the fuss was about. I already knew that pickleball had become a thing, and that any mere mention of the game swiveled heads and piqued interest. It was only nine o’clock in the morning when I got there but the place was already packed with wide-eyed players thwacking pickleballs cross-court. Then there were those on the sidelines, paddles ready, waiting to rotate into the games. I took note of all the frenzied activity, backed off and simply found a spot among the crowd of Picklers to watch.
Before long, a young woman called out to me, “Hey,” she said, “Wanna play?”
Well, I did want to play, but I was nervous. Shouldn’t I continue observing the action before diving right in? I mean, if my son is going to be a pickleball pro, shouldn’t his mother make every effort to avoid looking like a fool the first time out? Word can spread fast, even if we do live 1500 miles apart.
“I’m a tennis player,” I mentioned casually, in the hopes that that might calm my nervousness and let the three other players know that I actually had some athletic ability.
“Oh no problem,” the woman said and waved me onto the court with a nod and a smile.
Once on the court, I repeatedly stood in the wrong place, smacked the ball too hard, messed up the score and said sorry a lot.
It didn’t matter. The players were incredibly friendly, understanding and willing to teach me the game.
“You’re doing great,” they all chimed in. “Tennis players always do.” That bolstered my confidence. Before long, I was rallying, doing flapjacks, hitting overhead shots and blasting put aways. It wasn’t exactly pretty but it worked.
“Could you tell my son how I did?” I said with a chuckle after we had finished a number of games. “He’s going pro.”
We all laughed.
But playing the game made me understand why Kyle was obsessed. Plus, pickleball has all the competitive ingredients of a sport that Kyle could add to his range of weapons-grade athletic skills. He had been an ace soccer player, a middle school tennis champion, had played elite basketball in high school, and was recruited to play Division 1 basketball in college. I am positive he can meet his goal of turning pro within twelve months.
To tell the truth, at first, I wasn’t completely sure what to make of it when Kyle said he wanted to become a pickleball pro. Pickleball? Seriously? But it is much clearer now. He is building new skills, meeting great people and sharing his trademark humor. Who else would interview players on camera at a big tournament using the end of a paddle as a pretend microphone?
And who else would post silly videos of his pre-play warm up antics that just beg for attention?
We are all-in on his quest to be a pro. When my husband gets a minute, he is going to head to the courts too. The only thing I have to do now is get a paddle for him and another one for me.
The cheap one broke.
Mom, you’re an awesome writer. Thanks for sharing this.
And to everyone else, hope you enjoyed it.
Until next time,
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