The reason I didn't quit pickleball when I thought, "maybe I should!"

Feb 03, 2022

It’s 4:21pm. I just lost an elimination match and I’m disappointed.

45 minutes later, I’m sitting in the bleachers at center-court watching four of the top players in the world play mixed doubles.

 

It’s incredible — like no pickleball I’ve ever seen.

Meticulous footwork, elegant swings, and quick hands are on display.

It’s just different.

 

On a weekend where I played my worst, I was amazed watching the best — just how truly good they were.

The truth is, it was humbling. It made me realize how far I still have to go.

And for the first time since I started this journey, I felt serious self - doubt.

Wondering…

  1. Am I fooling myself?

  2. Should I just quit on this dream?

     

The answer to those questions came later from a conversation I had with Allyce (one of the players in the match I described above).

After her match, we talked when I shared, “I plan to play at this level someday.” She said, “That’s awesome, and I’ll tell ya what. You wanna play at this level? Drill 2x a day.”

That’s pickleball speak for go out and practice twice a day. She said, “I wake up at 5am and drill. I go teach high school all day, then I go back to the courts after school to practice again.”

“That’s how I got here.”

 

The thing is, you watch these pros and your brain leads you to believe, they’ve had this skill the whole time and didn’t need a lot of practice.

Then I hear Allyce say what she said, and I’m reminded of what’s required to become the best.

They don’t land there by accident or luck. They get there through diligent work performed daily over a long period of time.

At times, like most of us, I want the outcome without the work. And talking to Allyce reiterated the fact that’s not how success works. Success tends to happen slowly, then all at once.

And watching these top players was a gut check — I still have a long way to go. But also, it made me reflect on how far I’ve come.

So did last weekend make me think about quitting? Yes.

Am I going to? Absolutely not.

Just the opposite actually. I’m more inspired than ever to reach my goal of becoming a pro pickleball player in 12 months.

Will I have this feeling again? I’m sure I will. Will I lose another tournament I think I should win? Of course.

But that’s all a part of the story I’m living.

And I’ll leave you with this.

 

The journey to mastery doesn’t happen overnight. So whatever it is you’re pursuing right now, you probably need to do a little more work and give it a bit more time before you see the results you want.

Think of a bamboo tree.

It can barely be seen for the first 5 years as it builds extensive root systems underground before exploding 90 feet into the air within 6 weeks.

I think we all need a little bit more "bamboo mindset" in our lives.

I know I certainly do.

Until next time,

Kyle

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