By Zach Zitur, Tennis Pro.
We all look forward to this time of year. Winter is finally receding and spring is upon us. I always love being able to get outside and play tennis and enjoy the few months of phenomenal weather we get each year. While everyone loves the change to better weather, one thing I love is the return of my grandparents, who are snowbirds, who come back for the summer months. Some five or six years ago something odd happened though. My grandparents had brought back some pickle ball paddles to play with in the summer. I had played pickle ball in gym class, but had never seen people that were dedicated enough to go out and buy their own paddles, and balls. I asked them why they had gotten into the sport so much, they said it was everywhere in the Phoenix area. Knowing my grandparents I thought they were exaggerating, but when I visited the next winter I saw what they were talking about. People were playing everywhere, and all day, I never imagined a random sport from gym class would have this much of a following. Fast forward to today, and the pickle ball craze has hit the Fargo area. Any sports store you go to seems to have paddles, and even if you are looking online at tennis rackets, which I frequently do, the recommended items will include pickle ball paddles. Despite all the interest there are not many places to play in the Fargo area, which is why I liked when Courts Plus redid the gym and included pickle ball lines to have a place to play. Have you heard? We’re going to be doing some Pickle Ball on the tennis courts too!
Teaching tennis is a passion of mine, but pickle ball is also such a great sport to teach and play. One of the biggest reasons why I love both sports is the ability to play both for many years. and to share the sport generationally. As a tennis coach you always hear “oh they’re a tennis family” and the saying is very true. Tennis is definitely a sport that gets handed down through a family tree, and I believe the same is about to occur with pickle ball. We can beat around the bush, but pickle ball certainly has a reputation to be a old person’s game, but as time goes on I see more and more young adults and even kids playing it. First my grandparents started playing, then they got me and my parents to try it and I am sure it will be passed down from there; and I am positive that my grandparents are not the exception. It is the classic easy to learn, hard to master formula that makes pickle ball a great sport to play as a family, and so I don’t see its popularity dying down anytime soon.
Pickle ball is great for those wanting to learn a new sport or to play with family. Despite being a tennis pro I keep getting requests to learn how to play pickle ball and have thus given some lessons. Pickle ball has went from a unit I had to do in gym to a sport that I love to play and teach. So if you are looking to learn tennis or try out pickle ball contact me for a lesson today!