By Jen Azevedo – Sports Director
I’ve played tennis in Southern California my entire life.
High school, collegiate and adult tennis is a huge part of who I am, and how I came to Paseo Club. About a year ago, we had a fledgling pickleball interest headed by a couple of members and began the first Paseo Club pickleball league. I joined in knowing nothing about the game, but assuming my tennis abilities could carry me through. Was I ever wrong. While tennis players have an inherent advantage in starting the game because of the hand-eye coordination and similarity of court space (albeit smaller), once you begin really playing, tennis players have to relearn a lot of their original skill set in order to be successful.
After a year and some club reorganization, we began fall 2019 with three separate leagues, catering to about 100 players ranging from beginners to 4.5 level. We start 2021 with over 200 players participating in several leagues as well as tournaments and mixers. Pickleball is booming now, and only continues to grow. Old, young, athletic or new to sports in general, you can pick this game up quickly and have a blast doing it. We have started including pickleball as a great workout option for our Greatest Results participants, showcasing how much fun you can have with a few friends while burning plenty of calories in a couple hours.
We now have three certified pickleball pros on staff, and we continue to learn as the game continues to progress. Everyone will adapt and learn to play “lets” now that they’ve become a live ball, and I look forward to starting to see the drop serve in all levels of play as it becomes a new weapon for every level.
I can’t wait for tournaments to begin again for all pickleball in Southern California. My last tourney yielded a silver medal, and I’m hoping 2021 is the year for a gold.
No matter how long you’ve played other sports, this is the time to start trying pickleball. Socially distanced without being distant, and it’s the perfect opportunity to spend some outdoor time with friends and family.