|Myakka Activities Director, Carol Black.|
The winter crowd isn't here yet so the crowd is small. A group plays every morning around 8 a.m. and I decided to get in on this sport early enough to play all season. Everyone was helpful in teaching and coach me toward improvement.
|My first pickleball paddle|
I played pickleball with a borrowed paddle the first few weeks. I also attended the next couple of "basics" courses to glean everything possible from Carol about the game. I loved it!
Within a week, I knew I was hooked and after the second week, I ordered my very own paddle, carrying bag and a sleeve of balls.
Ironically, I developed a tenderness my right knee and couldn't use my new paddle for about two weeks. I still went to pickleball every morning and watched the others play.
Wayne isn't interested.
The November group of pickleball players totaled about six people, sometimes more and usually included Carol and a few seasoned players who graciously took turns teaming up with me.
It didn't take long for me to become addicted to pickleball. I played every morning and stayed as long as there were players with whom I could practice. The group was great, not too serious and eager to share whatever they could to improve my game.
|Bill and Ken are playing against Carol and Bruce|
By January, I began hearing about Myakka's Annual Pickleball Tournament. I was all in. By this time, I was working on strategies and ball placement. Wayne still didn't have an interest.
The day of the 2017 tournament finally came and the weather was perfect. I played well and enjoyed every game. Wayne didn't attend a single game in which I played. I was furious for weeks.
|That's me... Serving in one of the final matches in the tournament.|
|Intense concentration -- keep your eye on the ball. That's the secret.|
By now, I had a second paddle in hopes Wayne would play. I used it in the tournament.
Ron, Big Bill, Phil, Carol, Shirley, Ken, Mary, me, Bob, Doug, Scott, Doug, Oscar, Cleve, Dick, Allen and Bruce.
To the far left, Jan keeps score.
|Carol, Bob and me. I'm one of four "most improved" pickleball players.|
Wayne didn't attend the awards luncheon. I steamed but did eventually recover.
|My friend, Phil was one of two mens "most improved" at Pickleball.|
|Scott was a "Most Improved" player too.|
|And my friend Mary won the coveted "Most Improved for next year" trophy.|
It's a pickleball stuck to the lid of a jar of pickles.
|It was no surprise Shirley and Bob were the 2017 Champions.|
All three of these folks taught me to play better and to love pickleball!