If the doctors say you’re too old for the tennis court and your body agrees, you don’t have to give up just yet. Sure, you might not be able to play tennis, but there are other games like pickleball that you would enjoy even more in your old age.
Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports among senior citizens and it makes sense. The court is smaller and the serves are easier on the shoulders and joints. Overall, you’re still getting some exercise done and you’re going easy on the joints too. Who doesn’t like that?
If you’re new to the game or just want to try something fun, here is a list of things you can do to learn the game.
What is Pickleball?
Pickleball is a combination of tennis and badminton. The net is lowered, Pickleball court dimensions are the same as those of a badminton court, and the ball used in the game is lighter, all of which are important factors that make the game so ideal for old folks.
Pickleball can be played in singles and doubles just like tennis, and with how close the players are there’s more than enough room for catching up on each other’s lives while you play.
Find Someone Who Already Plays
The best and quickest way to learn pickleball is to find someone who already plays it and learn from them. A friend or even a housemate in your senior home will be more than glad to show you the ropes, you’ll make a new friend and you’ll get to learn pickleball too. That’s more than a win-win situation.
If your senior home doesn’t have a pickleball court, there are many places you can play, or even just use a tennis court and mark it with chalk to the approximate dimensions of a pickleball court. Hey, a makeshift pickleball court is better than no pickleball court!
Know What to Bring to the Court
Once you’ve found yourself a partner, you need to think about what you’ll bring to the game. Pickleball gear is different from tennis or badminton gear, but we’re here to tell you where to get what.
The first thing to bring is a pickleball paddle. That’s the pickleball version of a racket, only it’s smaller than a badminton or tennis racket. Most paddles can cost anywhere between $20 to $150 depending on what material they’re made of. They’re made of plastic, aluminum, and even fiberglass sometimes, so pick one based on what you think you need and what your budget is.
As for the shoes, court shoes and tennis shoes work best for pickleball. Sure, there isn’t much running going on in the game, but you still need some good foot support since you’ll still be moving side to side and even forward a lot. The size of the court doesn’t allow for much running, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have to move fast.
Is Pickleball Safe?
Being old often means you have to look after your health a bit more. Your body just doesn’t heal at the same speed as before, so you need to know that the odds of getting injured in the game are.
Logically speaking, the chances aren’t too great. Pickleball is a simple, low stress, and fun game, but that also means that it’s not a proper workout or a substitute for your cardio or exercise regimen.
You could injure your legs, ankles, elbows, or shoulders while playing, and there’s always the risk of falling down if you’re not wearing the right shoes.
The key to a safe and fun pickleball game is to warm up before you start playing, wear the right kinds of shoes and clothes, and be careful about where you step and move. Avoid long and loose pants and opt for shorts instead so you reduce the risk of tripping, and invest in some goggles to keep your eyes safe from stray balls, but most of all, remember to enjoy the game!