What is the main difference between pickleball and tennis?
It is the people… silly!
This might be one of my more controversial posts, but I recently saw the following Facebook post and thought about this topic a bit deeper.
What really is the difference between pickleball and tennis? Aside from the obvious equipment and court differences, pickleball has a unique culture that sets it apart from tennis.
The Culture of Pickleball
When most people think of pickleball they think of smiling faces, laughter, and good times. If you Google search Pickleball Images you will get pictures of people laughing and having fun on the pickleball court.
This isn’t to imply that tennis isn’t fun, but I believe pickleball as a sport was founded on a backbone of fun.
Tennis is a great sport and I have spent years working with professional and novice tennis players and if there is one thing I have seen during that time it is the seriousness of tennis.
Facebook Post From “The Kitchen – A Pickleball Community“
Seems like some people don’t mind turning pickleball into tennis. The vast majority of pickle ballers love the social aspect of the sport. That’s what makes it fun for them.
That’s how it’s literally changed people’s lives.
If you and your buddies are playing a game and someone new wants to play with you who you think can’t hang, let them play! They’ll figure out they’re not yet at your level and they’ll play with someone else. Let them find out for themselves!
Don’t be “stuck up,” shun them, and think they have to improve in order for them to play with you. That’s not a good way to treat anyone or to introduce anyone to this incredible sport.
Yes, people want to improve. Yes, people know they should improve if they want to play with higher-level players. Yes, people can love the social aspect as well as love the competitiveness. They don’t need anyone pompously shoving down their throats they need to improve.
An older lady at the courts I was at last night told me how a young man had just asked her to play pickleball with him. She was so surprised and excited she could hardly contain herself. She said, “Nobody would ever do that in tennis!”
She’s a tennis player who’s played pickleball only a handful of times. She says her husband makes fun of pickleballers, because he’s a hardcore tennis player.
“Pickleball’s for old, fat people,” he tells her. I told her how much the sport is changing, the median age of a pickleballer is now 38, how the sport has changed my life, and the social aspects of the sport. She said, “You convinced me. I’m switching to pickleball!”
So, I’d like to be loud and clear:
Don’t tennis our pickleball!