What better time to write than while a thunder storm is passing through. The wind is whipping our hanging plants and the rain is pelting down on the burned lawn, desperate for water. There’s a peacefulness to the chaos happening outside my back patio door. It’s been a long time since we have had a soaking rain, which means it’s been a long time since I’ve taken time to rest from pickleball and golf. Really, who can rest, or sit idle when the sun is shining on the golf course and the pickleball courts!
I suppose since I walked my eighteen hole golf round already this morning, and I plan to go to the pickleball courts later, I can’t say this is a resting day, but at this moment I’m not physically active. In fact my plantar fasciitis has flared up in my right foot again, so I’m soaking my foot in a bucket of cold tap water while writing and enjoying the storm. Just the trick to get me back out later today or tomorrow! (Read my previous blog on conquering plantar fasciitis called, “Take Care of Your Feet”)
Earlier today, as I was walking the golf course, I was reflecting on my experience last night (Wednesday) at Toledo Pickleball Club. We teach beginners every Monday night, but only the very basics. We then offer two courts on Wednesday nights for our beginners to play together and learn from each other until they are comfortable mixing in with the rest in scheduled open play. This program has been very helpful in creating confidence in those ready to make the transition from new player to one who can play with others, even if they do require a few reminders of where they should be on the court and what the score is. You know, the things we all had to learn when we started.
Normally, we don’t supervise beginner play. It’s just a time for them to work things out and practice together. We encourage them to remind others when they are in the wrong position or need help with the score. Last night I stopped by and spent two hours with the eight who had signed up for Beginner Play night. It was so much fun coaching them in game situations. There’s no better way to explain the “why’s” and the “what could have been’s” than immediately after a rally. The facial expressions, laughs and comments after making a mistake or a brilliant shot or rally were priceless! There’s nothing like seeing your student’s “A-ha!” moments!
I don’t know if I will be able to be there every Wednesday night to help out the beginners, but if I can I plan to! If you are teaching beginners, try to give them their own court space where they can learn the nuances of game play on their own before mainstreaming them into regular play. And spend some time with them as they learn. It’s well worth it for both the students and for you!
The storm has passed, and the sun is out again…….and the ice cream truck is coming! So much for resting.