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Sometimes you just need a break

I’ve been searching for something to write about for weeks now.  Writer’s block comes in various forms, and for various reasons.   In my case, I have to admit that I haven’t played pickleball more than a few times all summer.   Playing games with others is usually where I came up with the ideas for writing posts for this blog.  No play, no ideas, no posts.  I guess it’s that simple.

Sometimes you just need a break.  From a sport, from competition, from the people and the drama that can occur when people gather, or for a whole lot of other reasons, none of which may have to do with pickleball at all.  Maybe it’s a seasonal thing.  I also play golf 4-5 days a week (118 rounds so far in 2022), and maybe I’m just tired. 

I’ve been playing pickleball since 2012.  Playing a lot!  I used to play several nights a week when I was working, at various clubs near home.  I played in tournaments wherever I could find them and a partner to play with.  Locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.  I loved playing, traveling and meeting other people!  I loved the friendly competition. After a while, I feel like the competition wasn’t as friendly. I liked pickleball best when it was a new sport, and everyone wanted to have fun. Play well, win a medal but first and foremost, have fun.

After a painful back issue last summer, I slowed down.  I sometimes think I enjoy watching good pickleball games more that actually playing them.  Maybe I got a little burned out? 

As someone who used to play a lot, I feel like pickleball became part of my identity.  I started a small pickleball themed tee shirt business, and I became a USA Pickleball Ambassador.  I became a dealer for two different paddle brands.  Pickleball was just “my thing!” I still sell paddles, passively, but I’ve resigned as an ambassador, and do very little with the tee shirts now.

As my level of excitement and ability diminished, so did my flexibility and mobility to move on the court, and that’s created a struggle to give a good game to the players I used to play with.  I find I’ve become focused on not losing and disappointing my partner, rather than on playing my best game, even if it results in a loss.

Has this happened to you yet?  If so, what have you done to rekindle the pickleball flame? 

It won’t be long before I head back to Florida for snowbird season.  I’m excited to see friends I’ve made in several lovely women’s pickleball groups.  I hope to rejuvenate my excitement for the game quickly.  In the meantime, I played the last two days, at two different local clubs, with friends I haven’t played with for a long time and really enjoyed it.  I’m planning to play again next week.  I can’t keep up with the “kids” anymore, but I still have some skills!  And, of course the best part of a good pickleball game (or a golf round) is lunch afterwards!  And I’m really good at that! 

I’d love to hear reader thoughts on this topic. Pickleball burn out, Pickleball overload, etc. Leave a comment or email me.

And, thanks for reading.

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11 thoughts on “Sometimes you just need a break”

  1. Hi Betsy! Your post really struck a cord with me. I’ve been out of pickleball for the better part of the last 3 years, not so much due to covid but mostly to physical issues I’ve been dealing with. While I’ve greatly missed my pickleball friends, this absence he’s given me a new found excitement about playing again. I have already accepted that my game will be different when I return. I do know that my pickleball friends won’t care if I’m slower on the court. I do know that they’ll be glad to see me and encouraging through every game! I’m glad that golf has been another way for you to connect socially and physically. I do however look forward to a few more competitive/fun games on the local courts in the not too distant future!

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    1. Absolutely! Let me know when you start to play….. however, I’m only here for a short while, before heading south for the winter! Next summer, lets gather a few girls together on Sunday, like in the old days!

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  2. Amen PBL, been playing PB for about 16 yrs, and golf for 60. Suck at both, har, but understand the burn out. I used to live in Hawaii, home of some of the nicest golf courses in the world,
    For years , I always played golf on my BD, one year over there, about 2010, played a round with my buds, even recall starting birdie, par.
    After the round ( to myself) I asked, self, all in all, It wasn’t a fun day, For whatever, I sold my $2000 worth of clubs for $500 and took a 5 yr break,
    Same w pickle, now I play in spurts, at times 6xs a month, at times 6 xs a week.
    In all those yrs, perhaps 3 tourneys , all rec,
    At nearly 70, I don’t need a blue ribbon w a plastic gold metal, save the best in show for the 4 H ers.
    In 10 days , off to Europe, now there, have play lined up in Budapest, Madrid, Cadiz and Lisbon, all rec

    Play for the fun, then eat and drink w the locals! Muy bien!

    Pickle on !

    Burn out happens, at 60+, stay active in something!! Please

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      1. AND say hi to everyone at Cadiz .
        They have a great indoor hard court facility there .
        Enjoy
        Seek out Bjorn and Ronnie and do lunch afterwards

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  3. Wow, funny thing……I just had this same conversation w Jack. I keep thinking I need these killer workouts to keep in shape. Lately, I have had injury after injury & also a few unexpected health issues.
    I stopped playing tournaments at 4.5 because not only were they combining age groups (at 64 , I can’t hang w the 20 yr olds at 5 in the afternoon)but the cheating was also not fun for me anymore.
    Now, playing 3 or 4 times a week, waiting for courts, trying to keep people (men & women) from getting in physical altercations OVER REC PICKLEBALL.
    SO, I’m backing off even more. When we were in Ohio I really didn’t miss it all that much for over a week now.
    We’ll see…….
    Love ya , Bets 💕

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    1. Debbie, I’m so sorry I couldn’t see you while you were here. Please, let’s see each other more in SWFL this winter. Can I interest you in playing golf again!!??

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  4. Every year I say I’m not teaching beginning Pickleball again, was after 10 years, burned out, but this year I switched to teaching intermediate level and it’s going great so far

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Betsy,
    As one of your pickleball friends I must say that I miss you and Claire!

    I can relate to what you have shared and I think it is pertinent for many of us. When COVID hit everything slowed down and as an introvert it was easier for me to hunker down than many of my friends. The problem though is getting back in the groove after adjusting to not playing as much.

    I also relate to the aches and pains as we age.

    For me my shoulder has kept me off the courts most of this year. When I do play the pain affects my game so I can’t play as often as I like.

    Thank you for all you have done and continue to do! We still need the “Crazy Pickleball Lady.”

    Doug Clark

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Doug! I was supposed to visit Saugatuck this week (right now, actually) but Covid hit me the last few weeks and we thought it best not to make that trip.

      But, as you brought Covid up, something I should have shared in my post…… Covid changed a lot of things, at least for me. Up until three weeks ago, I avoided getting Covid (lucky me), however when the epidemic hit in 2020, we made our own 4 somes, and played with very small groups. And those groups were people we really like playing with, who played the same type of game and who we found easy to have fun and laugh with. I had a blast during that time.

      But as we started playing in larger groups again, that intimacy of playing with comfortable friends was lost. All play was fair and legal, but a lot more bang and a lot less strategy.

      Professional pickleball matches can be viewed everyday on YouTube and people want to play like the pro’s. But I’m not a pro, and when someone tries to emulate their favorite pro, (such as the Waters) they often start banging every shot as hard as they can. I’m not the one who wants to be on the other side of the net from them.

      A few years ago, I went to Sun City West to visit a friend and he took me to the community pool. There were “Swim” lanes and “Noodle” lanes. I feel like I’ve gotten to the point where I want the “Noodle” court!

      Thanks for your message, Doug, I miss you guys, and hope to get together sometime soon. Let me know if you have any events in SW Florida. Might not play, but would love to watch and maybe help out!

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