“Who’s playing today?” - a text from a local group of friends, is Maggie Murch’s favorite part about pickleball. This reminds her of “having neighborhood kids knock on my door asking if I wanted to come out and play”. And truly - is there anything better than this sporadic sense of fun and excitement? Our Selkirk Advocate Maggie embraces this new life that has been infused into athletes who have aged, but still crave that competitive challenge in their lives.
Maggie’s background is in badminton, but after experiencing lower back pain from that sport, she was happy to find relief… and addiction, in pickleball! This player started in the summer of 2020, and has done much to grow the sport - which seems probable given the fact that she is playing “usually 6 days a week for at least 3 hours”. Badges of honor include being an NCCP Level 2 Coach, the Youth Development Coordinator for the North Shore Pickleball Club, and teaching private lessons several times per week. These activities have helped her to introduce Pickleball to 575 students and 160 teachers in 2022, and now 1180 students and 130 teachers in 2023 - an incredible reach! This is coming from a woman who chooses “Endless Energy” as a superpower (maybe she already has obtained it?).
So what does Maggie play with? She had moved from the Selkirk Labs Project 003 S2, then to the Halo Max XL, and then to the Selkirk Labs Project 006… but now she can’t seem to put the 006 down because of the increase in power and spin, with no sacrifice in touch. She has “described the 006 as a hot knife through butter or hitting the sweet spot on a Big Bertha driver (how I remember it before Pickleball!)”. Speaking of a knife through butter, if given the choice between cake or pie - Maggie’s choice is “a good slice of apple pie, especially when made by my Aunt Bon!”.
Maggie’s husband and kids will ‘dabble’ in Pickleball - she recently played a tournament at Tres Palapas (a Pickleball Resort with a great facility, amazing staff, and the “best burgers I’ve ever had” according to Maggie) with her son, and had a blast! She also has a 5-year-old Coton de Tulear named Bentley who is full of fun tricks (but has not picked up a Selkirk paddle…. yet…).
Advice from this Selkirk Superstar? Maggie believes that you can learn something from any player, at any level. She relates, “I like to compare my game to my grandmother’s garden. She used to walk me around her garden and be able to tell me where every plant and flower came from, who gave it to her, when, and why. I have picked up so many great shots and strategies from people I have played, and I name the shots after them. I’ve got my Angie, my Irene, my Susie, my Tyler, my Mark, my Bruce, my Wendy… and so so many more!”.
In a world where excellence is celebrated, Maggie’s approach to ‘learning from everyone’ is a beautifully balanced way of celebrating pickleball’s accessibility to all - as a game for everyone, enhanced by everyone participating. One of her proudest moments in life has been watching her kids learn from and overcome obstacles - seeing young people navigate the world using sports and the arts as vehicles for creativity and expression - is what brings her joy.
When asked if she prefers chocolate or vanilla… her answer is “I prefer chips - sour cream and onion to be exact!”. And this exemplifies who she is, for in life, as in pickleball - there is no reason to conform to boundaries… the point is to enjoy.. and to PLAY!
For more information about Selkirk's Community and Teaching Advocate Program, click here!