Pickleball & Tennis
Game, Set, and Match Made in Sports Court Heaven
Pickleball is a fun and exciting indoor/outdoor sport that combines elements of Tennis, Badminton, and Ping Pong. The game is played on a court the size of a Badminton court, with a low net similar to Tennis, and with what looks like an oversized ping pong paddle and a whiffle ball. As the fastest growing recreational sport in North America, with over 2.8 million players and growing by the day, the game of Pickleball is truly a phenomenon. The professional game is also surging, backed by TV deals, endorsements and players competing in national tournaments for prize purses and incentive pools. As a sister sport to tennis, Pickleball offers an opportunity for recreational and competitive tennis players to hone their shotmaking, footwork and game management skills while providing a fun, new hybrid game that appeals to millions of men, women and children of all ages and performance levels.
Tennis’ Sister Sport
- The sport of Pickleball provides athletes with a unique parallel to tennis (racquet/paddle sport) … similar to other competitive/professional sports, including: NASCAR/INDY racing, skiing/snowboarding, swimming/diving, ice skating/ice dancing; etc. All of these sports offer many of the same performance/game elements, but with different styles of play or action.
- The sport of Pickleball is proven to complement and enhance many skills associated with playing tennis, including improved footwork, hand-eye coordination, patience, game management and strategies in all areas of shot making.
- Pickleball is played on a smaller court than tennis, which affords players less physical impact on the body, enabling them to extend their lifetime of enjoyment on the court, while playing both sports.
Teaching and Instruction
- The Pickleball learning curve, while quicker than tennis, is uniquely similar and today many tennis instructors are now supplementing their teaching income by offering Pickleball clinics and lessons.
- A growing trend of both active and retired professional tennis players, as well as tennis teaching professionals, is playing Pickleball on the professional circuit. In fact, current touring Tennis professional and Selkirk Athlete, Kaitlyn Christian, took home bronze at the 2018 US Open. Former Wimbledon Doubles Champion JoAnne Russell (1977) is also among a stable of accomplished tennis pros competing regularly on the professional Pickleball tour. While still in its infant stages, the increase in tournament prize money, endorsement contracts and incentive programs are growing in Professional Pickleball. In fact, Selkirk Sport, a leading paddle manufacturer, has pledged more than $150,000 in prize money during nationwide tournament play on the 2018 professional circuit.
One-Two Punch at Resorts
- The sport of Pickleball now stands firmly alongside tennis as a recreational activity at sports/fitness clubs and at a collection of leading resorts throughout North America. Pickleball offers athletes of all ages an alternative entertainment/recreation option to traditional sports, and acclaimed resorts such as Pinehurst (NC), JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa (AZ), Shadow Mountain Resort & Club (CA) and Sundial Resort & Spa (FL), among many others, offer Pickleball programs alongside of their tennis programming.
- Communities such as the Villages in Florida and many adult recreational complexes across North America are now complementing their tennis programs with Pickleball, as the social aspects of the game, combined with smaller courts, make Pickleball a natural transition for tennis players looking to enjoy an alternative paddle/racquet sport that provides many of the same in-game characteristics.
In the Schools
- As Pickleball requires less space than traditional tennis courts, and as many school districts in the U.S. are introducing Pickleball as part of their physical education curriculum, the sport serves as a natural entry into paddle/racquet sports for the next generation of players.