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Pickleball Analogies

Many of you know Jim and I enjoy the game of Pickleball. While playing recently, I got to pondering how the rules of Pickleball are like the rules of life. For instance, consider…

Stay out of the kitchen
This Pickleball rule is in place to prevent players from executing smashes from a position close to the net.
This life rule can be taken jokingly, for people who want to avoid cooking.
In reality, the kitchen tends to be a gathering place. Lots of conversations take place there. Often, being told to stay out of the kitchen can mean to mind your own business.

Stay within the boundaries
This Pickleball rule tells us we must keep the ball “inbounds.” Breaking this rule can mean we lose our turn to serve, or the opposing team gets a point.
This translates to “follow the rules set forth by those in authority,” whether that be the government, your school, or your parents. When be break the boundaries, there are often unpleasant consequences. Of course, there are times when we are encouraged to “think outside the box.” Being creative is a wonderful trait, but even outside the box, there are invisible boundaries that we must adhere to.

This is not golf; there are no Mulligan’s
In Pickleball, like in many sports, your turn is your turn. Make an error, and it’s someone else’s turn. There are no “do-overs.” However, if gameplay continues, you will have another chance.
The same rule applies to life. There are no “do-overs.” You can’t take back what has already been done, or not done, but you will probably get another chance to try your best to succeed.

Apologize when you hurt someone
I can’t tell you how many times a partner will apologize because they made a poor shot. I always say, “You don’t need to apologize unless you hit me in the face.” Everyone makes a poor shot now and then, even the pros, but if you hurt someone, you need to apologize.
The same rule stands if you hurt anyone off the court. Whether it be physically, emotionally, verbally, or socially, we should not intend to harm others. If you accidentally do, go to that person and apologize.

Have fun
Pickleball is a game. Games are designed to be fun. Enjoy it.
Life is a journey that has its ups and downs. How we respond to those ups and downs determines whether we enjoy life or not. Many people have the best of everything, yet they do not enjoy life. Others have little to nothing and have learned to be happy in their circumstances. Enjoy life.
Choose to have fun.

*Pam Horton considers herself an intermediate Pickleball player and always has fun, win or lose. She especially enjoys playing against her husband, Jim, as they challenge each other to be better players.

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