Relishing Pickleball

Mary Littlewood and David Zapatka

David Zapatka

Are you looking for an enriching retirement activity? Are you interested in quality exercise while having a good time? Are you interested in a social environment where you can meet friendly, fun people? Are you interested in making new friends in your community? Consider giving the fastest-growing sport in the world, pickleball, a try. You’ll love it!

If you’re brand new to our sport, been playing pickleball for a short period of time, or are an experienced player, Pickleball Fundamentals by Mary Littlewood is a must buy. It was the first book endorsed by USA Pickleball as a way to learn the sport. This book can be bought at the USA Pickleball and Pickleball Central websites as well as Amazon and eBay.

Mary Littlewood began writing the book in 2013, recruited players to model her teaching in action photography in 2014, and published it in 2015. It’s the standard today for learning the game. The book introduces the concepts of warming up and stretching before playing, the ready position, grips, and ball control, as well as the how-to of various strokes, including forehand and backhand groundstrokes, serves, returns, volley, dinks, lobs, overhead smashes, and drop shots. It has chapters on shot selection, the mental game, and strategies for doubles and singles play.

Whet your appetite with this excerpt: “The overhead smash is used as a return of a high lofted ball…. Your paddle arm should be cocked behind the right shoulder with the head of the paddle back and down (figure 8.1.a). Swing the paddle arm up and forward so that you contact the ball high in the air with arm and wrist action…. Shift your body weight from the rear foot to the forward foot as you execute the smash (figure 8.1.b).”

The USA Pickleball National Championships, sponsored by Pickleball Central, will be held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden again this year from Dec. 6 to 14. It’s worth the short drive to see the world’s top pickleball players in all age groups, singles and doubles, competing at the highest levels. If you can’t make it, watch for the matches to be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network.

Want to know more about the sport, the rules, equipment, or have some pickilicious news you would like to share with our pickleball community? Email David Zapatka at [email protected].