Pickleball is an increasingly popular paddle sport, similar to ping pong or tennis, and one of the fastest growing areas of the sport is pickleball for seniors. It’s an easy to learn game, and you don’t have be an expert to play it and have fun.
If you’re having a hard time imagining how a game like tennis might be popular among seniors, there are several key differences. First, it’s a slower game than tennis, and the court is also smaller, so there’s less running around. The ball is also a soft, lightweight, whiffle ball-like object. This keeps the game from being too fast, and it means the ball cannot be hit so hard that it would cause injury to another player. The paddle doesn’t have strings and with the lightweight ball, this means it’s putting very little stress on the tendons and muscles in your arms. Serving is also underhanded in whiffle ball, instead of overhanded like in tennis, and this makes the game easier and less stressful for your arm.
While pickleball is much easier and safer than something like tennis for seniors, it can still bring a risk of injury if you’re not careful. Follow these tips to stay safe while playing pickleball:
- Be aware of an obstacles in or around the playing area.
- Don’t backpedal when the ball goes over your head.
- Stretch and warm up before playing.
- Wear the proper shoes and eye protection.
- Use appropriate equipment.
- Know your body and rest when you need to.
- Communicate with your partner and/or opponent.
- Improve your balance.
- Wear sunscreen and a hat when playing outside.
- Avoid wet courts.
- Drink lots of water.
Following the tips above will help you play safely, and you can experience the health benefits of playing pickleball. These include:
- A lower risk of heart disease
- A lower risk of depression
- Getting hooked on a fun exercise
- Less risk of social isolation
- Longer independence
If you are interested in playing pickleball, SCOA hosts games several times a month. You can find one soon here.