This is a critical component in pickleball’s popularity. Or as we say about pickleball up here in the cold, cynical Northeast “…..how come everyone is so damned friendly here? I don’t get it…..”
There’s been plenty written, but let me summarize: In this era of social media, cynicism, division and incivility, there seem to be few opportunities to get out, meet new people and share a common experience….i.e. To feel part of a community. Pickleball seems to help fulfill that basic human desire in some unique way.
Wow. Heavy. But it seems to be true. Look at your own experience as a player. One day someone asks you to play, and a few months later you’ve got 20 new friends, you’re on a daily text thread or app, you’ve run into new folks at the grocery store and you’re swapping info on cool youtube pickleball videos. Oh, and by the way, you’ve laughed out loud on the court with these people…..many times. You may have even helped organize a fundraiser or holiday party.
Appeal of pickleball
Maybe it’s the intimacy: four people in a small space
Maybe it’s the roots of the sport: backyard & driveways with family and neighbors
Maybe it’s the funny language: pickle, dink, bashers, kitchen
Maybe it’s the cool sound the ball makes striking a paddle
Maybe it’s the laughing: funny shots, rallies, bounces and comments
Maybe it’s all of the above
Every article or analysis of the growth of the pickleball market mentions this factor. It’s not just that the game itself is good, although that is huge, it’s that there is a community experience that comes along with it that makes it bigger than the game.
Is there another sport where this is true to the same extent? I can’t think of one.
Any pickleball club or pickleball facility business needs to take this factor into consideration. To encourage it, to nurture it and to build it into any plan that hopes to attract a loyal customer base…..especially “programming”
This discussion of the role of community in a new pickleball business, is one of the areas we discuss at length in our business planning and feasibility work. Contact us for a brainstorm to hear how we might be able to help in your planning.