From Road Scholar …Here's Why You Should Go

Road Scholar Pickleball Tour

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Pickleball, the fastest-growing sport in America, has taken the nation by storm. With 38,000 pickleball courts in the United States and 90 more being built every month, it's clear that this sport is here to stay. But what exactly is pickleball, and why has it become so popular? To gain insight into this phenomenon, I spoke with Coach Russell Elefteiran, Head Coach for a unique pickelbook-centered trip from Road Scholar.  Coach Russell, who works with the Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation Department in Tampa, Florida, has witnessed firsthand the growing popularity of pickleball among active adults. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind pickleball's rise to fame, its health benefits for older adults, the equipment needed to play, and the resources available for beginners and experienced players alike.


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The Social Aspect and Growing Popularity

Coach Russell attributes pickleball's popularity to its social aspect and accessibility. He explains, "The number one aspect is the social aspect of're playing with different players all day for two or three hours." Unlike other sports that require a considerable time commitment or a specific number of players, pickleball allows for quick games that can be played with a rotating group of people.

This makes it easy for players to meet new friends and stay active. Coach Russell also notes that pickleball is gaining popularity among younger players, with the sport now offered in high schools and junior highs. Additionally, the increased TV coverage of pickleball matches on the Tennis Channel has helped to raise awareness and generate interest in the sport.

Health Benefits for Active Adults

Pickleball is ideal for active adults, as it is easy to learn and puts less strain on the body than other sports like tennis. Coach Russell explains, "The ball is a plastic ball, like a whiffle ball, so it doesn't fly off your racket like a tennis racket. We use a paddle, and it's a much friendlier, slower game." The smaller court size of pickleball, which is only 20 feet wide, also means less running and a lower risk of injury. This makes it an excellent option for older adults with arthritis or joint issues. Coach Russell recommends doing leg squats to improve leg strength and practicing dink shots and volleys to enhance hand-eye coordination.

Getting Started: Equipment and Associations

Getting started with pickleball is relatively affordable and requires minimal equipment. Coach Russell suggests purchasing a paddle, court shoes, and a few pickleballs. Starter paddles can be found at sporting goods stores like Dick's for around $9.99. He also recommends joining the USA Pickleball Association, which provides resources and information for beginners. To find local places to play, Coach Russell suggests using the USA Pickleball website or doing a Google search for pickleball courts in your area.


A Must-The Road Scholar Pickleball Tour in Quebec and The Road Scholar Pickleball Program at Montreat, NC offer a Unique Opportunity to Travel and Play

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced player, consider the ultimate pickelball journey with the famous Road Scholar Program. Road Scholar provides valuable instruction and a chance to connect with other pickleball enthusiasts. In the mornings, improve your skills ie, work on your footwork, stroke production, volleys and other skills.  In the afternoon, play against other Road Scholars who are at your level. The program takes place at the idylic Glen Sutton Lodge, where you play onsite courts. Culminate the program with a friendly match with members of a local pickleball club. For more details visit Road Scholar and discover this envigorating trip.

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