Catherine Parenteau cheering during a pickleball match.
Catherine Parenteau at the Texas Open. PPA Tour

Pickleball is more than just a sport

DALLAS, TX – Pickleball is far more than just a game for some people.

It could be the activity that brought a family together or the perfect setting for a memorable first date.

Pickleball has impacted not only the professional player’s lives, but the lives of rec players, too. It’s the thing that regularly provides former professional athletes who aged out of their previous sports with a new passion. In the case of Sutton Howard, it even saved his life.

It might sound a little cheesy to say, but pickleball is steadily taking on a higher meaning for ethusiasts everywhere.  

Catherine Parenteau must have been pondering that point herself when she tweeted: “Feeling sentimental… What’s a pickleball memory that made you realize it was more than just a sport?”

The comment section was subsequently flooded with short stories and moments where pickleball made life just a little bit brighter.

“When your pickleball partners become your friends,” said Manuela Sarrazin.

That was a major theme that came up again and again, because pickleball can't be played solo. You need to interact with the people around you. Making friends with your pickleball partners can be so easy since you already have something in common - an activity you both enjoy.

Better yet, it’s active and fun as well. 

“Putting my paddle up at my first open play not knowing anyone and realizing that I just overcame so much anxiety and self-doubt,” wrote Adrian Lesoning.

This is certainly one to be celebrated. It might seem like a small step, but oftentimes it’s those little victories that lead to big change.

“Recovering from medical conditions to be able to compete with my mom,” shared Ella Cosma.

“First tournament that my daughter and I played in, which was two months after a successful heart ablation at the Cleveland Clinic – God is great!” added Amy Murray.

Leigh Waters and Anna Leigh Waters playing pickleball together
Leigh Waters and Anna Leigh Waters at the Texas Open. PPA Tour

“My dad and I are becoming closer than we ever have before while learning and playing this beautiful game,” said Josh Hatz. 

“I was stuck in a job that I hated and made me super depressed. Pickleball was the only thing that kept me going,” wrote Amy Tai Mulkey

There were incredible stories of all kinds that would make any pickleballer smile.

“After a hard-fought game, seeing opponents share a laugh and exchange snacks on the court made me realize that pickleball is more than just a sport — it’s a community,” noted Amelia Cole. 

Do you have any "pickleball-is-more-than-just-a-sport" moments? Leave us a comment on Instagram or X (formerly Twitter).