I have been competing in sports my entire life, and for me, the phrase “the other side” always meant the other team, my opponent, or strategically speaking in tennis and pickleball, the other side of the net.
However, for better or worse, the phrase “the other side” now has a whole new meaning!
Predictions abound and guidelines are already being set as to what (normal) life will be like as we begin to approach “the other side” of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
We are now faced with accepting the inevitable fact that all aspects of daily life on “the other side” will require us to learn to deal with entirely new protocols and procedures.
We have already seen a new trend in our regular routine of shopping for groceries. And as our world begins to adjust to life on “the other side,” everything we do—from flying, staying in hotels, entertainment and social activities like going to restaurants and movie theaters—will have new SOP’s which we will all have to follow.
Attending large venues such as sporting events will have new SOP’s as well. I believe there is going to be, what I will refer to as a “venue protocol policy change,” which will impact how we both attend as spectators or participate as competitors at sporting events.
And yes, like it or not, we will see a “venue protocol policy change” which will impact how we participate in both social rotational play and tournament competition in the sport of pickleball.
Part of the popularity of Pickleball is, or was, oriented around it being a large group gathering activity type of sport.
So the question is, will the way we arrange to play pickleball fall more in line with sports like tennis and golf with pre-scheduled times and foursomes? Or can it somehow sustain its social group gathering structure of participation, while still adhering to the new protocols of social distancing guidelines, which we all—most likely—will continue to follow as we adapt to life on “the other side?”
With the threat of the coronavirus possibly returning during next year’s flu season, it will be interesting to see how the traditional rotational format of participation in the sport of pickleball develops and possibly re-invents itself over the next 6 to 9 months.
The one thing we can all be assured of is, “The only constant in life, is constant change!”
Wayne Clark is a professional tennis instructor with over 25 year’s experience coaching players on all levels of the game. Wayne is also qualified in pickleball instruction and is on staff as an instructor with The Pickleball Academy of Southwest Florida at East Naples Community Park. Contact Coach Wayne by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by or by phone or text at 239-450-6161.