A family at Ava’s school has a pickleball court at their home and last week they hosted a clinic for any parents who wanted to come learn the game or just hang out to socialize.
It was awesome. First, they did a really smart thing by hiring a pickleball coach to run the clinic.
They could have taught everyone the rules and done this themselves, but having a professional coach allowed them to enjoy the experience as participants and removed the pressure of running an event.
Plus, the coach was good. He had a clear plan on how to introduce people to the game and went through a series of drills to get everyone to the point where we could play a game with enough competency to have some fun.
Two takeaways from that night:
Competition is a great icebreaker.
As someone who’s more introverted than extroverted, an event like this was perfect. You automatically have partners and competitors and a common interest with everyone there.
I’m always down for a parents’ coffee meetup, but I’d love to go to more events like this.
Physical activity boosts social connection.
We know that exercise triggers the release of endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. These hormones make us happy and can increase our feelings of connection.
A cheat-code for dating is to plan a physical activity together and benefit from the release of these hormones.
Applying that same philosophy to social gatherings feels like a great strategy to have fun while building community.
Who’s ready for a match?
PS. Artwork created by Midjourney with the prompt: two pickles playing pickleball, pixar-style.