Leave your Pickles at the Door – Ego and Sport

Leave your Pickles at the Door – Ego and Sport
Claudette Pelletier-Hannah

The game of pickleball was invented in the mid ’60s at a summer community near Seattle. It started out as family entertainment, but now has a reputation of being a game for old people. Not wanting to be ‘one of them’ playing a game with a childish name, I resisted.

Until now.

I put all that aside to do something potentially fun with my husband. I signed us up for some lessons. It would get us out of the house instead of being wrapped in afghans in the dead of winter.

Pickleball is fun. It’s more fun than badminton, more exercise than ping pong, easier than tennis, and it’s a sport that borrows from all three. Nonetheless, I managed to miss the ball entirely on several returns. Embarrassing. How could I have missed that?

Do you hear the ego at play?

Ego is our self-image of who we think we are or should be. Eckhart Tolle says it’s the voice that pretends to be you. The ego says things like, “We’re better than they are. I wouldn’t be caught dead: without makeup, driving that car or living in that neighborhood.” The need to be right, be the best, be defensive are all patterns that can result from identifying with our mind/story/ego. It’s typically not pretty.

Now back to pickleball. First of all, my ego kept me from playing. “It’s for old people. I can’t get past that stupid name. That’s not a sport.” And then there was my perception of how I should be on the court. “Crap. How could “I” have missed that?”

Where or when do you see your ego surface?
What is your ego holding you back from doing?
What would be more enjoyable if you could drop the ego?

I’ve let go of the negative perceptions I had of pickleball. I just have to work on my ego when I’m on the court. Kudos to my hubby who never resisted my idea, but will surely take some heat from his tennis buddies. Is that male ego?

As pickleball has exploded it is not so much a seniors game anymore, but struggles to shed that image. Check out this pro men’s singles gold medal match. They’re just boys.

Pickleball is a great way to have fun while being physically active. Just try it. But leave your ego at the door if you want to have a positive experience.