COLORADO SPRINGS — In our exclusive series Adventures with Alan, we'll travel across Southern Colorado week-by-week to show you thrills and chills, hidden gems and well-known spots.
Our adventure this week take us to Monument Valley Park in downtown Colorado Springs to try pickleball for the very first time.
Here in Southern Colorado, the Pikes Peak Pickleball Association ("PPPA") is at the forefront of the sports rise in popularity.
"We're a volunteer organization of about 1,500 people right now. Started about 10 years ago when this was just tennis courts," said Dan Lovelace, PPPA Education and Training Director.
Pickleball can best be described as a combination of tennis, volleyball, badminton and ping pong.
It's fun, fast-paced and full of action!
After Lovelace from the PPPA goes over the rules, he shows us the first of three pickleball shots called the dink.
Next, we learn the drive shot, and hit shots from both the forehand and backhand sides.
The last shot is the drop shot.
After practicing our shots and the underhand serve, it's time to play our first game.
In game mode, we work on the last rule of the doubles game called the double bounce rule or third shot drop.
Simply put, the ball must bounce on the serve and return.
After that, volleys are allowed and that's when the game gets exciting.
Lovelace pairs up with me for our first game.
We fight hard against the other pair, but go down swinging.
Not yet done, we play a second game against another dynamic duo from the PPPA.
Competition is fierce and some points go down to the wire.
In a hard fought battle, we lose in thrilling fashion by a score of 15-13.
What a rush! I'm hooked, and can't recommend this sport enough.
If you're interested in playing pickleball, the PPPA will offer lessons every weekend through October 7th.
"PPPA offers free beginning lessons on Saturday at Wasson Academic Academy, and that's a sign up. Go our website, Pikespeakpickleball.org," said Lovelace.
Now it's time to rate our latest adventure...
This one will be broken down into two categories, difficulty and fun level, and each category will be ranked from 1 to 5. Plus you'll see a final score.
Fun Level: 5
Final Score: 5
In closing, pickleball is a blast! There are plenty of places locally to play, equipment is fairly inexpensive, and on top of the physical aspect of the sport, it's also socially engaging.
For more information about free lessons and other programs, check out the Pikes Peak Pickleball Association's website: https://pikespeakpickleball.com/.
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