Many of us grew up hearing, ' Sports build character.' However, studies have concluded the opposite is true. Winning satisfies like a good steak. Character satisfies like Don Paschal's kale salad. Like my dear friend Vegen says: 'Sport doesn't build character; it reveals character.'
I learn more about a person in one hour on the court than in enjoying a dozen meals together. I also learn about myself.
Why does winning still matter to me at 55-years-old? What longing is fulfilled through another medal or through winning a game at any level? Does 5.0 status make me a better person? I certainly hope not. Some days I wish I was back at 4.5 level competing for golds with my good friend Ken Crocker.
I am still discovering that a good reputation is more valuable than a drawer full of medals. Don Paschal's kale salad does satisfy. Consider three tips for gaining pickleball perspective on court.
1. Compete by making great shots. After all, that is all I control. Be satisfied by playing well and losing. Congratulate opponents when they make better shots. Losing implies I had the opportunity to be on the court with better players.
2. Be the most complementary of partners. Pickleball is a social activity which begs for laughter and smiles. Fun banter and big smiles compensate for many poor shots.
3. I love to be around people who can pursue a goal with great intensity and discipline but are content regardless of the outcome. Perhaps there are moments where I can be that person on a pickleball court.
In life as in sports, I have benefited more from my losses than my wins. I think I will make a kale salad for lunch.
What tips might you have on how to gain pickleball perspective?
- Glen Peterson