Guest Commentary written by Kevin Curley, the Pickleball Guru’s social media superstar.
I’m not ashamed to say out loud that I suffer from pickleball burnout.
“Pickleball burnout” definition: The point at which playing pickleball is the last thing you would ever consider; the mere thought of playing causes fainting, cold sweats, and tremors. You’re not lazy, you just need a break.
In year’s past, around the first of August, my total playing time drops significantly, this year is no different. I went from playing 2-3 hours a day, competing in tournaments, hosting tournaments and staying active with our local pickleball club to staying as far away from a pickleball court as possible. As of writing this commentary, I have not played in nearly 3 weeks.
I don’t even have a good excuse for not playing. I’m not nursing an injury, I have plenty of time in the mornings, I’ve been invited to play by a lot of great players, and the weather has been absolutely perfect in my corner of the woods in Western Michigan. I just don’t want to play; I’ve officially enrolled myself in the Pickleball Detox 31-day challenge. Unfortunately, it’s already September and I still don’t have plans to play until later in the week.
And while I know my game will suffer for this “down time,” I do feel that taking the month off gets me stoked for fall and winter play. Maybe my burnout is just a recharge; an opportunity to take the game less seriously, to stop getting so worked up over a game of pickleball and remember that I started to play for the camaraderie – not for the Gold Medals.
Don’t get me wrong, I love playing pickleball. But I also don’t take it that seriously. I love working in my yard, I love training for my upcoming triathlon in Grand Rapids, I love playing with our family dog, and my wife and I are expecting our first child – which every belly kick by the little guy is so cool. There’s a lot going on and I need the break. By September I start to miss my friends and the game; and getting back to the courts is refreshing.
If you suffer from pickleball burnout, I’d love to hear what you do to recharge. Share your thoughts in the comments below or on Facebook.