CJ Johnson Headshot
CJ Johnson
Tony Roig
Tony Roig

#123- Play Pickleball for the Reason You Play Pickleball


Why are you going out to the pickleball courts this week to play pickleball or next week or whenever you’re playing, what is it that drives you there?

Why do you play pickleball? Everybody has a different answer. Your answer may be the same as another person but it’s still your answer. Do you play it for exercise? Do you play it to stay active? To meet new friends? Or spend time with the friends you have? Is it social? A sense of community? Is it some exercise? Health?

What is the reason you play pickleball?

Because I’m going to tell you one thing. Do you know what is not your reason for playing pickleball?

Winning. Winning games.

No one out there is playing pickleball as their core reason for playing pickleball to go out and win games. Yet a lot of times, that becomes how we evaluate our play. And that can be very dangerous as we delve into in this podcast.

In the riff, I talk about those darned illegal serves. They ruin the game – or do they?

We get asked a ton of questions about illegal serves. Is this serve illegal? Does this look illegal? How about this one?

I’m not trying to make light of it, or tell you that the rules don’t matter and things like that. But here’s what I think we should consider with these types of situations illegal serves, out calls, and NVZ violations..

Here’s some of the highlights discussed:

0:00 Why Do You Play Pickleball?

2:46 The Danger of Using Winning as a Measurement

3:23 Our Brain is Hardwired to Win

6:21 How to Align Your Thinking with The Reasons You Play Pickleball

7:34 Control What You Can Control

13:39 The Riff-What About Those Illegal Serves?

14:49 Exercising Control: Letting Go of Near-Line Faults in Pickleball

19:09 Exercise Your Control: Take Responsibility for Your Pickleball Plays

Links Mentioned in the Podcast

THE Pickleball System

Tyrol Pickleball Shoes

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Tony Roig

Hola. Hello. Konichiwa. After 40 years playing tennis, I am now a full-time pickleball player and professional. As a 5.0 rated Senior Pro Pickleball Player and an IPTPA-certified Master Teaching Professional, my focus is on helping players like you learn to play their best pickleball. In 2016, shortly after starting to play pickleball, my friend Tom and I jumped into the highest division at the first US Open in Naples, Florida. That morning it became clear just how much there is to learn in this seemingly simple sport – a lifetime of learning if you so choose. Since 2018, I have been on a mission to share my knowledge of pickleball so other players can enjoy the game at a higher level and attain their pickleball objectives. When not studying or playing pickleball, I like to travel with my other half, Jill.


  1. Avatar photo Barry L Baker on January 28, 2023 at 3:15 pm

    My “WHY” for playing pickleball is now the challenge of improvement and keeping active. Thanks for helping me in this process. B2

  2. Avatar photo David Olive on January 28, 2023 at 3:25 pm

    I am almost 75 and enjoy the fitness , fun and comradeship of the other players They are mostly young women 35-65. I like being a part of the “ girl gang”.
    We have new three outdoor courts but play indoors at school and church gyms in the winter time.
    I have given up turning pro! LOL

  3. Avatar photo Deb on January 28, 2023 at 4:23 pm

    Playing PB brings me joy! No matter how the games go I’m just thankful to be able to play.

    • Avatar photo Tim on January 29, 2023 at 6:48 am

      That sums it up nicely Deb.

      • Avatar photo Bobby on January 29, 2023 at 3:31 pm

        I enjoy playing pickleball for a number of reasons. I need the exercise, I have met some awesome people and developed some wonderful friendships, I love the challenges of the game and improving my game. I guess most important is having fun win or lose especially in close challenging games. The players are respectful and acknowledge good play which os appreciated.

  4. Avatar photo Doug Bebensee on January 28, 2023 at 9:27 pm

    Hi CJ and Tony;

    My main reasons for playing Pickleball:

    -meeting new people
    -improving fitness
    -mental health benefits
    -playing the ‘inner game’ along with hardly any concern whether or not “my” team wins (we try really hard though). I do get slightly perturbed when my team gets pickled though. This minor and not rare enough “trauma” evaporates by the time of the next game.
    -the long rallies – oh so good!
    -playing well but at the same time hoping the other side plays equally well
    -the laughing, joking, and general good will that permeates throughout
    -A day with pickleball is a really good day
    -A day without pickleball is ah, ah, – wait a minute, I either play or practice EVERY day! Therefore, EVERY day is a good day! I’m so lucky.

    Thanks again for all your help CJ and Tony,

    Doug Bebensee

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