By: CJ Johnson | October 12, 2021 |

In the Pickleball Kitchen with Kelly and Ryan

Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest recently hosted brothers Ben and Colin Johns on their Live morning show. They got a few quick pointers along with an ominous warning from Ben to “stay out of the kitchen” before they took to a make-shift court in front of the studio.

Ben and Colin are to the pickleball world what Kelly and Ryan are to morning shows; Rockstars. Ben John’s is the current world number one. His dominance in professional pickleball is unmatched. His older brother and frequent partner Colin is another of the sports’ top players.

When Ben was asked why pickleball was the fastest growing sport in the United States, he shared that it is the sports’ ease of entry. Persons of any age can play it. “Even 95,” Ben opined.

And as coaches, we agree. Anyone can play pickleball!  We know many players who had never played a sport before putting a pickleball paddle in their hands. Despite their lack of an athletic background, these players can enjoy pickleball. What other sport is filled with players who love the game but didn’t t start playing until they were over 70?

This is one of the reasons why we predict that pickleball will surpass tennis as the number one court racket sport. Pickleball is easy to learn. Most people can go from holding a paddle for the first time to playing a game in about an hour.

Even though it’s easy to learn, make no mistake, pickleball is a sport, and it provides ample exercise opportunities.

Players play 3-4 and even seven days a week. Some players play two-a-days. There are ample stories of players losing weight, feeling better, and living fuller lives from the physical exertion they get on the court.

And because pickleball is played on a smaller court, while you get a good amount of movement, you get it in smaller spurts, making it easier on the body overall. So one hour of pickleball translated to 22 or so minutes of movement. Compare that to 11 minutes of movement in one hour of tennis.

What Kelly and Ryan didn’t get a chance to talk about was all of the friends you’ll make playing pickleball.

One of the other aspects of the game that players love is the social aspect. Open play is something that pickleball players enjoy each week. You show up to play. No reservations are required—just a friendly environment within which to play the game.

And for many players, pickleball has proven to be a lifeline. Whether it is injury from service in the military, loss at home, or other trauma, pickleball can prove to provide an anchor during turbulent times. It provides an opportunity to heal or at least a temporary respite.

So now that you know the multitude of reasons to learn to play pickleball, how do you learn to play the game?

As pickleball coaches and experts and we’ve got some free resources for you.

Want more? Click here to get our free beginner’s guide to pickleball?

So, how did Kelly and Ryan do? First, they got to play a few rallies with Ben and Colin. Both of their shots can use some help (like the help we offer at Better Pickleball ), but typically for beginning players, they were quickly able to play a few rallies and see the game. You could see that in just a few rallies, both Kelly and Ryan were enjoying themselves on the court.

Oh yeah, Kelly and Ben won the game.

CJ Johnson

Hey there — I’m a professional three-sport athlete and coach who has spent my entire adult life earning a living from playing and coaching sports. Since I started coaching more than three decades ago, one thing has remained the same: My commitment to see students not as they are but as what they can become and to move heaven and earth to help them realize their untapped potential. You should know that when it comes to helping pickleball players over 50 live their best lives on and off the courts, I'm an expert. Good pickleball is not just technique; it's the mind and body working holistically. That's why I'm also a personal trainer and weight management specialist. When I’m chillin', you'll find me watching Star Trek with my husband John and our two fur babies, Shirley and Ralph. (Yes, Happy Days)