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Double Fault: Dealing With Pickleball Partner Betrayal

In the world of pickleball, just as in life, relationships evolve. There’s nothing quite like finding that perfect pickleball partner, or 'pickleball bestie,' as we like to call them. Together, you conquer courts and share countless games, peppered with high-fives and shared strategies. But what happens when things change? Just like in any relationship, sometimes you outgrow each other, and that's okay. Here’s a light-hearted yet truthful look at knowing when it might be time to part ways with your pickleball partner—or when they might 'cheat' on you by teaming up with someone else!

pickleball friends

When the Game Grows Apart

Skill Levels Change: It's a common scene on the courts. When you first started playing together, you were both beginners, learning the ropes and fumbling through games. But as time goes on, perhaps one of you starts improving rapidly, attending clinics, and playing more aggressively, while the other is happy to keep the game casual. When your skills no longer align, it might be time to seek new partners who match your current playing level to keep the challenge alive and fun intact. When you start losing more than winning together it might be time to consider a change.

The Goals Aren't the Same

Different Ambitions: Initially, you might both have played for fun, but now one wants to compete seriously while the other still views it more as social recreation. This divergence in goals can create tension. Serious players may feel held back, while casual players might feel pushed too hard, sucking the joy out of what should be fun games. Recognizing these differences in aspirations can help you decide if it’s time to find a new court companion.

pickleball friends

When They Find Another-Dealing With Pickleball Partner Betrayal

Pickleball Infidelity: It stings a bit, doesn’t it? You show up to the courts, ready for your usual doubles game, only to find your pickleball bestie has teamed up with someone else or you weren't included in the group invite. Maybe they're just testing new waters, or perhaps they've found a partner whose skills and goals align more closely with theirs. It’s not you, it’s them (really!). While it’s easy to feel betrayed, remember it's all part of the sport's social nature.

Embracing Change

The Benefit of Multiple Partners: In pickleball, as in dance, having multiple partners can enrich your experience. Playing with different players can improve your game, expose you to various styles and strategies, and expand your social circle. If your pickleball bestie has found another, take it as a sign to explore new partnerships too. Who knows? You might find several pickleball besties each bringing something unique to the court.

pickleball friends

It Might Sting

It can sting to discover that your trusted pickleball bestie is hitting the courts with someone else. After all, you’ve spent countless hours mastering serves and volleys together, developing a rapport that feels almost telepathic. But here they are, paddle in hand, laughing and playing with a new partner as if those shared experiences could easily be replicated. It's a jolt to the system, dealing with pickleball partner betrayal because it reminds you that in the socially swirling world of pickleball, exclusivity is rare. Instead of dwelling on feelings of betrayal, this might be an opportunity to reflect on your own game and goals, and perhaps to start seeking additional partners who can meet your evolving needs and enhance your skills. After all, pickleball, much like life, sometimes requires us to adapt and embrace the variety it offers.

Maintaining the Friendship

Beyond the Court: If a change in partnership is on the horizon, it doesn’t mean the friendship must end. True, you might no longer be partners on the court, but you can still share laughs off it. Supporting each other’s growth and changes can strengthen your friendship, proving that it wasn't just built on pickleball.

best friends

Breaking up with your pickleball partner doesn’t have to be a drama-filled saga. It can be a mutual decision that benefits both parties, allowing each of you to grow and enjoy the game in new ways. So, grab your paddle, perhaps with a new partner this time, and remember—the court is big enough for all kinds of relationships!


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