HOST: Welcome to Trussville Pickleball. This is The Kitchen. Player profiles and interviews and profiles, player profiles for Trussville Pickleballers. Today, I'm here with Tommy and Sally Robertson at Southside Baptist Church. Welcome, Tommy and Sally, how are you doing today?
TOMMY: Fine. Thank You.
SALLY: Fine. How are you?
HOST: Doing great. Well, it is nice to be up here in Southside and learn about how things were started in Southside and your participation of it. But first let's get started with what your background is in some other sports that you may have played growing up.
TOMMY: Well, I grew up playing about everything and every sport I could find. Basketball, baseball, softball, golf, tennis.. You name it, I played it.
HOST: OK, Sally?
SALLY: Well, when I was young, in school, it wasn't required to teach girls how to play anything. So in school, we did not play much of anything. I was in the band and then we married and had three children and then we made a tennis court in the backyard. So, we started playing tennis in the backyard. I've played ever since.
HOST: Playing tennis in the backyard was this like a grass court?
SALLY: No, it was a dirt court or a clay court.
HOST: How were you introduced to pickleball? How did you find out about it?
SALLY: Well, when we first built our gym at the church, the new recreational minister had played it. He bought all the equipment and we learned to play.
HOST: OK, and so how long have you been playing here at the church?
SALLY: Twenty years maybe.
HOST: Twenty years?
SALLY: We started twenty years ago, we haven't played that long.
HOST: OK, so you just restarted here recently. What happened to kind of kick start it again?
SALLY: Well, we had this man visit the church and he was interested in pickleball. And he played it in other areas in our area. So he got us started again.
TOMMY: He also teaches at the YMCA in Anniston.
HOST: How would you compare pickleball to some of the other sports that you have played in terms of the competitiveness, the people that you meet..
TOMMY: What I found is. Pickleball is a good game for people just learning. It can be as fast as you want it to be. As fast as you are capable of playing. According to who you're playing with. And it's got a wide variety of speed. So it's for everybody.
HOST: Great. So, as you were first learning, I can only imagine that you were playing at a slower speed and then you progressively got better. The speed picked up. What are some of the things that you have done to improve your game and to get better at pickleball?
TOMMY: Well, one thing that has helped a good bit, we got a guy here from Trussville named Jarick. He has helped a lot. He's really good at it. He's a good teacher. And we really appreciate him coming down here. We just, you know, we try different things. Some of the guys come up with different methods. This. That. We just try different things. We've been introduced here lately to the kitchen. Dinking. And that's a good but of fun.
HOST: Awesome, Sally, what things have helped you?
SALLY: Well we have met many new friends playing pickleball. Great friends from all areas. We've enjoyed that.
HOST: As you're introducing the game to new people, what words of advice do you give them to get them to come out and join and participate that first time? Because usually you get people out here that first time they get hooked.
TOMMY: Well, we just tell them how much fun it is. Trying to get them to come.
SALLY: Tell them what good exercise it is.
HOST: That's right.
TOMMY: A lot of people, once they do come they usually come back.
TOMMY: It's getting, getting better.
HOST: What would you like to see in terms of growth of pickleball in Trussville? I know Southside is a little ways away from Trussville but just in general in Alabama. How would you like to see pickleball grow?
SALLY: I would like to see more people get involved. Come out and watch it. If they come watch it, I think they will really get involved.
TOMMY: I think if they had it in more locations would probably help a good bit.
TOMMY: Because you know I mean if you tell somebody you play pickleball. There first thing is what is pickleball?
TOMMY: They have no idea. So it's, it's a fast growing sport. Not necessarily fast in our area but it is a fast growing sport nationwide.
HOST: What other things would you like to say just in general to the pickleball community out there that have never heard of it. What is pickleball? Or that have tried it maybe once or twice, or maybe might even be intimidated by some of the players they see. What kind of things would you say to them about being able to come out here and just play at different skill levels.
TOMMY: Oh, the thing about it is, you don't, when you're learning, you're not going to play with people that... they shouldn't be intimadating you. Because they should lower their game down to your game. If that's the case that you got to play with them. Nobody else will play them. But it's like playing golf, if you've got four people that play about the same, it doesn't matter if you shoot 65 or a 105. It's, you still have a lot of fun. And, as you start, then you can start playing intermediate players and then you get better and better by playing better people.
SALLY: Well, I tell them that it's for the whole family. All ages can play pickleball. From the children to the adults and the grandparents.
HOST: Right. And that's how the inventors of the game started it off was for the family. Well guys, thank you so much for doing the interview and we'll see you on the courts soon!