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Pickleball Kingdom’s New Reality Show: Pickleball Paddle Battle

Last updated on October 3rd, 2023 at 03:40 am

The Simply Pickleball Podcast with Pickleball Kingdom's CEO Ace Rodrigues

Pickleball Paddle Battle is an exciting reality show where the best of the best pickleball players compete for a chance to become sponsored pros and franchise owners. Follow along as Ace Rodrigues tells his inspiring story of how he got into pickleball, built the Pickleball Kingdom franchise, and see who emerges as the champion in this epic Pickleball Paddle Battle!


we started shooting this Saturday we put out sort of a national casting call we said number one you need to be an elite
player if you’re the best guy among your 12 friends this show is probably not for you this is where you have to be like
I’m one step away from playing professionally not the best guy in the court not even the best guy in that
court all the time it’s best guy in your city hi I’m Crystal Brown your host have
you ever had the dream of becoming a professional pickleball player what about owning a pickle ball Kingdom
facility Well that’s exactly what a lucky few pickle ball players will win on the new reality series pickle ball
paddle battle Ace Rodriguez the founder of pickle ball Kingdom gives us a behind the-scenes look into his vision for the
show his amazing courts and facility and the future of the Kingdom all right now
to the show Welcome to Simply pickle ball the podcast where we discuss all
things pickle ball the fastest growing sport in America and around the world we interviewing the founders industry
leaders athletes lovers of the sport that are driving the spectacular growth
if you love pickle ball as much as we do listen in all right well Ace thank you so much
for joining me today I’m really excited to learn about the reality show you’re putting on Pickle Ball battle battle but
I first want to get into a little bit about you and your backstory I know you grew up in Hawaii so before we get into
pickle ball tell me about your background in business you are clearly an ambition person so uh what brought
you to Arizona and what were you doing prior to pickle ball U Kingdom yeah well thanks Crystal thanks for having me on
and I love talking about pickleball Kingdom so would be happy to share the story number one I’ve always been an
athlete so I love sports and when I did get into business I literally felt like
business is sports minus the ball so it did seem like a natural transition for me my wife and I are both from Hawaii
and we had a financial services business so that’s what brought us out to Arizona about 25 years or so ago so we’ve been
here for a while you know consider this home we get back to Hawaii every year so you know see our family and friends and
expanded that business grew it to um offices in three states sold that business did a couple of other things in
terms of pickle ball like a lot of people I heard about it through friends and at first it sounded cool but then I
I was a little suspicious cuz why were these friends like obsessed you know they were they went from we tried this
thing to we’re playing every night and I thought that’s crazy I I don’t understand finally one night during co
uh I finally took him up on it so kind of went Kicking and Screaming crystal in the first five minutes I literally
raised my arms and said greatest sport ever so you were an athlete so you were obviously playing other sports during
this time right and did you think the greatest sport ever in terms of for yourself because clearly you took it to
a different level with the business or were you thinking oh my gosh this is going to be the greatest business sport
ever you know what what were you thinking no I I’ll be honest I wish I was that intentional at the time and had that master plan it wasn’t a business
issue at all it was purely as a sport a million years ago I played football at the University of Hawaii so as a
quarterback I screwed up my knees so till today I still deal with knee problems back problems uh my daughter
when she was young would always say Dad you’re so frail you know when we uh kind of wrestle around a little bit I say
sweetie my body has been through a lot and so I kind of still have those uh War wounds if you will and so when I was on
the pickle ball court the reason I think I got so attracted to it is I was able to push myself and really try hard where
I haven’t done that for maybe a decade you know because I had to give up pickup basketball and it was just too tough so
here’s something I could go all out be super competitive I love pingpong and I
felt like I’m standing on a giant pingpong table so for all those elements is why I said it was the greatest sport
ever interesting yeah I’ve I’ve thought about that before um is you know I I was a competitive athlete also growing up
and I’ve mentioned this before in an episode that I really never wanted to compete post College I I just I wasn’t
that interested I didn’t want to push my body to hurt it um and now I can’t wait to push myself competitively um you know
I want to get better every day which I think a lot of pick ball players do so you started playing and then when was
this moment where you thought okay I’m going to translate this into business um because I do think you’re right by the
way a lot of of really nice parallels between sports and business yeah you
know there’s a seat of Truth to every cliche and so during that time when I
first got into pickle ball I kept hearing Old Man sport you know retired Sport and there’s a seed of Truth to
that and I lived it even though I’d like to say my age age isn’t there but my body was so retired people really got
attracted to pickle ball because it is uh less intense on the body you can play at whatever level you want and so I
think that’s the big appeal that’s the big attraction secondly I think Crystal that pickle ball has exploded because
the learning curve is so short and it’s so social so typically you’re playing in pairs the four of you are usually never
more than about 20 to 30 feet apart so lot of dialogue lot smack talking you
know just that’s part of the fun and you can really have a good time together so I instantly started getting other guys
into it so I just bought some paddles you know cheap paddles you know online that everyone gets at first it’s really
not much more than wood and I would tell guys you don’t need to bring anything just come on out I would get 15 to 20
guys to show up we do a little round robin you know brought a speaker played some music just for fun and where just
just for context where where was this was it Athen of your street did you have courts no no it was just on a public uh
Park called Arrowhead Park here in Chandler Arizona so converted tennis courts and so that was kind of the
problem so the fourth time I did this it was January 9th of 2021 and loved the sport saw all the
great things about it but at this point I saw the downside you know and the downsides were number one you can’t
reserve a court number two the courts are filthy they never get cleaned unless it r rains and even then it’s not
raining uh washing everything off of it it’s hot it’s cold and as you know Crystal once you start playing probably
the biggest problem is the wind you know because a pickle ball is a whiffle ball like people can see in your background
uh By Design it’s meant to be affected by wind so to play Outdoors is crazy and
we’re in Arizona which is not typically windy so I can’t even imagine playing outdoors in Most states yes I will tell
you San Francisco has its Fair shap share of problems with the weather so at
the end of that fourth time that I’m just talking about so again for posterity January 9th 2021 we’re
starting to wrap up there’s six courts I’m kind of leaning on the fence you know on one of the middle courts and I
look to my left and two of the guys that were with us they’re Brothers they have six Sons between them so I’m looking at
boys 6 to about 14 having a great time looking at the quarts diagonally across
it’s five women doing some kind of round robin great time looking straight across
there’s three couples doing a some kind of tournament thing great time over
there there’s a family and their four kids great time these two courts were my guys 20 to 50 something great time and I
said there’s something about this it’s it’s not an old man sport it’s not the experience I’m having it’s for everybody
I’ve never seen anything translate to every ethnicity every gender every age
you name it every athletic level so that’s when the idea struck I feel like
God threw a lightning bolt into my brain and heart and I thought well if this
were indoors all these problems go away and then the old you know the old adish
kicks and what if what if this were indoors what if this what if that and from that moment on I couldn’t get out
of out of my head and just over a year and about 3 months later we opened pickle ball kingdom here chanler I
that’s amazing so I have a few questions about that I mean you know I’ve I’ve worked with a lot of entrepreneurs I’ve been an entrepreneur there’s usually a
an itch to scratch and you can’t ignore it until you take care of it and you start your business but have you always
been like that I mean you know have you always been sort of entrepreneurial in in spirit yeah I would say so and and
again not to keep harping on our Sports Motif but as an athlete I don’t think
that ever left me right a true athlete says coach give me the ball you know let put the ball in my hands I was a
quarterback let me throw the ball and so uh I think I I carried that and still
carry that with me that chips are down you know I want to impact the game and so when I see opportunities I take it
what’s interesting about this though Crystal I really feel like it’s more the the time was right and it’s sort of a a
mission that found me because I wasn’t looking for anything you know so I’ve had businesses that I’ve started that
I’m looking for my next thing where’s an opportunity can I put some whether it’s capital or effort into this wasn’t one
of those things I wasn’t looking to do something else wasn’t looking to start something but it just struck me so hard
so fast that there’s this tsunami of opportunity coming for the person who
can figure it out number one and then number two frankly take the risk 40,000 times anything is a big number and so to
open up a facility it does take you know take jumping off the deep end the other part of that is you could have had your
site set on opening one facility and it would be a great business and it could
be more of a lifestyle business I imagine maybe even harder than a lifestyle business but still um but you
don’t you have your site set on I’ve heard you say like Amazon a pickle ball so what’s the state of the business
right now and then why do you feel like it should be growing I live by the Mantra um Crystal you know go big or go
home so um I don’t know that I would do something as just maybe a oneoff and so
at that moment I will tell you January 9th 2021 standing there on these dirty
courts when it’s windy and hot when the idea came it came fully fleshed out as this was going to be a franchise play
now my intent at the time was to build probably five locations here in Arizona
and then franchise nationally but then what happened is the market spoke and as
a business person I’ve learned you need to listen to the market whether it’s telling you what you want to hear or or
not and so in this case because starting with the end in mind I knew I wanted to
franchise the the name the colors the way we designed everything it was with the intent to scale and so with that
from the day we opened people would walk in and say how many other locations are there where’s the corporate office I
want to buy a franchise and it it would be let me put it this way Crystal if today when we’re done with the podcast
someone knocks on your door and you open the door and they say hey I want to buy your house how much you say it’s not for
sale next day knock different person want to buy your house not for sale Third Day different person want to buy
your house at some point you’re going to think hm maybe I should put my house on the market the market is telling me it
has an appetite for this and that’s what happened to me I was planning to franchise probably a couple years down
the line but because the market was telling me we need to move now and
because of the fact that we started from the jump with the intent to franchise so we were documenting everything we were
creating a Playbook we call it the keys of Kingdom so we were equipped and ready
and I’m going to tell you Crystal we made the mistakes that everyone’s going to make because you just think big open
space rent courts how hard could it be I literally said those words January 9 2021 I will answer that question it’s
the most difficult thing I’ve ever done so extremely difficult but very gratifying and rewarding yeah so tell me
so what some of the mistakes you made in the beginning I mean everything from not even thinking about how to clean the
quartz these are outdoor surfaces you know you call the manufacturer and they say pressure wash it we’re indoors we
can’t pressure wash it their answer is oh okay we don’t know then you know it’s not our problem it’s outdoor surfaces so
uh that was a whole Fiasco and took a lot of time frankly a lot of money to get that figured out but we have uh how
to reserve courts the few places I saw out there they were charging the lowest possible amount they could uh for a
membership and then hitting you with court fees every time you stepped on the court I just felt like that was like a
restaurant that when you ask hey can I get some more sour cream and they say oh it’s going to be 75 cents more now 75
cents is it going to break youur or i crystal but it’s just sort of irritating right I’m spending 30 bucks for a plate
just give me some more sour cream so I didn’t want to do that so I figured how can we give more value and charge an
amount that’s fair for the customer and it’s good for the business so we can survive because this isn’t a race to the
bottom not for us anyway and so we had to figure out those things uh came up with how to have what’s called unlimited
reservations never been done before we made that up it’s now kind of becoming standard industry practice um using the
term dedicated indoor uh pigle ball facility we coin that um just a lot of
things like that that we had to be Pioneers cuz we’re starring at a blank page you know we had to figure f it out
do you have other franchises in the works now or is that still sort of Future No so we have about a dozen
locations coming on board right now we have another 20 that are in que right behind that just at different stages of
signing their agreement you know doing those types of things we’ll be at probably 50 locations inside of our
first year and what’s your competition like I mean I I I know you read articles about pickle ball courts in malls and um
you know vacant Bed Bath and Beyond so are you feeling the pressure or do you feel like there’s so much more demand
than we can meet anyway that you welcome welcome the competition there’s two ways I can
answer that question number one we’re at the beginning of the beginning this is when Ray Croc was telling people fast
food and they’re saying well what do you mean by that you know what do you mean you don’t get silverware so I I think
we’re at that beginning stages of all of this number one number two Crystal if you haven’t you know been able to tell
so far I am competitive so yes there’s room for everyone but we’re going to dominate this Marketplace and we plan on
being the uh the leading brand in indoor pickle ball franchising so and and do
you think you’ll go into other things because you again the analogy to Amazon um I I know a lot about the early days
of Amazon and they you know I imagine Jeff beers had some site set on things
besides books but he did just go out with books and so do you have your site set on other things besides uh the the
indoor pickleball locations no doubt uh literally and figuratively pun intended
we have some aces up Our Sleeve um can’t really share that right now but problem we’re building an infrastructure and the
difference with what we’re doing crystal is we’re having massive eyeballs in terms of a captive audience with our
membership base that we’re going to be able to monetize in a very winwin
situation where we’re providing them services and products they want that’s good for the bus business as well so yes
I mean we have sort of a master plan for all of them all right so let’s jump into the pickle ball paddle battle it’s hard
to say it’s like a tongue twister so tell me about when you thought of it and and maybe just let me know you know what is it what what can you tell I know it’s
a reality show but beyond that what is it so the idea struck me just you know sort of like the idea of pickleball
Kingdom came to me when I wasn’t really thinking about it you know and playing pickle ball in this case I was listening
to a podcast you know if I’m not actively doing something if I’m my car my shower uh I’ve always got either my
phone or a portable speaker I’m listening to something so I know I’m preaching to the choir here because
you’re audio i’ like to hear that cannot more
fervently recommend you know better your mind it’s entertaining but you’re going to learn something and case in point I’m
listening to a founder of a of a niche and I can’t remember but some Niche
cosmetic uh company and so to be blunt that’s not something I’m overly interested in but I always know I can
learn something and casee in point she said one thing about hitting the mass Market getting your brand out there and
I think she had wrote a book or did something and her point was I just want people to be exposed to this and it just
a stream of Consciousness I just started thinking about things and I thought well pickle ball is kind of in the area that
she was talking about where by most measures you could still call it a niche but it’s kind of at that Tipping Point
right it’s at that cusp it’s just about really to go mainstream I think from a
awareness standpoint most people in America have heard it still the mo most amount of people couldn’t Define what it
is or tell you any specifics but it’s getting close I thought about what other shows have done for different brands
different Industries um there’s some obvious ones that people are thinking about right now
and I just thought you know pickle ball should have something like that and as soon as the thought came into my head it
was a slap in my head to myself it’s G be done why not you be the one to do it
and back to the question well what if we did what would that look like what would it take how would that work and that was
really the the Genesis of the idea for pick yes I listen to a lot of podcasts too including uh how I built this is one
of my favorite about entrepreneurship um which is really inspiring and it’s it’s
funny now after all these years I T I know some of them which is crazy so maybe you’ll be on that show too so okay
so you’ve got this idea but again you don’t have to take on everything you chose you thought you know you could do
typical advertising you can there’s all kinds of you know more traditional channels a reality show is unique and
also timec consuming so you know that’s sort of another thing to add on to your time so what’s next with it you know
have you started planning I I think I read that you already have selected all
the uh contestants Crystal you know you sound a little like my wife in a sense of you know slow down you know where’s
the fire let’s kind of enjoy where we’re at and honestly I want to and I try to
but I just feel this compulsion to move forward ironically we’re talking right now it’s a it’s a Monday we start
shooting this Saturday so yes we uh we put out sort of a national casting call
here’s the crazy thing Crystal we said number one you need to be a elite player so we had all these things in there to
people know look if you’re the best guy among your 12 friends this show is
probably not for you this is where you have to be like I’m one step away from
playing professionally so again not the best guy in the court not even the best guy in in that court all the time it’s
I’m the best guy in your city how do you know that or how do they know that how do they how can they you know is that
using a duper rating or USR rating like you know what were your criteria pickle ball right now it’s still the wild West
right there’s no one NFL there’s no dominant uh regulatory body we just put
it out there that we’re looking to Crown uh one man one woman to form a mixed pair to play on the pro tour so again
this isn’t like oh I enjoy it you know I’m trying to work my way up and can you
please pick me it’s not a developmental thing it’s they’re playing at the professional level they just don’t have
the financial resources to actually be there enough you know you get better when you play
with the best so the people who are sponsored keep getting better because they keep playing against the best
people but then you got this whole crop of players Crystal that are really at that level the problem is they can only
travel to a tournament maybe once every other month so they’re not sharpening their sword enough then they go home and
they dominate Strokes their ego but they’re not getting better and so those
were the people we’re looking for had hundreds of entries to put that in perspective we had 93 entries on the
last day alone and this isn’t a just oh on the spur of the moment they filled out an application this was fill out an
application agree to this gigantic waiver and make four videos that they had to submit to us so it’s a pretty
heavy application and yet we had a ton of people so really high level players
then we had the ability to sort through them look at backstory we got some really interesting people that I think
America and the world is going to enjoy watching so that’s a good question are they all us-based or did you open this
up globally we really focused on America we ended up getting a ton from North America so uh we had a whole bunch of
countries some even from Europe and Japan but uh those were small like single digit numbers so
95% came from the United States maybe about 5% from Canada so we ended up out
of the 16 we selected 15 from uh the United States and one from Canada gotcha
gotcha and how did you know that was a problem I mean had you had you met some potential pros and they said like hey
Ace I wish I could do this but you know I can’t I can’t make it I can’t travel
yeah that it’s not a not a secret you know that if you meet highlevel players
that’s absolutely the case and they’re usually very open about it you know that they save up their money and they work
odd jobs and try to you know maybe get part-time things just to save up it’s
it’s sort of where um Golf and Tennis probably still are to some degree but definitely was in the in the past you
could go back I mean you know I watch uh these 30 for30 specials on ESPN and you
hear about the old NFL you know again we’re talking 70 years ago you know a
guy would play for the Giants you know on the weekend and during the week he was a plumber you know because the money
just wasn’t there yet so again that’s a lot of that is starting to change literally right now but we want it to be
part of that solution to make dreams come true and if I had to say in one word crystal this show is about dreams
and so we’re making four dreams come true two pro contracts and two franchises that we’re awarding so let’s
talk about that we talked about the pros why why offer a franchise because again you know back to it takes someone like
you it takes someone um very ambitious um and a lot of time a lot of energy and
you know dedicated and how did you know that maybe this was something that you wanted to offer Beyond those that were
already coming to you and saying they wanted to do it as we brainstormed here within the team and we were talking
about what we could do and how could we make it an impact how can we help the pickleball community that is so gracious
that is so warm and welcoming but it’s still fledgling it’s just starting well there’s a shortage of Courts I don’t
care where you live what city what State you are dealing with the same problem and I I talk to people they’re like hey
you have no idea here in Cleveland Ohio here in you know uh Wisconsin any state
you want to throw out any City it’s not a unique problem that problem exist
everywhere so we need more courts and ideally we need indoor courts so people don’t have to deal with the weather
problem so that’s an issue but I know what a blessing it is to have your sport
whether primarily or at least secondarily be the business of pickle
ball and for most people I’m going to be blunt it’s the barrier to entry is just
too high they just aren’t going to be able to get there on their own so again trying to be a blessing to the community
we thought here’s a way that we’re going to be able to help people to do something they may or may not be able to
do on their own and then to go with that to hold their hand so it’s not like hey congratulations you got a franchise now
go go sick them you know uh with that we’re literally going to Usher them in kind of really consult uh as much as we
need to to get them up and running and there’s a whole kind of plan behind that but um I tell you that priz and of
itself could not only be life changing it could be leading to generational wealth you know for that person’s family
that’s really amazing and I mean you’re definitely on I mean I I obviously wouldn’t have started this podcast if I
didn’t think there was going to be growing interest but I think what you’re getting at really does speak to the
spirit of pickle ball and there was an article that said you know will pickle ball save America and it was joking
because but but I think that person must have really that author must have understood that it goes so far beyond a
sport and it is so welcoming and there there are a lot of business opportunities and we we do need more
business opportunities so I think that’s pretty amazing so okay so the reality show how will people watch it do you do
you have a plan for that when when do you think that it’ll be live um obviously after this episode I’m sure
there’ll be people interested and where can they sit on a waiting list to know you know hopefully I’ll I’ll do another
episode with you but in the meantime right I would love for them to follow our journey Crystal so they can go to
number one our our website so we have our uh company website pickleball
specifically for the show so that’s a separate entity that’s pickle ball
paddle battle .tv so pickall paddle battle. TV
so they can go there to see updates uh when the show is going to be released where it’s going to be released we’re
currently in conversations with different distributors so those announcements will will come we’re
looking at probably we got some soft dates so I’m just going to say we’re looking around November okay to have the
show distributed where they can actually see it you can also follow all our social media handles at pickleball
Kingdom and pickle ball paddle battle so a lot of people watching this or listening to this will be wishing that
there was one in their city and a couple things you know feel free to mention
which is should they get in touch with you do you have bandwidth for more franchises right now you know what if what if I want to open
one well Crystal then we need to talk so you understand what I just heard we’re a
steakhouse and you’re like what if someone wants a steak could they come over like a table right now so the
answer is yes to all of the above uh that’s what we do so um we are we formed
a production company to do this show and this is the first season I see this really having a life of its own and we
already have some plans for maybe some spin-off things but at the end of the day and at the core we are a franchise
in business to expand our band first bandwidth first throughout the United States and then the world so uh they
could just literally go to our website pickall there’s a franchising tab and then hit connect
with us and that’ll send a direct message to our coo Rob Street who’s in
charge of franchising so he’ll get that input form make contact with the person and we’ll kind of start the process from
there and you mentioned beyond the US um I know pickleball has grown and and is
getting some notoriety in other countries what’s your experience been with other countries or what’s your
vision for sort of handle the US and then expand or are you already looking beyond our borders yeah
like everything that’s happening in pigle ball Crystal it’s just so many balls in the air you know at the same
time so we’re not actively looking in other countries I will tell you we’ve had conversations about several
different countries already because it’s coming to us so we will take those calls we’ll have those conversations but the
temperature definitely has to be right and there’s some key elements that we’re looking for to be able to pull that
trigger early because it would be early to go International we’re not to it but
the stars do have to line up so if they do we will but if they don’t um you know
there’s so much business to do right here in the US we’re going to focus there that’s amazing do you think that
pickle ball will I mean you know everyone thinks that it’s the beginning and and I I I sort of agree with that
but do you think it’s going to move into younger generations and do you think do you see that already like who’s who is
the typical person coming to your location right now yeah if you just look at the national statistics literally two
years ago the average age of a pickle ball player was about 48 years old and it was still a little topheavy right the
retired Community still kind of dominated and then you had some middle-aged people so it average right there the last statistic I heard blew me
away in literally just a couple of years it’s now down to
35ish uh and that’s because there’s youth now playing as well so it warms my
heart you know on a daily basis is at the Kingdom I’ll see three generations playing on a court together so you got a
guy like me with his kid and his father or mother playing you know it’s again
nothing like it that’s active you see that in golf but golf’s not really an active sport this is something that
there’s a cardiovascular workout I want to throw this in I kind of coined this phrase pickle ball is a uh sneaky
workout and I say that because you know just last night I was on an elliptical
and every second I’m on there I’m just like how much longer this is torture I
hate this but I’m listening to a podcast that’s the only thing that gets me through yeah but play pickle ball like
I’ll play later tonight and I’ll play for an hour hour and a half never once
do I think I’m working out I’m laughing talking trash having a good time and when I’m done my sweat ring will be down
to my belly button so I got a great workout but never realizing I am and just having fun you know you’re right I
I know Apple watch has like a pickle ball setting and and every once in a while my friends and I are like wow that
was a lot more and and also I think people don’t want to stop playing until they are so fatigued they if if they
have time to play that one more game they will and I do think you’re solving a big problem and I I feel really
passionately about the problem not just like oh people should have a place to play but I think cities have not caught
up or caught on to how positive this is and so there’s always this tension
between tennis and pickle ball and that does not need to exist um I I think they’re very different sports they
attract different people they have a different air about them tennis typically was or used to be a country
club sport just like Golf and even though there’s public courts you know you you have you know you see two people
playing against each other on a court that can hold four pickle ball courts with four people each so it it which is
different and even what the specifics of what you’re talking about um which I’d love to hear a little bit more you know
the way you operate internally right like as a pickle ball player you can go to a court alone and find people to play
with that’s harder to do it’s rare you’d find a pickup tennis game or a pickup well you know pickup basketball maybe
but not really golf yeah I mean you’re hitting on a lot of key points Crystal I would put tennis in a category with golf
that the learning curve is very steep I wasn’t going to pick up golf until our youngest child our daughter was out of
the house cuz both our kids were very involved with sports and I just knew I wouldn’t get that time back so I held
off well she just graduated from GCU Grand Canyon University a handful of
months ago so when she first went to school four years ago it’s like okay green light you know got the time uh got
brand new clubs took lessons hours and hours on the driving range and haven’t
played golf in probably a good year and a half but when I would go out and keep in mind I’m just point of reference
former division one quarterback just to say I got good hand ey coordination and I go out there sometimes and feel like I
never touched a golf club in my life you know there’s so many variables it’s so difficult and I’d always leave the house
excited to play and come home pretty pissed off you know exactly where pickle ball it’s I’ll
play with my wife and other couples and I’m playing at a different level and I’m having a great time I’m having a blast
tonight I’m playing with a couple of guys I play with regularly and we play all up we’re trying to hit each other
with the ball as much as we can and having a great time so you can play
intensely casually you’re still going to enjoy it you’re still going to get that workout you’re still going to get that
social connection that doesn’t exist most other places and I think that social connection is really what you
know back to that article about saving America I I think there’s something that you know I know as people get older they
often feel invisible and um you know that and when they’re young they’re getting a lot of attention and something
about on the pickle ball court when you have someone in their 70s or 80s and someone who’s you know 14 and they’re
completely connecting and making eye contact and playing together so so do you have a structure in your um location
that people can come and and do pickup or do you have to reserve is it do you have both things when you walk into the
kingdom or actually if you just go to our website pickall you’re going to see our five belief statements
in our first belief statement is We Believe life is better with pickle ball and then we say that pickle ball is good
for you physically socially and spiritually and we don’t mean that as a joke or a hyperbole we mean that
literally and we have several people in our facility that have literally told me
and these are adults that said ace I’m going to be honest I didn’t have a lot
of friends but now that I come here I have my community I have my tribe I have
my my people that I can play with a place to belong and it’s changed everything people at pickle ball Kingdom
if you’ve lost 30 40 pounds not that big of a deal because we got people
literally 50 to one guy 70 pounds wow
strictly from playing pickle ball Crystal not from being under elliptical and other stuff and he said he tried to
eat a little better but it wasn’t like this radical diet it was from being sedentary you know just he’s not an
athlete and he makes no bones about that but he said I’ve never played Sports saw
this as something I could try tried it enjoyed it kept getting more more into it took lessons got a little better it’s
the upward spiral versus most people downward spiral that is such a good
point oh I love the way you just said that we build community by having drop in Play It’s really like pickup
basketball right you can go to almost any cord and say hey you got five can I run with you guys so in our case we have
these hooks on the wall you just put your paddle you’re in the next game so
no awkward hey is it okay if I play with you guys you know just kind of weird and you feel a little awkward it’s no that’s
the way the system is and then we got other racks that’s a next game next game so you don’t have to have someone else
and just to finish that one point earlier the week before we opened the club uh we were having some soft launch
events and I was there one night it was pretty late the club was actually closed but I just moving some things around and
I saw a woman kind of peering through the front glass window so I came I opened the door and I said hey do you
want to see inside so she’s like oh well if you’re closed I said no that’s fine so I give her a quick tour and um
literally one of the people that I kind of mentioned and her name’s not Mary so I’m just going to call her Mary for the
point of our story so as we’re walking out um she said so how does this work is it a membership I said yes a membership
that you can pay come as much as you want or you can just you know pay as a visitor fee and she said well you know I
saw this online I’m excited about about it but she said ace I’m going to be honest and she got a little teary eyed
and she said I don’t really have friends and everything I see online you play with four people I don’t think I can get
three other people to come play with me and you know made me a little choked up I had to take a breath and I said hey
Mary don’t worry about it we got this thing we’re going to do you can come by yourself but you come 10 hours a day
6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. or 11: to 2 in the afternoon or uh 5: to 8:00 p.m. and
those are these drop in plays where you come just put your paddle so you can be by yourself you put your paddle whoever
else puts their paddle though that’s next game if three people put their paddle the existing game one uh three
people come off one person stays on that’s the four if four people put their paddle the next four goes on so she
starts doing that now she comes almost every day and it’s like cheers where
they say Norm I see her walk in and people are like Mary you know she’s got this group of friends she plays with on
Tuesdays that group she plays with Wednesday and she’s got a smile on her face uh two other guys one employee that
works with us uh literally said ace this changed my life I was in a state of
depression yada yada yada what a lot of people in America are going through today here this is the best place to
work and the I when I’m not working I’m here playing and I love it so we again
build that community Through The Kingdom I think that’s so amazing and I I I agree I sort of want to underline this
this element that I almost I think non-believers or non-players don’t
understand how isolated uh Americans and others were feeling I you know I’m sure
in other countries as well and this really is part of the solution and then
on a business front there you know there were businesses that were going away there were Venture capitalists deciding
that they didn’t want to continue to fund certain businesses there were businesses that couldn’t make it through Co and all of a sudden there’s a whole
sort of sense of you know new activity new business on both fronts that’s I
think that’s what’s so interesting to me and what what you you’re sort of combining both things right you saw it as a business opportunity and also very
personally um well I you know I’m just excited about what comes next and the
reality show and um you know I wish that I lived closer to one of the kingdoms I hope you’ll think about California I
know we’re a tough state but uh everyone says well it’s so expensive in certain areas to find land but but we have a big
state so please make sure you look in California we’re having conversations
with people in California as we speak Crystal but uh if you and I need to talk offline let me know no that’s fantastic
and and I do Ace I just really appreciate what you’re doing and like I said I I don’t think you probably didn’t
need to do this in your lifetime but you’ve chosen to do it and you’re taking it on and I’m really excited to see what
a you have up your sleeve I hope you’ll you’ll come back and and keep us posted and we’re going to look at the show and
I’ll put all the links in the show notes but if there’s anywhere else they should go that you haven’t mentioned please please let me know um it’s pickall and pickleball paddle battle. TV there you go okay not to make
this a mutual admiration Society Crystal but congratulations on your podcast what you’re doing kudos to you and uh best of
luck I think you’re absolutely on the right trajectory here thank you uh so much for your time and everybody
subscribe like um follow us follow pickle ball Kingdom um make sure you see
what’s coming next hey guys thanks for listening to Simply pickle ball we will be back very soon with great interviews
discussions and more all about pickle ball don’t forget to subscribe to our channels on YouTube Twitter Instagram or
any of your favorite podcasting Outlet until next time happy

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