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Pickleball Movie: A Game Changer

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Wondering why pickleball has taken off as the fastest-growing sport in America? Filmmaker Machu Latorre was too! She is the producer of the upcoming pickleball film, A Game Changer, where she tells the story of pickleball’s fantastic growth, what people love about it, and what’s so special about it! Listen in as we hear some highlights from the film, how you can support it getting to the big screen, and why so many are addicted to playing!


my way of spreading the joy is by making a film hopefully people can see it again if if if someone gets inspired and play
and their life is changing in anyway then I would have complete my mission hi I’m Crystal Brown your host are you
wondering why pickle ball has taken off as the fastest growing sport in America well filmmaker Machu Lori was too she’s
the producer of the upcoming film The Game Changer where she tells the story of pickle Ball’s amazing growth what
people love about it and what’s so special about it listen in as we hear some highlights of the film and how you
can support it getting to the big screen and of course why so many people are addicted to playing 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 are 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 we do listen
in Machu thank you so much for joining today I’m really excited to talk to you about pickle ball which is obviously
something we connect on and and Spain too which is something we also connect on but before we get into pickle ball
and your documentary and your love of the sport um I’m just curious a little bit about your background you you were
born in Spain originally and I’m curious were you an athlete growing up was Sports a big part of your life something
you’re interested in growing up yes yes I was I was one of those very active
girls and this is going to reveal my age but when I was a kid women sports were
limited in Spain were limited to tennis and that’s about it so you know my
parents could not afford to send me to you know tennis training or anything like that so I just you know picked up
whatever Sports I could play on the streets and I played a lot of soccer with boys I I love soccer I probably
would have been a soccer player if uh that had been an option for girls but so I played a lot of that until I reached
the age where boys just did not want to have the girls around and so randomly I met this gentleman who has started a
basketball team in my hometown a women basketball team I was actually one of the pioneers of of that and so he he
said you look athletic have you ever played basketball I was like no so he said come and join
us so I started playing B basketball and I ended up uh playing on the national
league for a long time so yeah that was my my sport growing up and I still love
soccer but um unfortunately I was never able I feel like I don’t meet anyone from Spain who does not love soccer or
really any Latin American country or England or really anywhere in the world
including the us but um back to we can talk about soccer another in another episode um so you ended up coming to the
United States and you you mentioned that it was really because of a love of film making um was that also something that
you were interested in growing up films and I mean there’s some amazing Spanish films that I love but uh clearly that
piqu your interest enough to move to the United States yes definitely I remember my dad taking me to the video store this
is when again not giving out how old I am but it’s all going to come together very
soon when there were actually two sections to pick from beta and VHS you know that’s how far this remember was
yeah and we will go to the video store and we will rent like seven movies at a time and that’s what we would do as a
family that was our common you know family uh activity and we would just watch one after another so movies had
always always been a big part of my life were they American films or or Spanish
films or both all of it all of it we watch all kinds of films that there’s no discrimination he would just go in and
we’ll Pi all kinds of movies from like silly comedies to westerns to horror
films anything I think I probably watch a lot of films I shouldn’t have as a child but but you know that’s
interesting because you know again documentaries are a type of film but a very different type of genre right
you’re you’re telling a story and so how did you get interested in documentary in particular versus maybe some other part
of film that’s a great question and and actually when you say all genres we really watched everything except for
documentaries because because at the time documentaries were not something that you rented at the video store
that’s true were those things that you watch in like you know the secondary channel that will watch this like boring
you know history you know things and so we didn’t I didn’t watch documentary was
not at all on my radar when I when I came uh here to the US to study film and
I was actually working on a script on a scripted uh story about um uh the
Justice of the immigration system when it came to gay couples um being together
and as part of the research I contacted this organization just to to get some stories
to inspire the the uh the script and they said hey there’s a group of people
that actually meets every Friday and they share their stories and I started going to that meeting and I thought oh
wow this is actually a real thing I mean I’d heard about it but there was you mean documentary films is a real
thing the story the people being affected by this was like a real thing was bigger than I thought um and so um I
I started talking to them and and their stories were probably more interesting than what I could have done in a script
so and and then there was and then I learned that at the time you know a
little bit more about documentaries and the social impact they can have and so it was really intriguing the idea
actually doing a documentary about it social justice topic um that could lead to some some change was was very
interesting and then this is also at the time I had just started working with these two um directors documentary
filmmakers in San Francisco Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Freeman who collectively
have like three Oscars and emmies and wow they really introduced me to the
world of of documentary it all happened you know right around the same time and I just def in love with that genre
that’s amazing yeah I mean the storytelling again we we share a lot of um interest so I I use podcasts as a way
to tell stories and it’s very similar with documentary although it’s a big effort so let’s pause for a second on
documentary films and tell me about your love of pickle ball assuming you do love pickle ball um you know did you you know
how did you sort of combine Your Love of sports and and manifest it into pickle ball yes I I think I could say I’m a bit
of an addict at myself um I was introduced to PAB ball about a year and
a half under two years ago by a friend who um my friend Barb
who for the longest time we’ll just we’ll talk about piek ball relentlessly
that was it became at some point I don’t know when but it became this the the sole topic of conversation whenever she will come to visit and she would say Hey
you have to play you need to try this out because you know I love sports and um and I like yeah know you’re you know
she’s a little older than me and you know was not retired but you know had a lot more time than I did and she was say
yeah we go meet every day every day I go at like 1 or 2 p.m. you should come 1 or 2 p p.m I’m working at that time I can’t
leave to play Pickleball whatever that is and after months and months and
months I finally you know said look I’m I’m going to go play it I’ll go try it with you but you promise that you won’t
ask me again ever again if you ever ask me again if you ever asked me I’m want
to do it one more one time and she had a little you know G in her smiles yeah GRE
green thank you she she knew exactly what you know she was doing and so I went to the court and tried with her and
her partner so it was a three of us and we got there and she said well we’ll find a fourth person I’m like you find a
fourth person a random person we’re going to peek on the street and she’s like yeah it kind of works like that and
so sure enough uh and I was like oh my God this thing is it’s getting weirded right yeah and so we found this fourth
person who was just leaving the court and my friend asked if she would join us and she’s like no I’ve been playing for
two three hours and I was like two three hours what the heck and she’s like okay
you know fine I’ll stay I’ll stay and she stayed and played with us and um I
just I had a blast I really did right away you were like yeah it hooked me
right in yep yeah that is and I think that’s really what I want to sort of dig into with you and and also ask you about
so you know you you could have just played and also continued doing
documentaries about maybe larger social justice issues it could be homelessness it could be anything you pick anything
there’s a lot of them right um and you’re a mother and you have a full-time job and making documentary films uh my
mother makes documentary films so I know um they’re timec consuming and they can be expensive so what made you think that
anyone would be interested in pickle ball from a documentary standpoint right
it’s not really a social justice issue although maybe we’ll get to may maybe it is but um you know what made you think
someone would want to watch a movie about pickle ball yes that’s right that’s another
good question so I think I think a couple of things um about that I think
one I I know I went to play having so much skepticism about it
and so much um ideas of what this thing was that
were not and the more I play the more I
um experience people the community the people you know hearing people stories
about it the more I realize that yeah what you hear in the news what you
see on on on newspapers um are usually stories that are meant to attract an
audience and they don’t tend to be nice stories they tend to be stories about controversy you know there’s a whole
business controversy of pickall there is a whole like noise controversy of pck ball but there’s so much more to it and
so that as a Storyteller was very intriguing to me this idea of I’m
building a world world through a documentary um and building a world that hadn’t really been um given a a a fair
chance right on the other on the other side
um there there’s there’s documentary documentary film
making has the power to you know to change lives it’s got the power to you
know reach many and so I was hearing some of the stories on
the courts about ways in which people had change people’s lives and I thought how
wonderful would it be if we could um take that you know
misconstruction of misconception of PAB ball and show what
really pabal is about and if someone watches that film and says
hey I am that person I am that person who’s been suffering you know isolation
anxiety and all the things that we’ve you know a lot of us have suffered in the last you know couple of years Y and
I can do that and I can find community and I can have fun and I can you know bring my inner child out yeah I’m G to
try that and if if if we could if we could if we could do that um then then I
feel like yeah spending whatever amount of time in making this film which you know is a lot of time would be
totally worth it oh that’s awesome so some of those stories and I think you
know every every episode that I have and every person I meet it’s you know everyone talks about the sense of
community and connection what do you think is different than maybe another sport because there are other pickup
sports right you can do pickup basketball um you could you can play tennis at a public court although it’s
not so much pickup golf often they have public courses people can go if there’s one they pair you up I mean it’s not the
first time right that that there’s ever been an opportunity you go to yoga class you don’t have to know anybody you put
your mat down right so what do you think um you know I’m sort of asking this
question with my own opinion of this but what do you think that you’re finding about how everyone has the same
perspective that there’s just so much community and connection and something very special and different about pickle
ball yeah and and that sort of became the central question that we’re trying
to answer with the documentary right that that’s sort of the main throughput through the entire piece which is what
is it about peeka ball you know why is it making people so addictive and crazy and you know about it
and what I have found in the you know through the dozens of of interviews I’ve
done not just on camera but off camera with people over the last year and a half and and not just here in the US but
also internationally is that pcoo has this um this this many
components that you could find in different sports but not allog together
so for instance um pable is something that um you could
do for very little money right you don’t need to invest in in and a lot of equipment so it’s very accessible for
people who you know don’t have the means which you know might be a little bit more difficult if you’re doing golf cuz
you it requires you like you know you know the the golf class are expensive
and all that the right shoes and yeah yeah from from a economically it’s really easy accessible um from a
physical uh standpoint you anybody can play Pick ball anyone from you know a
little six-year-old to to a 90y old I think the oldest player is now in in her
90s and that that is very diff different you know difficult to find um in a sport
you can find in activities you know you can argue that I’m sure there’s some activities where you know a grand a
grandparent can play with a grandson but not not at a competitive level or even
at a at a point where you actually at equal part so yeah so I think that that
is is probably one of the biggest ones but the community aspect of it you ask
like what are other sports that you can go pick up and even if you can pick up on basketball if even if you can go to
the park and do a pickup game basketball you have to have an athletic condition to do so if you go and try to join a you
know a group of people playing basketball well first of all you need to already know how to play basketball
right because there’s no no one’s GNA allow you to play if you you know if you can’t even bounce the ball but two you
have to have a physical condition to it and same thing with tennis you might not have to have as much of a physical
condition as to play basketball but you need to know the technique but the AR
any and I would say any right now I can say any unless someone can prove me wrong yeah that maybe someone can but
let him try yeah that would be that would be great that would be interesting but there aren’t any other sports where
you can go or activities where you can go to the park with nothing you can
literally stumble to a pickle C not even with the puddle not even with your own equipment you can sit on a
bench and someone’s going to say hey come try it and let you borrow a puddle
and then take the 15 minutes they going to take for you to learn how to bounce
the ball over the net right and then um have that instant connection right the
older we get the harder that is to do you know well so that’s I mean that’s a good point right you you’re saying
there’s basically a very low barrier entry and that the element of fun and play you
can cross Generations you can cross ages um and you dug into play a little bit um
and and I also want to talk about the fact this is also serious sports right like we can talk about play and pickup
but there’s also like a very serious Major League now so I want to get into that but before we get into that this
element of play you you dug into a little bit and I’m curious what you
found yeah that that was the I think that was the probably the most intriguing part of this this exploration
of what is it about peab ball um one you know once I decided there was some story
here that I wanted to tell um I I did a interviews with just my local you know
Community I brought the camera one day and I said hey I’m going to bring the camera if you all want to come in and tell me what is it about p p b please
come and a bunch of people came like really a lot of people can’t even talk and I was watching the footage later at
home and uh the one common theme that everybody mentioned was that it was fun at the end of the interview or meway or
someone will always use the word fun and so I did a little research about what fun is um and I came across this author
Katherine price who had has a tech talk and a book about the power of fun and in
that book she also talks about play and she quotes um a gentleman called Stuart Brown who dedicated his life to
understand or or to prove the effect um of play in the human brain and so I
interview Dr Brown and so he’s part of the documentary and one of the things that came out of that is um is that
there is the picle bow stir something in in us that brings up back to the very
basic um feeling that we get as kids when we play and it’s actually an
essential part of who we are as humans like play actually has a purpose in life
so it’s not you know one of these it’s it’s not a thing that you know you do as
um that has no purpose which is actually the definition if you look at the definition of play you’ll find is an activity that has no purpose but it’s
actually exactly the contrary which is it do have a purpose so there steer
steers something inside that we tend to lose as we grow you know right and I
think that is is to me right now what what what I think the major difference
is um on pickable because you can play anything you can play again basketball
tennis but when sports right you could play bridge you can play maang you can
play cards you know you can there’s games right absolutely they’re not but
they’re not physical right and you doing it in a pro close proximity to someone that you
might have just met or you haven’t even met which is the closest you get to Childhood you know for those of us who
are who are parents we’ve seen our kids and the park just running off and
starting playing with some stranger kid and then they play they have a great time and then they don’t need to exchange names or phone numbers or they
don’t even see them anymore and they have the best time and I think that’s what picle ball does
yeah because we’re grown-ups then we connect with those humans and then we have the capacity to build you know
relationships and and to build a community around that which it’s is a is a is a phenomenal and and I’m curious
because I I mean it’s obvious that coid and the time of isolation exaggerated
everyone’s feeling but I wonder you know had coid not happened were was everyone
still feeling kind of isolated anyway I mean maybe we were just sort of operating and um so this was just an
exaggerated moment but I I do think like for those people who uh are more
uncomfortable meeting new people or don’t really have a sense of social life they don’t want to go to bars um they’re
they you know this gives them a place where they can drop in instantly and in San Francisco what I notice is um you
know there’s a lot of tech here there’s a lot of Engineers they tend to have a specific personality and um maybe more
discomfort socially just like picking up but but maybe everyone has a little bit of this it’s not really that and they go
to the pickle ball courts and they stay for hours and they feel so elated at the end so I think I think you’re right that
it’s that sense of community and connection um but then you know now it’s starting to be big business as we talked
about so someone you interviewed was um the the head of the MLP who’s a
billionaire Steve and so now we’re not talking about just Community we’re
talking about business and we’re talking about industry so I’m curious if that’s part of your documentary in terms of the
other side of of sport yes yes and and that that was
really interesting at the beginning of this exploration for the film because it it what draw me to tell the story was
this social aspect of the community something that I hadn’t seen before and that and that it was it cross you know
country barriers right I could see it internationally it was like a human human um uh phenomenon but then you know
as I embark in making a film I started doing more research and the more I would find out about pickle bable the the more
the more I will un the onion the the layers of the onion the more will find of like what is
this what is this world a pickable and so one of the things that um that I I
learned about was you know about there was a whole whole professional you know aspect of it and this was at a time
where um the MLP had just done their first um tournament the the very first
tournament and so I reached out um uh I reached out to John Walters who had
written a piece on Sports Illustrated about the uh wild wild west of Pall I
think that was the title or something along those lines and so I reached out to him and I said hey I’m I’m doing talk
about P ball would you talk to me and he’s he’s just amazing and and he got on the phone with me and um and put me in
contact with a lot of the people that he had talked to um for the for the article one of them was Steve so I went to
visit Steve uh Dreamland which is his oh yes his um his uh facility in I heard
it’s amazing Texas is amazing yes it’s amazing and so um so I got to see
firsthand you know the for the first time uh this professional world and and so what intrigued me about that and and
yes it is part um of the documentary is that I remember going up
um in the car to the parking lot of Dreamland and there were uh this these people walking up you know they were
walking we were driving very slow and I looked over and I said I was like oh I think I recognize that from seeing her on YouTube and it was Sarah ashrey like
oh that woman looks also familiar Lee and so they were Anna Lee was there like they were just like you know getting
coffee on the there was a foot track and they were just getting coffee and so you mean Pros were just s walking
around yeah yeah and it was you know it was a small facility I mean dream line
is really large but where the the games are happening was you know rather small and everybody was you know sort of there
so I got to approach many of them and say Hey you know I’m making a film and I got you
know a lot of them were like yeah sure we’ll talk to you yeah and so U but so
that was really intriguing to me like oh this is the beginning of a sport yeah there’s actually a lot of the you rarely
get to see that um I mean there are many sports I think we talked about this like padel which started in Spain like 40
something years ago and he hasn’t really you know anchor in the states or in the
rest of the world as much but but peo seem to have exploded internationally
pretty quickly and is the birth of of what I I think could very well become an Olympic
sport which is also you know obviously part of what what they’re trying to do
uh from the International Federation but one of the things I was also very intriguing talking to
specifically Le W well and her story which is part of the film is that she
became a Pro um at the age of 40 something which um
so Lee Whitwell is her name and she’s a current Pro yeah and she’s she’s over
for over 45 I guess yes yes and she was she was playing you know was playing at the time
in in in the Major League pck ball you know like the highest professional you
know League that there there was and there is right and she got to m pce and
she’s just just great and um I thought that that that is also really
interesting that’s another that’s another aspect to to pck ball that you don’t normally see in in sports that
require that level of physical you know and I think I mean you’re right right there’s a it’s a there’s a birth of a
new sport even though people it’s been around it’s now it’s maybe having its moment and hopefully it won’t end and I
think about soccer because soccer never has had a moment where people weren’t
rabid fans and love it and wear messy jerseys and you know Real Madrid and you
know that that’s not gone away so I don’t think this is a shot in the arm but it could be it could just be a
moment and um you know the even for pros there’s 16-year- Old Pros and there’s
50-year-old Pros probably will will net out somewhere in between there right but
it’s so early but did you worry that when you were to do this film that maybe
this was just a fad and maybe it was just sort of a thing that was going I mean I’m curious cuz you know it could
be I I us you mentioned padell and there’s rocket ball and there’s been paddle ball was you know around for
years um there’s all so many Rocket Sports right there’s squash there’s badman but um you know you’ve chosen
again to dedicate your life to a lot of years and a lot of money to put on to put this film together and was there any
fear that maybe it would you know the trend would be over before you finished your film
Yes Yes actually I I remember talking to John um Walters about this uh one of the
times we talked on the phone and and I said you know I I coming up with the title of the film and and I said well
hopefully by the time I finish the film um I don’t have to change the title to say the the rise and fall of Pall right
so because it does seem like you know something that that you know
could happen and know it obviously happens to your point and with many different things but I I don’t and I’m
not saying this because I’m a pickable lover and I am part of the community and I and I play I
think because I’ve had the chance to talk to so many different people from
different ages from different parts of the world and I have
seen what the the the positive impact that is having on
people I don’t I don’t believe this is going away you know in the professional
world I I couldn’t tell you I don’t know I I know there’s tons of controversy between you know the MLP and the PPA I
think just in the last few weeks they’re gone back and forth about whether they merge or not and you know they finally merg but who knows if that’s going to
change and and at some point you know we thought should we dive into that for the
film doesn’t make sense we’re not interested that’s not that’s
not that is a small component of PCO ball it’s a small component of the
professional side of PCO Ball but PCO ball is bigger than that it’s way bigger than that so we will cover the the
professional um layer of pcoo because it is again it’s a new sport and as we
explore you know all these different aspects of it that is one of them but I I don’t think pi is going to I
don’t think pcoo is going to die nothing else is going to continue to grow and we are just seeing the beginning of it we
really are just seeing the beginning of it I mean I agree with you completely but I
and and you know I’m more I’m asking it more just to hear your opinion but you know I I think they all the components
actually factor into its growth like you almost need all pieces right you need the potential for it to go to the
Olympics you need the potential for TV to cover it to have um celebrities
celebrity uh athletes who can make money otherwise they don’t have the time or the or the resources to spend playing
and then from the community aspect Which is far larger right like if if you think about the numbers of players that are
recreational players um much much bigger than what we’re talking about but I I
think it’s inspiring for uh all types of players and there’s probably players
that do play pickup that couldn’t name a professional pickle ball player if you held a gun to their
head have no idea maybe because it’s is their in their paddle right may maybe
they you can do like Anna Lee I think is the one that most probably most people know but you’re absolutely right you can
walk into a court and it’s not guaranteed that people there are going to be able to say you know mention one
so um so for your film what what’s sort of next because you’ve you’ve been
filming for almost a year now you’ve been shooting yes yeah we started shooting about a year yeah a year and a couple months ago
okay and so what what what other stories do you still have to to record or where are you with the you know when’s
everyone going to be able to say I I saw it on HBO or whatever
Netflix well if it were AB to me it would be very soon but um so yeah we we
um you know with with documentary film making you want to tell the story you
want the stories to tell you where to go and so it’s really it’s really hard to
put a an end date to when this will be completed with that said you want to
have some you know timeline uh in the production and have some lead stories that you want to follow and so that’s
what we’ve been doing so far we knew we wanted to tell the different facets of pickle ball and so um you know and I
think you could describe this as a magazine style kind of film where you have just different stories that we following and Al together they’re
telling you the story of PE ball this is not an narrated film I’m not part of the film got forbid I don’t want to be I
know I know for everyone that’s I had to beg her to be on camera so I appreciate
it yes even the voice it’s just uh yeah but um so we knew that there were
certain stories that were important to tell that story of people that we want to tell so we we have interview several
people who are able to tell you know that um but we have a few more um these are
people that we’ve already talked to who have agreed to be part of the film and
we haven’t scheduled the you know the the shooting because we’re seeking funding um one of those stories before
you continue so you’re seeking funding via a um I want you to get back to the story that you’re about to tell but you
are you launched a Kickstarter which we will put in our show notes um and we will also encourage everybody to
subscribe cribe to this podcast so they can hear the details as your film goes on but um your Kickstarter is so that
you can continue to tell these stories so you can continue to have the funding to do that which is really hard for
documentaries right yes that’s and thank you for for putting that out there um we
have uh with some private uh investors being able to to get get this far and um
and now for the next few stories we we went the crowd sourcing route for
a couple of reasons one is because we wanted to to um we wanted to spread the
word um we’re working on this project um and give the people the opportunity to
participate and you know some people can participate by being in the film some people can participate by supporting the
film and and help us you know get get the word out and being that picko is
such a community oriented you know activity we thought will reach out to the community and and we’ve so far got
really good response we’re not there yet so we need we have another you know 20 something days uh to raise the the
remaining right well we will spread the word so you were just about to say there’s a few more stories you wanted to
tell and and one of them in particular you were going to mention yeah there’s there’s there’s a
story there’s a couple of stories but um one of the stories that um we and we
think we have someone who again has agreed to to share um to share with us um is how one of the things I found
is when people play pickle ball and they see
um what pickle bow can do or the positive effect that P pickle bow can
have they a lot of people want to spread that Joy my way of spreading the joy is
by making a film hopefully people can see it again if if if someone gets inspired and play and their life is
changing in anyway then I would have complete my mission in the case of this
particular person he’s dedicating his life to teach vable to kids who are
maybe not in a great position to do other sports and so that aspect of it is
is is Noble and is also a a a great um
representation of of this this uh of how
to things yeah how Pall inspires people to to do that but also
how you can take pck ball you can
teach you can you can give kids who maybe are not they don’t have access to
the traditional sports for whatever reason that is whether they’re not athletic or in the way that they think
they need to be to to join those Sports well they have boxes um and and you can give them an
opportunity to learn something new really really quickly so that’s that that’s another thing that the the
ability yeah the the the you know for 15 20 minutes you can just learn pick ball
so yeah that immediate fedback um I think for kids and adults uh is is
probably one of the the more unique pieces that you you will have fun very
quickly um and I think that kind of a story is really important which and I I really I like what you’re talking about
because it clearly is inspiring inspired you to make a film inspired me to start a podcast it’s inspiring people to start
paddle companies and um bag manufacturing and um shoes and you know
lessons I I have a friend who quit his very good Tech job and decided to be a
coach and teach lessons because his quality of life was better so I think it is it’s like an in it is inspiring
people to make changes and also want to get involved in some way I just ran into someone this weekend who said you know
I’m trying to think about what I want to do with respect to pickle ball maybe some drip which is like slang for clo
cool clothes um and you know I think that’s great right like whatever
part of you know people’s I think I think a lot of the the stories it sounds like you’re
telling are probably less around a new Paddle Company and more around maybe something more Community focused but I
think again both are okay right it’s okay that Steve cooh who is already a billionaire wants to focus
on he’s a businessman like it’s no wonder that he wants to make this big
business I mean it’s he should if he wants to and he probably can right um
and he probably opens up the uh you know the path for all the things to happen to your point you know I I think if you
look at the trajectory of every sport um you know you you usually start learning
that sport when you’re a child and then you know you stick to it you get better
maybe you are able to go to college in some sort of scholarship and that after that maybe there is a professional path
for you and peo doesn’t have that yet I mean there are other sports that don’t but pable doesn’t and and there are
people I think like Steve and um and others you know who who have the the
capacity to do that who are setting that Foundation to to you know some degree or
another there’s also tons of people who are creating acms for kids and so you
know aside from you know whatever that ultimate professional path that you might have it is those PE those people
who are down uh you know create donating their time volunteering to you know to
get a a net and a few paddles and teach kids teach adult because you know it’s
it’s going to help you know help them active I I just
interviewed someone uh in one of the other episodes he’s 70 and he’s lost 35 pounds um without making any changes he
just plays a lot of pickle ball and um I think so from a weight loss standpoint and an athletic but I agree with you I
think um it is an easy way to kind of level the playing field I remember being
in public school my whole life life and uh I always I was always aware of that
discrepancy right I was a swimmer and I knew that it’s almost like you it’s it’s
a luxury in life to become a swimmer because you need to have had lessons when you were little access to a pool um
it’s a very timec consuming sport right so there’s things like that you you look at lacrosse it was sort of a more Elite
upper echelon Sport and not really in the inner city um not really in rural
areas and so pickle ball feels like you know it can really be played anywhere I
went to a pickle ball camp and I met a group of about 12 women who had traveled
and they were all part of a church and I said well how did you guys learn to play we just put Nets up in the church that’s
how we all bonded I mean it’s it’s it’s really amazing right like so what do you
think about like what’s kind of holding it back what are some things you’ve uncovered that you feel like maybe
during these stories that you think need to be because because we’re we’re we’re toting its horn and it’s all positive
and but there’s some problems right like you know you talked about the noise you talked about the controversy but what
else what else is out there that’s holding the sport up in your mind I
think um I think well I think the noise for sure you know I think there is you know you see this almost in every
Community that’s wanting to expand so I think that the the number one I think that could potentially you know stop the
growth of it is the access to public courts right yes because we have seen so
many businesses opening up private clubs and so whoever has the means is probably
going to find a club that they can join uh with pickle balls or popping everywhere what is more difficult is to
get the parks and recreations to um fund or to allow for either the conversion of
uh some tennis courts to to be hybrid tennis and and pickle ball or just
setting up new courts because at some point and we’re seeing this here in our community in Alam we have po four public
courts and the community right now is is is in the middle of a hearing with the
city of alam to try to get Lan lines painted on a on on a tennis court that’s
being you know re REM rebump and there there’s controversy their neighbors who
are complaining about it and they have every right to complain and ultimately you know the the city will you know come
up with with some resolution but in the last year and a half here alone we’ve
seen the the pickable community like grow by some exponential number so well
you could go before and put your paddle and have you know a game within five minutes now you have to weigh like 20
because they like your 50 you might get one hour right and that might really
deter people from going I know it does here in San Francisco too and then I and I think about cities like Cincinnati who
I think put in like 300 Court and um places in Florida where and and so I I
agree I think I think the municipalities and the city planners like get them out to the courts or do something so they
realize that first of all it doesn’t have to be a constant tennis versus pickle ball like it doesn’t need to be
that way like it’s it pickle ball doesn’t take up very much space um I went down to a park in Southern
California there were four courts One Challenge and three others and I looked
at the footprint it’s so so small it’s like barely a basketball court for all that to happen and they’re open from 700
in the morning till whenever light they’re lighted they have nice wind protection they have little screens in between I mean they probably go there’s
probably three or 400 people a day that rotate through and get plenty of time to play so I I think you’re right I think
it’s interesting that the cities haven’t like what’s taking them so long what’s
the problem yeah yeah I was thinking them to long I I think um and maybe you
know maybe this documentary helps with that maybe maybe doesn’t but I you know I
think I think for the cities so if you if you if all you hear about Pabo is that is a bunch of annoying people who
are addicts it’s like a cult because that’s all they talk about it’s really easy to tune that out right it’s really
easy to be like oh these people again I I can’t hear this anymore but there’s
viously more to that and there is there is a passion just like the passion I have maybe the one that you have there’s
something really good about it and we want to share that but sometimes when you’re very passionate again it it kind
of puts people off and maybe that’s part of it you told me that your kids they turned your kids off right and they have
a rule for you what what what that you guys made up a a rule in your house yes
I’m only allowed to say the word peek a b three times a day or or what happens or they just they
just go upstairs and they don’t they don’t hang out with me so they don’t have anybody to talk about with yeah
that’s funny I mean yeah well luckily there’s enough other pickle ball players that probably do want to only talk about
it so then you just but yeah I agree so you you mentioned International um uh
this is I love Spain um so listeners are going to have to hear about my love of Spain since I was in high school and um
you’re from Spain but besides SP and including Spain um are you really seeing
this expansion because you do hear like oh yeah I hear a little bit in Australia but but what have you found
internationally uh with respect to pickle ball yeah actually I just met someone
this weekend who is from uh Finland and she said oh picko is just starting there
like it’s just it’s starting to starting to grow so it have been there for a while but it’s starting to grow and um
and the so I I yes I’m from Spain and I
went to spend to visit my families at the very beginning when I was working on this film or when I was just thinking
about working on it actually that that that triggered me to to really think that this was a story wortht telling and
I’ve um I did a little research P Spain and it came up you know a couple of YouTube videos and and I could see the
people playing and having you know just as much fun and I ended up talking to someone in the um in the association of
peall in Spain and told me pretty much the same thing that I here I was just
becoming this huge thing the community was crazy about it people love it I mean
all the same things just in Spanish and so I I um uh so so then that led me to
to to talk to make the documentary but also I ended up talking to uh rifken who
when was behind um getting the the world pickle ball um Association which is like
trying to get all these countries to sign up um um into this organization so
then they can apply for for pcoo to be in the Olympic Games and I was I was I
was so surprised that there was so many different countries and I I can remember on top of my head right now how many
there are there are definitely over 50 right now um I can tell you that in
Europe is is growing it’s it’s grally exponentially
uh Spain UK France um and then um I know it’s it’s
is becom really big in India um I know the the president of the ifp which is
another international organization is from India so that sport is is also getting very big there it’s true I
talked to a Paddle Company uh prite and I’m I’m actually going to have an episode with them soon uh so so watch
out for that again subscribe if you want to hear about it uh and he talked about the expansion in India um lot of players
in India um and there’s a lot of people in India so doesn’t surprise me and like you said uh for any of these countries
whether they’re you know on any socioeconomic scale that kind of access
is really easy it makes it a lot easier which is why soccer I think is often popular in so many countries of
different socioeconomic levels because besides the ball they you can play pretty you that’s
all you need right that’s all you need is to play and I think that’s all you that’s all you need um I think the
difference with soccer though is in relationship to pickle ball is traditionally soccer has been a a male
sport in all over of this country so even though you know I’m proud to say Spain the women Spanish team just won
the World Cup um yeah women’s soccer is
is only a few years old and is is a professional sport you don’t see people
going over over 30-some playing soer I mean there’s had a very short short um
um life right um I think that the fact that it can be a lifetime sport pickle
ball is what’s really fantastic about it and that there are ways to figure out
who to play with right there are some you know the community can kind of steer
you in the right direction around who you might want to play with at your ability but there’s always someone at your ability and even when you travel um
you can find pickup games and so there’s that I think I think that the more international travel that goes on people
will start I think people are going to start to pick their trips based on yeah where they can go which hotels have
pickle ball courts and you know what where there’s open play right and you
can be competitive I mean that that is also very unique right like I started playing I was sure I was a an athlete
even though when you see me from the outside I don’t look like one but I us still have that my you know I I’m I’m
athletic and I would have never imagined that at age 40 something I could pick up a brand new sport or any sport new or
not new and I actually could become very competitive and
compete you know at a at a high level anywhere in the world right not just
here in my local community you know if if right right so that that it’s also I
think this is what you see you know you see the recreational you know players you see the amateur players and use the
pro players right so there there three different um categories but I think for
those who just want to play and have fun it’s is is it like I said it doesn’t
matter anyone anyone can do it and you can just have fun for the rest of your life playing pickle ball but if you are
an amateur if you want to take it a little bit more seriously there isn’t a cat of time I
mean at some point maybe if you’re like I don’t know over 80 you cannot compete anymore but even that I mean the senior
the senior games You Know cover a pretty wide range and sure maybe there’s golf
but and then there’s a few Sports maybe you can do that but at some point it’s gonna is is is going to have a limit and
pable do seems to have I mean it will have a limit but no I agree with you and
I and I think it is nice the cross generational I think it’s I’ve seeing it a lot coming up in um schools and I’ve
done some interviews with college uh organizations and I think it’s just kind of days away from becoming a
Collegiate an official Collegiate sport versus a club so um well I’m I’m really excited about your documentary obviously
I want to see it once it’s done and and I’m passionate about it and it is the kind of thing if I was if I was
searching I’d be like oh my God there’s a documentary that can reinforce all the things that I think about I can’t wait
to spread the word just me exactly but you use the word addicting um and
addictive and and people do use that word it has such a negative connotation but I I think what um what I what I like to
think about it is that um if there was any thing that I would be encouraged to do on a regular basis I’m glad it’s
something healthy and active and uh is provides connection because you know
they you could be addicted to running or you could be addicted to you know cycling but that’s you know sort of
individual so I like this the sense of meeting people from all different backgrounds touch paddles and like you
said you go on but I don’t know if it’s it just sounds really negative when we use the word
addicting yeah that’s a that’s a really good point and I i’ I’ve heard I’ve had conversations with people about this and
it’s true um and there’s a specific definition about you know addiction um
but I would say um like for me and I didn’t talk to you about this before because it’s it’s
hard to talk about especially at the beginning they want to said my tone and and and and go in this direction but one of for me the reason why I really draw
me to play once you know the the it was obviously the community aspect of it but one of one of the main things is that I
could go every day to coure and forget about what was happening in my life I was going through some rough time because I had my sister was uh dying and
I just I it just it really gave me this opportunity to be in a Zone and just play for like
two three hours and I I was just having fun when there’s just no other way I would have you know have you know my my
mind just would would would not allow me to and so I heard that story from many
different people as well and so is is it addiction when you go meditate is an
addiction when you know when you find a place I don’t know I I I wouldn’t I
wouldn’t be able to tell you that but I think there is something about finding
this this very unusual combination of f being in a Zone
like being able to have fun in a way that you don’t even you don’t even think about and also take you out at the same
time of of you know about the stress of life I think that’s a really good point
I think yeah I think it’s such a good point mat because I think I’ve thought about that too when I played early on um
you know for a lot of people it was during Co and so the stresses of whatever that was worried about your
kids worried about your job worried about finances anything that was going on which was for most people some or
maybe more serious like you with a family member uh but I think you’re absolutely right and that first of all
if you take your eye off the ball you’re not gonna play very well right so you you really have to focus but but it’s
true it’s like you’re having such a good time that the hours pass and you do you
reflect back and you think wow I just spent some time not worrying about all
the stresses and real life and pain that you might be going through and so sense
of a sense of relief and for some people like you mentioned early that could just be loneliness or isolation but for
others could be far more serious than that right yeah yeah and yes well so
okay so we um thank you I just thank you for telling me and opening up about that it’s it’s really meaningful and and I
definitely understand and and identify with it um when are we going to how can
people support you right now we talked about this a little bit earlier in the episode but you have a Kickstarter going on and you it ends in 20 days from today
which will probably be closer to 10 days by the time this episode’s out but we will put this out in the show notes um
and what should we expect next beyond that yeah uh so we hope that um we
reached the goal of The Campaign which should allow us to film the remaining
you know part of the part of the the film and then and then we go into editing which you know carries a a whole
other set of cost um post production sometimes is is more costly than production itself but um what these will
allow us to do is to put together a a work in progress you know a piece that
will actually show The Narrative of the film and with that we hope to either pach it to um streaming services or try
to find you know a a funer right to to help us uh with the with the final part
of it um we we love to finish the film by the end of the summer so we can
submit it to film festivals um uh starting September great all right well
I mean everyone’s gonna be holding their breath now because they’re gonna want to see it and but I I really do appreciate you spreading the word kind of the
really making uh again like what you said earlier about how important it is
to tell this story because maybe it would Inspire someone out there in some way shape or form and and I do think
that that that there is sort of um it’s like being it’s not a social
justice issue but in a way it is like you’re you’re combating loneliness and isolation and inactivity and loss of
connection and also you know encouraging these cities municipalities countries to
get their acting gear and meet the needs of the community because it’s our land it’s not like this it’s not like wreck
and Park’s land it’s this people’s land right it’s for everyone so it should be
it’s funny actually this just reminds me to slight aside we have you know I live in San Francisco we have Golden Gate
Park which is very similar to some major Parks like Central Park and there’s huge amounts of land and there are these
Buffalo that roam around and we were laughing the other day like look how much land we gave to the Buffalo who
probably don’t even want to be here they’d prefer to be anywhere else the middle of a city and you could build
like 400 pickle ball courts so nothing against the Buffalo but nothing against
the Buffalo or the tennis players I I think there is there is I think there’s an opportunity and and we have SE we’re
seeing a lot of compromise in different places I think you know San Francisco deal with this right to find some
compromise when they reveal the tennis courts they were able to set up you know some pickle ball courts so I think you
know compromise as possible it’s not about taking someone you know the tennis courts away it’s about saying you know
this is this is another activity that that people people want to do and these
are you know obviously taxpayers as well and and if if it’s a facility that really is not suited for for court
because it’s you know it’s noisy and it’s bothering people or because it’s taking away from other things that should be considered for sure but
um yeah but there’s also these you know pickall players just need to just stop
shouting Ballers needed to play players need to play uh well thank you again um
thanks everyone for listening listening and making sure that you subscribe to the podcast or on Apple or Spotify or
YouTube or anywhere you listen and we will be following your film Machu and we
um wish you all the luck in the rest of the filming and raising the funds you need and on the courts of course so
thank you again thank you so much Crystal I really appreciate it and I can
look forward to to hearing the uh the podcast then wonderful hey guys thanks
for listening to play 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 dinking

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