Christian and Noah
Place: Trussville Civic Center
First Played: Christmas 2015
HOST: Welcome to Trussville Pickleball. This is The Kitchen. Player profiles and interviews for the Trussville Pickleballers. Today I'm here with Forrest Bender and his two sons Christian and Noah. Well, we are excited to have you guys here and excited to talk to you about how you became interested in pickleball. Forrest, what was your first experience with pickleball?
FORREST: Well, last Christmas, I was looking for something that the family could do. Really I was looking for something for like a driveway type sport. Amazon came up with a deal on a pickleball net. I had never heard of it we went to... We just typed in pickleball and saw that it was a pretty cool game bought a set for ourselves. Set up, actually power washed a court into our driveway and started playing early Spring and just in our court. It's all sloped and it kicks crazy ways and then we saw your signs around, my wife actually, saw your signs around Trussville and we're like Trussville Pickleball! Really? So then we started kind of researching, when can we go and that's how we kind of launched into it.
HOST: Well, that is interesting. I've never heard of someone power washing into the side into the driveway the lines for the pickleball court that is a first I think.
FORREST: We wanted it to be nice and white and then we got to the back and we're like we already had problems with the lines and we were taping them and it wasn't working. So I'm like I have this power washer. We can just power wash clean into the dirt and it worked out.
HOST: That is awesome. So Christian tell me about how you've adjusted to playing pickleball. Your Dad is like hey let's play pickleball and you're like well what's that?
CHRISTIAN: Well, I mean, I first really heard of pickleball when he got the pickleball net home. I went outside and played a little bit we just volleyed back and forth. Hey, this is kind of fun and then he offered to take me and Noah up to play pickleball around Trussville. I played it a little bit and I was like OK this is actually a lot of fun. Like I want to do this again. So we came back again and again and again now we brought other people into it.
HOST: Well, Noah you are the the younger one here. How do you feel about playing with your Dad and brother. Are you able to keep up with them?
NOAH: No not exactly.
HOST: Not actually?
FORREST: Oh now, give yourself a little more credit than that. You just killed me in there hitting those cross shots.
NOAH: But you beat me.
FORREST: I know but you had me running all over the place.
HOST: Well, that's awesome. Are you having fun out there Noah?
HOST: Awesome. How do you find out more about pickleball? I heard you searched Amazon.com and found some things. Do you do research at home to learn more about the game \ strategy?
FORREST: Absolutely... Well my wife has already started to kind of pick on me a little bit because I started looking at the pros playing on YouTube and some of the little skills drills that they got going. I just I just put it in and they have some of the gold medal matches from some of the higher tournaments. And I saw how they were playing the level they're playing at and compare that to how I was playing my game and it's like Ohh, OK that's how it's supposed to go and so you know I'm no where near that of course. Yeah, I haven't really shown any either of these guys but I try to put a couple of moves on them and just to kind of show them what to do.
CHRISTIAN: Oh really now?
HOST: The truth comes out. How would you compare this to other sports, Christian? Do you play other sports?
CHRISTIAN: I used to when I was young. I wasn't really interested in sports I wasn't that good at them mainly. The only real sport that I've ever been good at is this. This is like the first sport that I've picked up and I'm not really had issues with.
CHRISTIAN: Like most of the time the other sports just got boring to me but now this is a lot of fun and I want to keep on coming back every week to play it.
HOST: So, Forest, in your background, compare this to other sports you played growing up.
FORREST: Sure. Yeah. I grew up in one of those communities where the NFL, the Neighborhood Football League, was highly competitive very intense and very rough. I played a lot like ten to fifteen years of Little League baseball and up to the high school level. And you know it was it was always, I played a little bit of tennis and took some tennis lessons when I was a kid. It was always hot. It was always not a lot of action for any one individual. Baseball you're pretty much standing in the outfield or standing in position and you might do something once every ten minutes or so. Really the same way for football your number is probably not going to get called all that much. But this game really has the element of team play because you play a lot of doubles. But it's also... I mean you're in it all the time. If you're not focused on it. Man you're going to get it. It's an awful lot of fun. It's easy to pick up. But it also can go to a really high level and you can you can do with whatever you want to. But my personal background was I grew up playing sports, love playing sports but this is the kind of thing that I mean I've seen the stratum all the way from old a lot of really fairly old people that actually move around pretty good now and play a good game and play a strategic game to very young kids like Noah here and I don't know what to say it's been it's been a pleasant addition to our sporting life. I had gotten out of sports altogether because I really can't play league softball and I can't play league mens flag football and I can't play basketball. I'm not a particularly good basketball player. I don't really like it. And this is something you know I try to stay in shape. I've got other family members that I need to stay in shape for and strong for and you know this is working out kind of sucks and I like playing to stay fit. So that's really, that's my personal, what I really get out of it. One of the things I get out of it.
HOST: Well, that's awesome. So you found something that you can stay fit participate with your sons. How often do you guys get to play?
CHRISTIAN: Once a week. About? You know, it depends on this one. He's our driver.
FORREST: Well, we made a deal with with Mom. We have a special needs son at the house and you know we don't try to stay away from the house too much. I'm highly involved in his his life as well of course but to spend time with these guys we made a deal with her that we get to spend three hours up here once a week.
HOST: Christian, you said earlier that you helped bring some some people in. So what words of advice do you have to get people interested in the sport?
CHRISTIAN: Well, the first thing that they always say is pickleball sounds like a boring sport or I don't want to go play or I don't have the time sorry. I'm just like, Look no. Like half of the community, well not half but a lot of the people out there are people my age and Noah's age. So we have people to play with. And then there's also the adults and you know the older people out there that play as well. So it's a very diverse age group. So you can kind of fit in anywhere you want you can fit in there you can play super up, you can play low and do whatever you want. I know I've got one person in so far and I've only been playing for what a month or so and we've already got somebody playing and they're addicted they thought they were going to be super bored with the sport. They were just going to sit and watch play but now they're addicted.
HOST: It is a pretty addictive game. That is one thing that everybody comments about coming into it. What other things would you like to see in Trussville specifically with pickleball. How would you like to see it grow. Things of that nature.
FORREST: I don't know if it's too much to ask. I mean at this point considering the size of the community but into the future man the things that I've seen on YouTube. There are some tremendous facilities that are dedicated to, they maybe a combo tennis and pickleball but pickleball courts in that outdoor setting. It adds a different element to the game. I'd love to see 1-2-3 small courts maybe adjacent to some of the tennis courts that would be terrific. You know the more opportunities that there are to play the more we're going to play.
FORREST: You know. Sometimes some of the opportunities in Trussville are during the day. So there's just no way to get to them. So opportunities in the evenings would be ideal for us. You know get off work and then bring the boys out to play.
HOST: Well in closing, do you guys have any other additional comments that we haven't covered? Things about pickleball, things about... You guys have played at the Civic Center and have played at First Baptist Trussville. Well are there any comments for those people that you would like to say?
FORREST: Yeah, I'd like to say that you know if I've seen groups of 3 and 4 and 5 and 6 come in and play exclusively just in their own little group and have a tremendous time. It's almost like a date night with a bunch of friends and so they kind of do their thing. I've also seen just you know twenty people show up and everybody just sort of match themselves up and it's a nice community for it can be you know it was surprisingly it's an open community. OK. So you can come out as a onesie and just kind of come in and people will welcome you in and show you how to play the game. I guess what I'm boiling it down to is... You don't have to bring your paddle there is usually every place that I've ever been had paddles for people to borrow. You don't have to have a ball. You just have to have some sneakers and a little bit of time and the effort and the willingness to get up and move around a little bit and learn a deceptively easy difficult fun addictive game but you know come out. It is so much fun. That's it.
HOST: Well thank you guys. We'll see you on the courts soon.