Children’s Book Will Terry, author, illustrator, and avid pickleball enthusiast, is back with the third installment of his Pickleball Paul series of books.
Lessons About Sport And Life
Terry intertwines lessons about sport and life into his stories of a young fox called Paul and his pickleball adventures.
He and his wife Lilly share similarities with Paul, i.e., they are enthusiastic newcomers to pickleball who have discovered a welcoming community.
Much like everyone else, Pickleball Paul seeks companionship and enjoyment and discovers these on and around the pickleball court. He embarks on adventures, both grand and small, alongside his friends.
Terry is a seasoned author and illustrator of children’s literature and has worked for prominent publishing houses and various types of media.
“We Saw The Pickleball Courts Were Always Busy”
A resident at the Happy Trails adult community in Surprise, Arizona, he has aimed to forge a meaningful link for youngsters between pickleball and life’s valuable lessons.
He says, “It all really started two years ago when we started playing pickleball. We moved here and played tennis a lot in this 55-plus community. But people started leaving in May and June, and we really didn’t have enough people to play with.
We saw the pickleball courts were always busy and thought it would be nice to pick up a new sport together, one we could learn and have fun. We’re newly married – it will be four years at the end of August – so we wanted to pick something up together for us to do as a couple.
“After six months, Lilly left tennis behind. I’m all in too, and we both love the vibrant pickle community here.”
Sewed The Seed Of An Idea
The experience, combined with Lilly’s challenges in adapting to a new sport, sewed the seed of an idea in Terry’s mind. Although Terry, a seasoned racquetball player, found picking up pickleball fairly straightforward, Lilly’s learning curve was steeper.
They embarked on daily drills, armed with a stockpile of pickleballs and large scoop shovels for efficient retrieval.
While Lilly managed OK, she still had moments when she would struggle, and Terry, drawing on his teaching background, would offer guidance. Overcoming mistimed hits, adjusting shot pace, and forgetting long-learned tennis habits were all hurdles they faced.
Their persistent practice drew curious glances from fellow players, but they pressed on, all the time refining their skills. Gradually, the challenges began to subside, and they got into their stride.
Terry achieved a respectable DUPR of 3.5, while Lilly settled around at a solid 3.0. They now engage in the sport six days a week, often with multiple sessions per day, participating in singles and doubles matches.
Their shared journey of learning and progress struck a chord with Terry, who recognized the potential for a children’s book rooted in their experiences.
He believed that the most impactful stories for children revolve around the realities of not always being the best or the biggest player, grappling with the reluctance of others to engage with a novice, and extending kindness to oneself. These were all experiences Will and Lilly encountered as adults.
The Missing Paddle
Thus, “Pickleball Paul” came to life last autumn, with Terry taking on writing and illustrating responsibilities. It was released earlier this year and is accessible through various book retailers and Terry’s website. The second installment in the series, Pickleball Paul and the Missing Paddle, is now available on Amazon.com.
Paul’s wife, Terry, takes up the story: “I felt that pickleball needed a children’s book like this. It’s a great way to have the sport be part of Paul’s story and use pickleball as a backdrop to teach greater lessons.
“Like the second book, Paul is jumping around on his bed with his dog Chloe; everything goes flying that he had set out for a tournament later in the day, including his paddle. He discovers the paddle is missing and goes around and blames his sister and friends for taking it.
“Only the reader knows what really happened on the bed, that it flew off and the dog took it back to her doghouse. Paul learns, through the help of his rabbit friend Jorja from pickleball, that he needs to not blame others and look for other reasons for the paddle being missing.
“He learns accountability, how to be kinder to others, how to be respectful. Those are huge things for all of us, especially kids, to learn.”
The third book, presently in the manuscript phase, will delve into Paul and Jorja’s experience at camp, focusing on the important theme of addressing bullying among friends.
Terry is committed to sustaining the Pickleball Paul series, envisioning numerous escapades awaiting the fox and his companions. He aspires for the books to resonate within the pickleball community, as well as in educational institutions and libraries.
Through these stories, he aims to promote values of kindness and respect while encouraging youngsters to engage in the sport.
Terry finishes by saying, “Pickle has become such a big part of our lives, and these books are just another reflection of the impact. It’s so much fun to bring that to kids too.”
We have also published other articles about pickleball games and books, which you can read here.
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