By Nancy Dowell
As SaddleBrooke Pickleball Association (SPA) members, we do not always get a chance to get to know one another outside of pickleball. After all, we are way too busy focusing on more important things, like playing and talking about pickleball. When a chance presents itself to find out more about any one of our members, you will find that many of them are contributing their time and efforts on behalf of SPA. One of those doing just that is a long time SaddleBrooke resident, Nancy Boklund.
Nancy was invited to be among the very first players to play on the brand new Ridgeview pickleball courts 8 years ago. A former racquetball player, she is now among the many victims of pickleball addiction. The only remedy for this very common condition is to play more pickleball. So, she does. Nancy values the social aspect of pickleball, as well as the light-hearted competitiveness of the game. In addition to enjoying the sport herself, she has turned her passion for the game to volunteering to teach SPA sponsored Introductory Lessons. She also volunteered to be the administrator of the Court Reservations for SPA for the past 5 years.
SPA Introductory Lessons offer any SaddleBrooke community member a chance to try pickleball. Nancy and her husband Doug, along with Shawne Cryderman, have been donating their time and expertise to this valuable program. Nancy is the face of the program, welcoming and registering participants. She then puts on her coaching hat for the 1½ hour lesson provided to 12 eager students. The participants learn about the court, scoring, and basic skills. Safe ways of playing (including the very important tip to not back up!) and the importance of hydration are also discussed. Wasting no time, Nancy has her group on the court immediately thereafter, dinking, serving and returning serve. Then, taking one court of 4 players each, Nancy, Doug, and Shawne play and coach 2-3 games with their group of similar abilities. This is a sport that can be learned quickly to the point of being able to play a game. The fine-tuning of the game can last a lifetime, though improvement can be quite rapid. Being an instructor requires being intuitive and insightful. Nancy’s former career as a Real Estate Broker, Manager, and Instructor trained her well in reading people. That attribute, combined with her deep understanding of the game, makes her a terrific pickleball teacher. For the bargain price of $10 per person, as many as 150 SaddleBrooke community members every year have taken advantage of this opportunity. Those participants that move on to become Club members are subsequently able to take advantage of free continuing lessons within the SPA Assisted Play program.
Nancy’s work on SPA Court Reservations has required the commitment of ongoing, behind the scenes maintenance over the years. With increased needs, the system is currently undergoing some development and is working very nicely.
Nancy and her husband Doug relocated to SaddleBrooke from Rochester, NY after meeting at Purdue University. Joining them here in Tucson is Nancy’s mother, and in San Tan Valley, Arizona, their son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter. Here in SaddleBrooke, in addition to pickleball, Nancy enjoys Card Making. Though I am pretty sure she does not need another job, maybe we can get her to produce some cards with a pickleball theme? Our thanks to Nancy for all she does for SPA and for sharing a bit of her story.
See you on the courts!