Two years ago, tennis coach Evan Smith said the pickleball craze had yet to reach Williamson County.

Few teams. Even fewer instructors and clinics.

Getting a pickleball court reservation? No problem.

Fast forward to this summer. The Indoor Sports Complex in Brentwood was a hub for pickleball-playing residents and visitors.

And this fall, it continues.

“People play once, and get ‘the bug’ and want to keep playing and invite people to play,” Smith said.

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The game is a combination of tennis, pingpong and badminton played on a court about one-third the size of a tennis court. The ball moves slower than a tennis ball, making it easier for people of all ages and athleticism to participate.

Cindy Bowling, right, returns a shot as pickleball instructor Melissa Powell watches during a clinic at the Williamson County Indoor Sports Complex in Brentwood.

‘I would play every day if I could’

Katherine Koonce discovered pickleball two years ago on a wellness retreat. The game is not only fun, she said, but good exercise and a stress reliever.

“I play once or twice a week, but I would play every day if I could,” Koonce said. 

Koonce, head of school at the Covenant School in Nashville, loved the game so much that she added pickleball to the school’s physical education initiatives.