1. I will not blame the wind every time I hit a third-shot drop into the net – especially when playing indoors.
2. I will call kitchen-line foot faults against myself at all times during rec play (until the score reaches 8).
3. I will not hit a hard smash directly at a vulnerable opponent who hasn’t already left a red mark on my torso during the same game.
4. I will avoid taking issue with an opponent’s line call, and if that’s not possible, I will avoid saying something like, “Even Stevie Wonder would have called that in.”
5. I will be kind to new players learning the game, because you never know: One day one of them might be your orthopedic surgeon.
6. I will not pretend to inspect the ball for cracks after I muff an easy return.
7. I will not judge a book by its cover, but if I find myself playing against somebody who has one of those suction cups on the end of the paddle handle, I will keep the ball low.
8. When playing pickleball with somebody who stops play to answer cell phone calls on the court, I will not derisively refer to that person as “prime minister” for the rest of the session.
9. I will spend less time watching YouTube pickleball videos during Zoom meetings at work.
10. I will not buy more than three paddles this year, unless I win the lottery or improve my skill rating by half-a-point.
Frank Cerabino is a long-time columnist for the Palm Beach Post in Florida, a pickleball addict like the rest of us, and a newly published author. Check out Frank's newly released book, I Dink, Therefore I Am: Coming to Grips with My Pickleball Addiction (available on Amazon and a great read (or gift!) for any pickleball player), for pickleball tips and laughs!