I recently visited Guam to teach pickleball. I know, tough job – but someone has to do it. The Pickleball Guam Association is less than a year old. Still, like places worldwide, die-hard pickleball addicts exist on a small rock in the Pacific. I filled up my clinics with most players soaking in the clinic like a sponge and others seeing what the competition was like.
I taught a morning clinic on my first day and promptly went diving. Hey, I have to make the most of the places I travel to. A pickleball player on the island kindly introduced me to his dive master friend, and we all dove together. Walking from the shore of Gun Beach (famous for a Japanese artillery gun still there), we walked/swam out until the coral dropped down 40-60 feet and swam along the reef. We saw an array of marine life, including sharks, five or six sea turtles, and an octopus. Diving in Guam went beyond my expectations. For more on exploring the local area by land, see this new online post about the best cable bike lock.
I entered full clinic mode on the second day, teaching for 8 hours. I am the first pickleball instructor that has visited Guam, so people were highly receptive and eager to learn all the information they could. Pickleball people everywhere in the world are lovely, and it’s incredible how the pickleball community tends to attract similar minds. After teaching for 8 hours, though, I sank like a rock onto my bed.
On the third day, I had a short clinic in the morning, then went snorkeling. Again, just off the shore, Guam’s beaches offer an assortment of wildlife. We saw a couple of sharks circling the dock, perhaps eyeing the thousands of fish swimming around. We had a potluck pickleball party at night, with forty or fifty people in attendance. I was the guest of honor and got to “open the table” in the indigenous Chamorro tradition. Two of the clinic attendants even gave me parting gifts. People’s generosity and receptiveness to anyone teaching them again touched me.
There were also some players visiting from Saipan, who invited me to teach there in the future. It appears the Guam/Saipan circuit will be an annual teaching trip for me! If you are ever going to Guam, get in touch with Pickleball Trips or the Pickleball Guam Association to find play times. Court time is still limited in Guam, so it’s best to ask ahead when and where people are playing. We are not currently planning a trip there, but we might organize tours for Japanese players to visit Guam since it is so close. Stay in touch for more information!