Home » Episode #503: From Financial Adviser to Children’s Author: Larry Blundred and Pickleball

Larry Blundred found solace and a new passion through an unexpected yet heartwarming intervention by friends. In the wake of his wife's passing due to a brain tumor, Larry was navigating a tumultuous period, balancing the demands of his job and his role as a caretaker. Amidst all this, he was introduced to pickleball by two friends. Initially unfamiliar with the game and without a paddle, he quickly embraced the sport, finding both emotional refuge and camaraderie on the court. His journey into pickleball became transformative, providing much-needed emotional therapy and a new community of supportive friends.

Listen now to hear Larry's story of how this inclusive, community-driven sport transformed his life, inspiring him to create children's books and spread the joy of pickleball. Pete and Larry talk about the emotional and social benefits of the game, its global appeal, and the importance of maintaining its core values amidst growing commercialization, and how he ended up writing a children's book!  

"It was community therapy," Blundred states. "I'd gotten a little soft from a lack of physical activity, and it re-energized me, But it's especially the community component associated with the sport that has driven into writing children's books to elevate the sport in people's minds as a means to grow physically, spiritually, emotionally."

Key themes discussed

  • Pickleball re-energized and inspired community-focused author
  • Pickleball related medical expenses and youth participation.
  • Pickleball fosters community and encourages diverse participation.
  • Author partners with organizations to support education.
  • Investment concerns for private pickleball clubs.
  • Excited for evangelists to promote kids' pickleball books.

A few key takeaways:

1. Larry Blundred delved into how pickleball has significantly impacted his life emotionally and creatively. It not only helped him manage his emotional health but also inspired him to write children's books that focus on family values and the sport itself.

2. One of the major themes was the inclusive nature of pickleball. Both Pete and Larry emphasized how the sport welcomes players of all ages and abilities. Whether you're someone with ADHD, in a wheelchair, or living with autism, you can find a place within the pickleball community.

3. Larry recounted his experience playing pickleball in Edinburgh, Scotland, noting the similar inclusive and welcoming environment as he found in his hometown of Cincinnati. This consistency underscores the universal appeal and community spirit of the sport worldwide.

4. Larry expressed some concern about the increasing commercialization of pickleball. He cautioned that the influx of larger investors and the drive for profits could potentially alter the core values of community and accessibility that make pickleball special. It's crucial to maintain these values to preserve what makes the sport unique.

5. A significant focus was also on involving younger generations in pickleball. Blundred highlighted the importance of fostering family dynamics and community through the sport. He shared stories from his children's books, emphasizing how anyone, regardless of physical abilities, can be introduced to and enjoy pickleball.

Click here to download transcript.  

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