This is her partial statement that opened the dialogue:
I wish you men would lower the testosterone level!!!!!
Being largely a smart ass, I responded as follows:
She would like men to lower the testosterone level. In that our testosterone level is 7-8 times higher than in females I guess we could try somehow.
Surprisingly, one thing that raises testosterone in males is being in the presence of females. So, if we men were to live in a pickleball playing monastery, particularly one dedicated to the patron saint of pickleball (or all athletes) St. Sebastian, we might be more mellow.
Of course if all men were in monasteries, then over time there would be no more men or women.
It seems to be a conundrum. Maybe we will just leave well enough alone.
But, my friend was not mollified by my response and so came back with:
I think in my humble opinion men won’t lower their testosterone levels because they could not take the humiliation of being beaten constantly by women. Be honest!!!!As I am not from the let sleeping dogs lie camp, I felt it necessary to respond, and since I was not totally satisfied with my own response I realized that the issue has much to do with other thoughts I have been having about playing mixed pickleball.
Ok, testosterone is not the real problem here. Attitude is. But there is still more to it than that.What follows mostly predates the above response, but lead to me formulating the above in my mind.
I have watched the best women and the best men in North America play in tournaments, in mixed and gender sections. The best men are stronger, faster and often smarter strategically, which has more to do with spacial reasoning, I think, than anything else. This is what you are confusing with testosterone. . . .
A mixed team tends to lose to another mixed team when the woman on the losing team and her male partner do not play smart.
Men can and will pound the ball at a woman, particularly if their mothers did not raise them right. A smart male player does not need to pound the ball at anyone to win games. . . .
All things being equal, if you want to win at pickleball, hit your ball to the weaker partner, or even better to the holes on the court, which tend to be near the weaker partner. But, too many men who have limited their play to local recreational play learn to use power instead of strategy to win games.
As the skill levels increase, physical power takes a back seat to brain power. When you play smarter than they do, and limit their opportunities to use their only weapon, power, against you, then the pounding will stop, and they will have to learn how to play the game properly.
Until the Fall of 2013, I had not given a lot of thought to playing mixed pickleball. But, last year a woman friend from our London Pickleball Club and I played together in the Provincial pickleball tournament, and were handled fairly easily by a team of players who were certainly better than we were on that day at least, and particularly understood the strategy of mixed doubles pickleball better than we did.