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Mayra Diaz’s Pickleball Club Attracts Dozens of Students

Through her leadership, Greenhills’ pickleball club fosters fun and fitness
GAME ON Head of Middle School Mayra Diaz participates in a pickleball match at the club. “In Pickleball Club, I really enjoy getting to play, and thats why I have a Pickleball Club,” Diaz said.
GAME ON Head of Middle School Mayra Diaz participates in a pickleball match at the club. “In Pickleball Club, I really enjoy getting to play, and that’s why I have a Pickleball Club,” Diaz said.

Pickleball, the rising star of recreational sports, has found a home in Greenhills’ gym, thanks to the leadership of the new Head of the Middle School, Mayra Diaz. The Middle School Pickleball Club, led by Diaz, has become a bi-weekly highlight, meeting every Tuesday and Thursday during C&C in the West Gym.

“I was never athletic growing up and I’m good enough in pickleball, so it makes me feel some level of athleticism,” Diaz said. “I feel accomplished and I think there’s a level of fulfillment in it. Pickleball feels manageable to me.” 

However, pickleball is as new to Diaz as Greenhills is. 

“I did my tour of Greenhills, and I was walking around the building,” Diaz said. “I looked in the gym, and I saw the kids playing pickleball, and I was like, oh, I want to play pickleball. So it’s always been on my mind.” 

Stepping out of her comfort zone, Diaz embraced the opportunity to explore and immerse herself in something new. She started playing over the summer and has been committed to playing at her club at Greenhills. Diaz was captivated by the graceful dynamics and found herself in awe of the sport’s beauty. She respected the skills displayed by fellow players, which also fueled her enthusiasm. Diaz’s appreciation extends beyond these aspects as she enjoys playing both doubles and singles. She recognized the importance of having a reliable doubles partner. As her involvement deepened, she realized how essential it was to have a trusted doubles partner, and stressed the importance of this. 

“I think pickleball makes you feel safe enough to try it,” Diaz said. “And then from that you just it can grow into something amazing.”

The heart of the Pickleball Club lies in its student-driven character. With a collaborative spirit, club members actively engage in setting up the nets within the gym. Once the nets are in place, the members start playing. Whether it’s engaging in spirited doubles matches or honing individual skills in singles play, members have the flexibility to pair up with any member. 

“All my friends joined the club, so I also joined it,” Ryan Almoghaisseeb ’29 said. “It’s really fun even if you might not be good at pickleball.” Focusing on things she enjoys, Diaz hopes the pickleball club will be an activity the middle schoolers can also look forward to. The creation of the Pickleball Club aligns with her philosophy of trying new things and overcoming the fear of failure. 

Approaching pickleball as an “entry-level” player, Diaz finds joy in playing for herself rather than in competition. Despite her initial hesitations, she expressed a desire to play more, even outside of school. This passion has inspired thoughts of Middle School pickleball competitions and tournaments, an idea that the other club members support. Diaz’s vision extends beyond the school gym. She expressed interest in making pickleball an official MHSAA sport, even considering the possibility of bringing the sport to Greenhills at an official level.

“When you try something new for the first time, fear is inevitable,” Diaz said. “You think, ‘I don’t want to mess up. But in that vulnerability, there’s a sense of accomplishment – ‘I may not be great at it, but at least I tried.’ Whether pickleball becomes a defining thing for me doesn’t matter; what matters is that I’ve embraced the opportunity and tried something new.” 

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