Conflict Resolution

conflict copen cartoon 2

Written by:  Doc Savarese                                          Cartoon by:  Peter Copen

All of us have experienced degrees of conflict in our pickleball and personal lives as we try to cope with the Coronavirus.  We are particularly anxious as we are confronted with rapidly changing information and proclamations.  So, as we look at the world events as well as our dubious day to day reality of life, it’s no wonder that conflict is a factor in our physical and mental existence. 

Conflicts arise from strong feelings which are manifested when safety/security, belongingness (relationships), or survival needs are threatened.  We react to conflicts based upon our perceptions (not necessarily reality) which are influenced by our life experiences, culture, values, and beliefs. 

Social conflicts (interpersonal) arise when two or more parties are in disagreement.  The normal progression for resolution is:  communication, negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.  Amelioration occurs when one party gives in or surrenders, or a compromising agreement is accorded.  

Psychological conflicts (intrapersonal) can best be explained by the approach/avoidance theory of Kurt Lewin.  It simply means a person can’t move toward and away from the same thing at the same time.  For example, wanting to play pickleball but not wanting to get Covid- 19.  A person may also experience an approach/approach conflict where a choice between two positive alternatives must be made (cooking at home vs having it delivered).  Avoidance/avoidance conflicts arise when one has to choose between two negative options (going to the dentist or listening to your spouse if you don’t).  

The pickleball community in Oakmont has elicited a diversity of viewpoints regarding the management of the Corona Virus particularly related to the opening of play.  Uncertainty has cause confusion on how safety and social distancing will be managed, which particularly can lead to conflicts.  I frequently have asked the question:  “How do we come back from quarantine?”  Most of us have been stuck in doors with limited exercise, complying with restrictions, and trying to figure out how to still play the game we so love.  I was so desperate, that I built a 4’ X 8’backboard in my garage (not as much fun).  During these conflicting times, my hope for our pickleball community is that we pursue the highest level of mutual respect, kindness and understanding as we navigate these unpredictable times.

New Player Orientation:  Arrangement can be made by contacting Pauly Uhr at 707-984-4186 or Nancy Lande at 707-978-2998 to schedule a session.

Demo loaner paddles are available to try out for a week by contacting Doc Savarese at 707-349-9065.


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