Welcome to “Meet The Pickleball Pros,” a series of blog posts where we feature some of the world’s best pickleball players. We have our list of questions for the pros, but what questions do you have? Let us know! We know the National Pickleball Tournament results will take on a whole new meaning for you if you’re familiar with the some of the competitors and their stories.
First up- Marsha Koch!
Marsha Koch at the 2013 National Pickleball Tournament in Buckeye, AZ
PBC: Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?
MK: 2013 National Women’s 19+ – Gold
2013 National Women’s Open – Bronze
2014 So Cal Melba Bishop Classic Women’s 19+- Gold
2014 So Cal Melba Bishop Classic Women’s Open – Silver
PBC: What pickleball paddle do you play with and why?
MK: I am currently playing with two paddles, the Onix Sports Zen and the Pickleball Inc. Aluminum Champion. I like them both for the control and power they offer.
Zen Pickleball Paddle
Champion Aluminum Core Pickleball Paddle
PBC: What’s your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?
MK: In March of 2010 I was visiting a friend in Mesa, AZ and broke my hand in two places while playing tennis. That evening I was riding my bike around the community, heard this funny sound and followed it to the Pickleball courts. I had never heard of or seen this sport being played. I thought I would give it a try with my left hand since the paddle was short and the ball was so light. It was l love at first hit and I knew I would really enjoy it when I was able to play with my right hand. I flew back to Toledo and googled it to find where I might play locally. Thanks to JoAnne and Mike Tressler we had a small group of dedicated players that were making it happen in Toledo. We now have over 140 active players on the Toledo Pickleball Club roster and 6 beautiful dedicated courts.
PBC: What’s your preference — playing indoor or outdoor?
MK: Outdoor, I like the elements and the outdoor ball. However, with the weather in Ohio I am grateful for the indoor options we have! :)
PBC: Do you like singles or double better? Why?
MK: I have never really played singles. I love the doubles game because of the strategy and team work it takes to try to beat the great teams.
PBC: What’s your favorite place to play? Why?
MK: I love playing at my home courts in Toledo OH. I am fortunate to have a great group of guys that I get to sharpen my skills against.
PBC: What’s your “secret sauce”? Any tips for players?
MK: I am not sure I have a secret sauce. The doubles game to me is such a partner sport so I would say pick a great partner and then think strategically as a team rather that individually. Drill to sharpen your skill and know your opponent.
PBC: What’s your day job?
MK: I spent 12 years in the gift industry and 12 years in medical pharmaceutical and software sales. A year ago all of that changed and I started my own business in window treatments. I also work part-time at my church.
PBC: How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?
MK: I try to play every day that ends in a “y”. Realistically, I play 2-3 times a week in pick up games with a group of guys. I also participate in open play opportunities with our club to help grow the sport. (Marsha plays with the Toledo Pickleball Club)
PBC: Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?
MK: Not a big “luck” person. I say a prayer before the game to remind me that there is more to this life than Pickleball.
PBC: Do you have any pickleball goals you’d like to share?
MK: My main goal each time out on the court is to give the opposing team and my partner the best game I have. It has been fun the last year traveling and playing against the top women’s teams at the 2013 Nationals and So Cal tourney. I am really looking forward to our upcoming Great Lakes Regional in Ft. Wayne IN, Tournament of Champions in Ogden this Sept and 2014 Nationals in November.
PBC: Anything else you’d like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?
MK: It is hard for me to think of myself as one of the best pickleball players in the world! To me that wouldn’t be an accurate statement. There are so many great players that never make it to the big tournaments because of family commitments/personal reasons. I am blessed to be able to travel and compete in these tournaments. I also feel super blessed to have a great women’s doubles partner (Jessica LeMire) that I can team with. A great partner and great competition bring out the best in me.
Marsh Koch taking silver at the 2014 Melba Bishop Classic with doubles partner Jessica LeMire.