How to Spread the Word About Your Pickleball Club

We recently received a request from a club leader asking how they could better inform their community about pickleball and get more visitors on their courts.

For those just starting a club you may want to read this previous post, but once you’ve got things running and simply need to increase your visibility, here are a few options:

Get listed on the USAPA’s Places to Play List

Many people use the USAPA’s site to search for local pickleball groups. To add yours to their list, simply sign up for a free account and then fill out the required information. You can do this by going to the Places to Play page and clicking “Add Place” in the upper left corner.

The more details you can provide about your club/location, the better informed newcomers will be.

USAPA

Contact ambassadors and clubs

The USAPA provides lists of registered pickleball ambassadors based on state. Look up those in your area and send them a friendly email introducing your club and explaining that you would love to welcome more members. By doing this, they may be able to recommend people to your group.

You can follow a similar routine with other nearby clubs. Explain that you’ve opened up a few courts and ask if they would share this news with their members. Perhaps you’ll get a few more drop-ins as people make their pickleball rounds for the week, or they might introduce friends to your club if the location is more convenient.

Use local resources

You can of course reach out to friends and family members who may be interested in giving pickleball a try, or ask to advertise in central community locations such as rec halls, schools, popular businesses and senior communities.

Some have even had success contacting the local media to get more publicity and raise awareness of the game.

Conversation

(Source: Annette Dubois)

Explore social media

Many local groups and even some statewide associations create Facebook groups to organize information and share pickleball news with their communities. Try searching for “pickleball + your state” to see if any groups pop up and ask to join so that you can spread the word about your club.

Just be careful to follow group guidelines and be respectful of other members!

If you’re the first of your kind in a relatively pickleball-free area, it can be a little tricky to convince people to give the game a shot. But once you get the ball rolling (or popping) you’re sure to find plenty of fans!

Meet The Pros – Lisa Punuali Naamu

Meet the Pros – Lisa Punuali Naamu

Lisa Naamu

Lisa Punuali Naamu

Lisa is a tennis pro turned pickleball pro who loves the competition that tennis converts bring to the game. Enjoy!

Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?

2017 USAPA National Championships-
Senior Open Women’s Doubles with  Gigi LeMaster – Gold
55+Open Mixed Doubles with Blake Wilcox – Gold
Senior Open Women’s Singles – Gold
Women’s Doubles Age 50+with Kim Jagd – Silver

What paddle do you play with and why?

Encore Pro

Encore Pro

The paddle I was using during these tourneys was the Engage Encore Pro. It has great control and power.   I recently just switched to the new Engage Poach Advantage paddle because it feels great when I hit the ball hard or soft.  It will be a great new test for me at the 2018 US Open.

What is your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?

My start in pickleball came after 47 years of playing tennis.  I decided to try something different and I heard about pickleball.  Around May 2016 I went over to Freedom Park in Palm Desert, California and borrowed paddles for 2 weeks before I made a commitment  to try the game.  I bought my first paddle there and never looked back.

What is your preference – playing indoors or outdoors?

I prefer playing outdoors vs. indoors because I live in Southern California. It’s so natural for me to play outdoors like I did with tennis.   When it gets to be 100 degrees plus here in the desert, I like to take it indoors where it is air conditioned.

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

I enjoy playing women’s doubles, mixed doubles, and singles.  Like tennis I really enjoy playing 3 events.  Doubles you depend a lot on your partner to help you.  In singles it’s all you.  I like the challenge.

What is your favorite place to play? Why?

My favorite place to play pickleball is Southern California.  Whether it be Palm Desert, Tustin, Temecula or San Diego.  The weather and good players make it all worth while.  I often travel to these other places because I love playing with my friends there and the caliber of play is very good.

What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

My tip for players whether you are a recreational player or a tournament player is to continue to try to study the game by watching, reading, video taping, taking lessons, drills and practice.  

What is your day job?

Currently, I teach pickleball seasonally at the Embassy Suites off Hwy 111 in Palm Desert, CA.  During the summer I will teach some outdoors but mostly indoors because of the heat. I also enjoy teaching at the local parks: Freedom Park in Palm Desert, Fritz Burns in La Quinta and Whitewater in Rancho Mirage.

How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?

I play about 5-6 days a week, especially when preparing for a pickleball tournament. I make time to play pickleball by carefully planning and preparing ahead.

Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?

I don’t believe in lucky rituals before a tournament.  I believe in planning, and preparing myself with drills, practice matches, good nutrition, sleep and massage! I also get some coaching from good counsel which can be sufficient preparation before a big tournament.  It’s a discipline that is worth the effort.

Do you have any pickleball goals you would like to share?

My pickleball goal for 2018 and beyond is to be the best player I can be.    I want to continue to help grow and spread this great sport by teaching, coaching and using my website to reach local and global areas.

Anything else you would like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?

Coming from a tennis background has definitely helped me excel quickly in this game.  I see a lot of new players coming in from the tennis world and other sports, so I expect the competition to be even better.  I have learned so much from playing with different players with different styles, behaviors, attitudes and backgrounds.  Winning or losing I always can take away something to improve my game.

Meet The Pros – Bill Muno

Meet The Pros – Bill Muno

Bill Muno, Scott Moore and Glen Peterson

2017 USAPA Nationals – Bill Muno/Bronze, Scott Moore/Gold, Glen Peterson/Silver

Bill entered his first Nationals in 2017, competing with the best for bronze. Bill is headed to the US Open this year along with his wife and son. Nothing’s going to stop this pickleball family! Enjoy!

Can you list for us your major wins, so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?

My first USAPA Nationals was 2017.  I placed 3rd in singles in the Senior Pro division. Also placed 3rd in the Age division.

What paddle do you play with and why?

I am sponsored by Paddletek. I play doubles with the Tempest Wave, and singles with the new Sabre paddle.

What is your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?

I teach tennis and my mom kept trying to get me to play Pickleball. Like many tennis players I said I would play Pickleball when I can’t play tennis anymore. My wife and I tried it and were hooked!

What is your preference – playing indoors or outdoors?

We enjoy playing outside in beautiful Colorado Springs with 300 days a year of sunshine!

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

I’ve always enjoyed playing singles more, because it’s all on my shoulders.

What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

I’ve played tennis my whole life with the idea of making my opponents beat me and not beating myself. I hate unforced errors!

Mixed 4.5 Winners Gold: Nanette Muno, Bill Muno Silver: Emilie Mesnier, Micky Knapton Bronze: Mollie Holmes, Scott Anderson

Mixed 4.5 Winners Gold: Nanette Muno, Bill Muno Silver: Emilie Mesnier, Micky Knapton Bronze: Mollie Holmes, Scott Anderson

What is your day job?

I’m still teach tennis but I’m trying to transition into teaching more pickleball.

How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?

We try to play each day the weather will let us. I play 10-15 hours week, but can’t keep up with my wife who plays 20 plus a week.

Do you have any pickleball goals you would like to share?

Looking  forward to competing in the US Open and watching my wife and son playing mixed doubles together!

Anything else you would like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?

Play your best and forget the rest!

Pickleball Cruises on the Rise

We’ve discussed taking pickleball on the high seas before, and it seems the game’s wave of popularity will only continue to rise.

In 2016 we first announced that pickleball was introduced to Norwegian Cruise Line’s “Pearl to the Caribbean” by ambassador Tom Widden.

Now, a USA Today article notes that there are currently 14 Holland America ships offering pickleball, with their newest addition, the Nieuw Statendam, to include the game on its launch in December as well.

Jack Thomas of the USAPA supports the idea and noted: ““I think the cruise industry has figured out that pickleball is a very inexpensive way to attract and entertain their passengers and will soon become a must-have onboard activity,” he says. “It is super easy to learn to play, great fun for all ages and creates camaraderie among fellow shipmates.”

Peachtree Royal Caribbean Cruise

Peachtree Royal Caribbean Cruise

Other cruise lines such as Regent Seven Seas, which debuted pickleball on its “Explorer” ship in June 2016, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean also offer the opportunity to keep your paddle arm in shape on several of their ships.

A blog post from Peachtree City pickleball members mentions that they took their own portable net systems, equipment and balls aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise, so we recommend checking with cruise lines to see if it might be possible to reserve pre-existing courts for pickleball use if they don’t already offer the game.

There are also more specialized opportunities to play pickleball on the ocean, such as through Engage’s upcoming “Clinic Cruise to the Caribbean” happening in September this year. Travelers will be swept away to the US Virgin Islands, Antigue and the Bahamas while being instructed by Robert and Jodi Elliott.

Engage Pickleball Cruise

Engage Pickleball Cruise

Playing pickleball while surrounded by gorgeous blue seas and tropical locales sounds like a good plan to us!

With low startup costs and the ease with which anyone can start playing pickleball, we’re eager to find more seafarers with paddles in their hands.

Would you be excited to travel in style while playing your favorite game?

Meet the Pros – Nancy Nowak

Meet The Pros – Nancy Nowak

Nancy Nowak

Nancy Nowak

Nancy has had the privilege of playing with one of the best instructors in the country, Deb Harrison. Together they are a force to be reckoned with. Enjoy!

Deb Harrison and Nancy Nowak - Huntsman World Senior Games

Deb Harrison and Nancy Nowak – Huntsman World Senior Games

Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?

2013 World Huntsman Senior Games: Gold Mixed Doubles (60-64) with partner Dick Scott
          Silver Women’s Doubles (60-64) with partner Deb Harrison
2009 USAPA Nationals: Silver Women’s Doubles with partner Judie Kelly

What paddle do you play with and why?

My paddle of choice for the past 2 years has been the Paddletek Bantam EX-L. This paddle provides nice pop but also allows control. I’m currently trying some of the elongated paddles as they have become the new craze.

What’s your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?

I retired and bought a home in The Villages, Florida in 2004. A golf friend introduced me to the game. Being a former racquetball and badminton player, the game came naturally to me. Since then I have been addicted.

What’s your preference – playing indoor or outdoor?

I prefer outdoors. We have 180+ courts in The Villages with open play every day. Lighting seems to be an issue indoors for me.

Nancy Nowak and Dick Scott

Nancy Nowak and Dick Scott

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

I prefer doubles both women’s and mixed. Like teamwork concept of doubles. Deb Harrison and I often partner for tournaments, and when you play with same person you know and sense each other’s next move.

What is your favorite place to play? Why?

Lake Miona Recreation Center is my favorite place to play as the competition is great there. These courts attract mainly 4.5 and 5.0 players.

What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

I am known by my pickleball friends as Nasty Nancy due to 3 shots I use to pull my opponent’s out of position. These shots are a cut drop, bump lob off dink and inside out cut to sideline. These shots can be seen on Picklepong Deb’s U-Tube video.

My tip for players is to form practice groups where you work on different aspects of the game and then try to implement them as you play.

What is your day job?

Retired and enjoying life.

How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?

I usually play 6-7 days per week for 2-3 hrs. Sometimes twice a day if I have the opportunity. Also, for the past 10 years I attend a Weekly Advance Women’s PB Clinic led by Deb Harrison.

Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?

No, not really.

Do you have any pickleball goals you’d like to share?

I have friends in their 70’s & 80’s who are still enjoying this game so my goal is stay healthy and keep my skills sharp so I can continue to play for several more years.

Nancy Nowak and Steve Butler

Nancy Nowak and Steve Butler – playing in the 2018 US Open.

Tres Palapas Pickleball Resort to Host First Mexican Championship in April

Paul Bland and his wife Sally Meecham manage Tres Palapas Pickleball Resort in Los Barriles, a well-integrated community located in Mexico’s Baja peninsula. This popular vacation spot and snowbird destination features gorgeous scenery and a wonderful pickleball program.

Tres Palapas is excited to announce the first Mexican National Pickleball Championship running from April 28 – 29. It will be preceded by a 4-day clinic with pro player Matthew Blom on April 20 – 24.

Tres Palapas Mexican National Tournament

Matthew is a USAPA Nationals gold medalist and is sometimes referred to as pickleball’s “Zen Master.” His clinic takes a holistic approach that will help players improve their mental game and identify improper habits while also covering the more technical aspects of form, ball control and body mechanics.

Tres Palapas is a pickleball paradise to locals, and the resort has great appeal for part-time residents and visitors looking to play the game while surrounded by beachfront beauty. Over 30 locals play at the club every week, and many others enjoy participating in the club’s drop-in play, tournaments, casual round robin play, workshops and other events.

Tres Palapas

The large core group is primarily made up of 3.5 to 4.5 level players. Tres Palapas’ lesson program features three primary instructors: Tony Krause, Jon Smalley and Emmanual Pickleball. In addition to their own clinics, they also provide lessons from pros such as Matthew’s upcoming clinic. Scott Moore and Tyson McGuffin have also recently stopped by the resort to share their talent.

If you’d like to enjoy some sun and fun, there are three hotels near Tres Palapas you can stay at along with a property management company which can help you find accomodations. Visit the Tres Palapas site for more information.

Pickleball Getaways also organizes pickleball-focused trips where people play at Tres Palapas and stay at lodging arranged by their team.

Pickleball in Mexico

Los Barriles is a great location for hiking, fishing, mountain biking and kiting, so don’t just stick around for the clinic and tournament if you head out to this gorgeous hideaway! Give Tres Palapas a look to improve your game and outlook today.

Meet The Pros – Carol Lindow

Meet The Pros – Carol Lindow

Carol Lindow

Carol Lindow

Carol is an ambassador for both pickleball and tennis. She does not believe a player has to give up one for the other! Enjoy!

Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?

2017 USAPA NATIONALS -Gold, Women’s Doubles 5.0/Age with Jackie Faegre
       -Bronze, Mixed Doubles 5.0/Age with Randy Bourne
2017 US OPEN-Gold, Women’s Doubles Age with Jackie Faegre
      -Gold, Senior 5.0 Women’s Doubles with Jackie Faegre
2016 NATIONALS-Gold, Women’s Doubles Age with Jackie Faegre
2015 NATIONALS- Gold, Women’s Doubles Age with Jackie Faegre
2015 NATIONAL SENIOR GAMES- Gold, Women’s Doubles Age with Jackie Faegre
-Silver Mixed Doubles Age with Skip Houghton

2014 HUNTSMAN WORLD SENIOR GAMES- Gold, Women’s Doubles Age
-Bronze Mixed Doubles age

What paddle do you play with and why?

Manta Extreme Point 5 and Manta Cobra Lite. These paddles give me great control and power when needed. Also, I seem to get a more consistent 3rd shot and great touch. I am a Manta Sports Sales Representative and member of the Manta Pro Team. I love being sponsored by Manta. They are a good up-and-coming company.

What is your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?

I have always loved racket sports and started playing pickleball 5 years ago when I retired and was looking for something new to do with my time. As a former Physical Education teacher, I taught pickleball, but did not realize it had become so popular until I retired and started playing and competing in it. I love the quickness, strategy and variety of shots involved in the game. Plus, the people that play it have so much fun that it is hard to stop playing.

“ One more game,  OK…”

Duel in the Desert 5.0 65+ - Jim & Yvonne Hackenberg, Gold; Carol Lindow & Randy Bourne, Silver; Marsha Freso & Murph Murphy, .Bronze

Duel in the Desert 5.0 65+ – Jim & Yvonne Hackenberg, Gold; Carol Lindow & Randy Bourne, Silver; Marsha Freso & Murph Murphy, .Bronze:

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

I only play doubles mostly for this reason: I have had bilateral knee replacements and I want them to last for a long time. The lateral movement of  singles would be much to demanding on my replacement knees.

What is your preference – playing indoors or outdoors?

My favorite place to play outdoors is at the Palm Creek Resort in Casa Grande, Arizona, where I spend my winters. There are 32 individually-fenced, premier courts here. This is a place I refer to as “pickleball heaven” for active adults. In the summer I play in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where there also are numerous, designated-outdoor pickleball courts with a very active pickleball community.

carol Lindow angle shot

Great Angled Smash Shot!

What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

I feel having a wide variety of shots is the key. I don’t want to be predictable and I like trying to take away my opponent’s type of game style with various shots that can throw them off. I feel being consistent, keeping the ball in play and not making mistakes is the key to success. I like to play percentage pickleball and not give away “free points”. I try to keep a calm disposition and not get upset when my opponents gain momentum in the game. When I get behind, I tend to concentrate better and always believe we can win the game or match no matter what the score might be. So much of this game is mental. I also enjoy “setting up” the point for the offensive lob or angled smash shot which I would say are my favorite shots. 

What is your day job?

I am a retired PE Teacher.  

How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?

“One more game” is my motto, which means I play every day, endlessly! 

Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?

Not really. I just try to focus. I don’t get nervous because it is so much fun. A ritual would probably make me nervous. 

Do you have any pickleball goals you would like to share?

I have met most of my goals to win gold in all the major tournaments. Of course my goal now is to stay healthy and encourage tennis players to play both sports because one game helps the other. I don’t believe you have to give up one for the other. One of the big resistances among tennis players is that they might want to quit tennis because they fall in love with pickleball, but there are so many folks that do both. Many folks who play tennis at Palm Creek, where I live in the winter, have warmed up to the game. So I also “ambassador” for the game of tennis for the pickleball players, because they can do both. I might consider going abroad to play pickleball as long as they have Age categories. Madrid may be a possibility. 

Anything else you would like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?

I am fortunate to have good partners. A good partner is a fine player you can have fun with, like Randy Bourne, who shares the court with you and who encourages their partner. 

Carol Lindow and Randy Bourne

Carol Lindow and Randy Bourne