Our second featured pickleball player proves that pickleball is a sport for all ages. Jessica LeMire is a college student who is finding success with the sport before she even finishes school!
PBC: Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?
JL: 2013 USAPA Nationals- Gold in Women’s 19+ & Bronze in the Open Division
2014 SoCal Summer Classic- Gold in Women’s 19+ & Silver in the Open Division
PBC: What paddle do you play with and why?
JL: I play with the Legacy Paddle because of its pop and turbo power.
PBC: What’s your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?
JL: My dad and I player racquetball together at the Meijer State Games of Michigan in 2011. During the opening ceremonies for the event, all the participating sports processed into the stadium in alphabetical order. Naturally, pickleball and racquetball participants walked next to each other. Of course, my dad and I were curious as to what pickleball was. When we spoke to the super nice picklers, they told us about it and invited us to their courts to check it out. We took them up on their offer, and we were hooked!
PBC: What’s your preference – playing indoor or outdoor?
JL: I prefer playing outdoors. In Michigan, we don’t have the luxury of playing outside all year round so I enjoy playing under the sun when I can.
PBC: Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?
JL: I prefer playing doubles because I love the partner aspect of the sport. Doubles is the art of two people working as one- I think that’s pretty awesome.
PBC: What’s your favorite place to play? Why?
JL: If I’m having a blast with the folks I’m playing with, I could be playing on the worst court in the country and it would be my favorite place to play. For me, it’s about who I’m playing with rather than where I’m playing.
PBC: What’s your “secret sauce”? Any tips for players?
JL: I think the “secret sauce” in pickleball is partner chemistry. The teamwork and synching that occurs- competing together, moving together, strategizing together, and supporting one another- is such a special part of the game. Not only is it essential to be on the same page, but it’s also crucial to find someone with whom you are comfortable and can have a great time.
PBC: What’s your day job?
JL: I’m currently a graduate student at Central Michigan University studying communication.
PBC: How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?
JL: During the summer, I play an average of seven to nine hours or so a week, but when I’m at school, I strive to play every other weekend. I make time for pickleball because of the physical and mental benefits- it’s my favorite way to exercise, connect with friends, and relieve stress.
PBC: Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?
JL: No lucky rituals for me, but I do say a prayer before I play.
PBC: Do you have any pickleball goals you’d like to share?
JL: It’s inspirational to watch athletes in their seventies and eighties play pickleball. My goal is to be like those rock stars and be able to compete when I’m their age.