Meet pickleball pro Matthew Blom. Matthew carved some time out of his day to speak to me about the role that pickleball has played in his life, and where he hopes it will go in the future.
PBC: Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers? (we updated Matthew’s list with his wins from the 2014 Nationals)
- 2014 Nationals Men’s 35+ Silver with partner Mills Miller
- 2014 Nationals Mixed Doubles Bronze with partner Alex Hamner
- 2014 Nationals Open Mixed Doubles Silver with partner Alex Hamner
- Tournament of Champions 2014- Gold Men’s Doubles/ Bronze Mixed Doubles/ Bronze Men’s Singles
- Nationals 2012 Silver Mixed Doubles/ Silver Aged Singles
- Oceanside Gold Mixed Doubles in Age/ Bronze Men’s Doubles
PBC: What paddle do you play with and why?
MB: I play with the Performance One paddle. They’re made by a guy in San Diego named Brian Jensen. It’s unique, and long.
PBC: What’s your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?
MB: When I was in college, my tennis coach wanted to find something to help us improve our game. Our coach was from Seattle, and was one of the original players of the game. I then went 13 years without ever seeing or thinking about it until my friends Prem and Wendy reintroduced me to it 3 years ago. I had so much fun that I stopped playing tennis, table tennis, and badminton and now only play pickleball.
PBC: What’s your preference — playing indoor or outdoor?
MB: I basically only play outdoors. It’s part of what I like about the sport- to be outside, in the elements, and in the sunshine.
PBC: Do you like singles or double better? Why?
MB: I’d say doubles. Singles can be a little repetitive, and not as social and fun. In doubles, the points are longer and more exciting and require the soft game as well as the blasting hard game that exists more in singles. Doubles to me is more creative and requires more shots in your repertoire to play well.
PBC: What’s your favorite place to play? Why?
MB: Over in Roseville, there’s this facility called Johnson Ranch Racquet Club. It’s where the best players in Northern California converge to give each other trouble.
PBC: What’s your secret sauce? Any tips for players?
MB: Reduce your anxiety on court so you can slow the ball down, see more angles, see more shots, and be more consistent, more powerful and more accurate.
PBC: What’s your day job?
MB: : I do work called mind re-patterning. Helping people who are stuck in self-destructive behavior change new supportive tracks that help them with anxiety, money, relationships, and a freer lighter state of being.
PBC: How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?
MB: I play 3 times per month. I have to travel 1.5 hours to get to a place where I can play against great competition. Being entrepreneur means I set my own hours. But the travel time and everyone’s combined schedules makes it challenging to play more.
PBC: Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?
MB: I sometimes listen to music and make sure my shots are all warmed up, but I wouldn’t say I have any ‘rituals’.
PBC: Do you have any pickleball goals you’d like to share?
MB: I’d like to win Gold at Nationals in Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles.
Good luck chasing that dream, Matthew!
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