Joyce Jones is a National Treasure in Pickleball circles. She knew Senator Joel Pritchard personally!! Enjoy her story!
Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?
I haven’t kept track of my wins, so I have no idea how many I have accumulated, but I have WON my share of Singles, Doubles & Mixed Doubles competitions at the 3 most prestigious tournaments held: USAPA Nationals, the Huntsman World Senior Games, and in all 3 categories in the National Senior Games since they started offering pickleball.
2015 USAPA Nationals, Women’s Singles 75+: 85+ – GOLD
2015 Women’s Doubles with Marty Trifonoff 75+:80+ – GOLD
2015 USAPA Nationals, Mixed Doubles with Gil Middleton, 80+ – Silver
What paddle do you play with and why?
I play with the Stryker, which I bought from Fran Myer, because she recommended it, and I trust her judgement.
What’s your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?
Pickleball was my 3rd sport. I played badminton all my life, then started tennis when I was 46, then pickleball came next. My husband, Don, grew up playing badminton with Joel Pritchard (who incidentally, was one of the very few honest politicians around), so we picked up pickleball pretty easily. Don was playing in the semi-finals against Joel in Magnolia (Seattle district) where Joel lived at one time, so all of his Magnolia supporters came out to cheer for him, which they did loudly. So finally, when Don made a really good winner, & it was silent, he turned to the crowd and asked them if that shot wasn’t worth a cheer. They agreed, and from then on they cheered for both player’s good shots. Don ended up winning that hot match, and then went on to win the finals easily.
What’s your preference – playing indoors or outdoors?
I definitely prefer indoors (after all, I live in Seattle). It makes it difficult, as most of the tournaments are held outdoors.
Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?
I like singles, but at the age of 85, I prefer doubles. Besides, there are so many players at the facilities, that courts are not available to practice singles.
What’s your favorite place to play? Why?
I play at several different facilities, one because my best friends play there, one that has many beginners & intermediates who I like to help to improve their games, and two where there is the best competition.
What’s your “secret sauce”? Any tips for players?
The most important advice I can give is to have fun playing. I’m a competitor, and love competing and seeing all my friends at tournaments, but if you don’t enjoy playing, what’s the use? Life is short (and getting shorter all the time!)
What’s your day job?
Job? What’s that? Too much playing to have time for a job!
How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?
I play 3 to 4 times a week, plus working in a tennis match once in a while. I’m limiting my badminton playing, as it’s getting too difficult for this old body to hang in there. My competitive juices force me to try for every shot, even if there’s no chance that I can possibly get to it, and then I’m sorry later when my body complains!
Anything else you’d like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?
Pickleball is a GREAT sport, and I have many tennis friends who have turned to pickleball because of bad knees, and badminton friends who have done the same because of aching shoulders. It’s such a great sport for everyone, young and old!