Meet the Pros: Catherine Parenteau

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Catherine Parenteau with Simone Jardim at East Naples Community Center.

Catherine Parenteau is new to the pickleball scene.  She is a force to be reckoned with, and she already has a nation-wide group of  “Secret Admirers”.  Enjoy!

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

Major wins are with Christine Barksdale at the 2016 Us Open (Women’s Doubles Pro) against:
– Gigi LeMaster/Tonja Major (11-7,11-6)
– Stephanie Lane/Jodi Elliot (15-5)
Major wins with Brian Ashworth at the 2016 Us Open (Mixed Doubles 5.0 Skill Event) against:
– Jennifer Murphy/Rob Cassidy (5-11, 11-1, 11-3)
– Lynn Syler/Jack Oxler (4-11, 11-3, 11-6)

What paddle do you play with and why?

I am currently playing with the Titan Pro Black Diamond Paddle. I’ve seen a lot of pro pickleball players who have been playing with the Titan so I just recently switched from Paddletek paddles to Pro-Lite paddles. Neil Freidenberg was able to help me in choosing the Titan, which is the perfect Pro-Lite paddle for me. I love the feeling and sound of the Titan paddle when I hit the ball. Pro-Lite is a really good company and I would suggest to anyone who plays pickleball to play with a Pro-Lite paddle. 

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

Simone Jardim, who is currently the number one player in the country, first introduced me to pickleball. She was my tennis coach at Michigan State University and she really insisted that I try pickleball.  In mid-September 2015, she invited me to play in a Wednesday pickleball league with a lot of good pickleball players at the Michigan Athletic Club (MAC). Following my first pickleball session, I decided that becoming a member of the Michigan Athletic Club would be a great idea in order to play some more pickleball and become a better player. By being a member of the MAC, I got to meet a lot of hitting partners that I am now playing with on a weekly or even sometimes daily basis. 

 What’s your preference – playing indoor or outdoor?

I prefer playing outdoor more than indoor, even though I spend the majority of my time throughout the year playing indoor. I prefer outdoor because the ball is a little bit heavier than the one used indoor, and it makes a big difference for me because I get to control the ball much better.  

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

I prefer playing doubles better than singles because in doubles, you get to dink way more than in singles. I really like being able to dink and even more the feeling of “out-dinking” the players on the other side of the net. I really like having a partner that can set me up so I can “kill” the ball whenever the ball gets higher at the net. I also prefer doubles because your partner can talk to you if he (Brian Ashworth?) sees something is wrong with your game. It is also a lot of fun to be able to compete and talk in between the points with your partner. 

What’s your favorite place to play? Why?

My favorite place to play is on the forehand side (even side) so I can dink with my forehand. I like to hit the ball really hard whenever it is high in the middle. I have a really good two-handed backhand in the middle that I love to use in doubles.

What’s your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

The main thing in pickleball is to be patient. Be patient, while being extremely aggressive with your legs. You need to get low and be able to dink for hours to wait for the ball that is high and put it away. 

What’s your day job?

For the summer, I am currently employed at a tennis camp. Starting in August 2016, I am going to work in a preschool in Michigan for one year before going to grad school. 

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

I play around 6-8 hours a week. I make time to play at night after work. 

Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?

Before any big tournaments, I like blasting music int car on my way to the tournament.  I also like to blast music in my earphones right before my pickleball warm up. 

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

I would like to finish in the top 3 at the Nationals in Arizona in November with my women’s double partner and I also would love to finish top 3 in Open Singles. 

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