Meet The Pros Jennifer Dawson
Here is a pickleball success story that comes from pickleball being added to a tennis club. Enjoy Jennifer’s story!
Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?
2016 USAPA Nationals 35 Doubles Gold
2016 Andalucia Women’s 5.0 Champion
2016 California State Games 5.0 Champion
2015 USAPA Nationals Women’s 19 Under Silver
What paddle do you play with and why?
I am currently playing with the Engage Encore Pro because it has the perfect balance between power and feel, with the added benefit of being able to grip harder pickleballs.
What’s your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?
Here’s my pickleball story: Pickleball came to the tennis club my husband and I own. We both watched for a year or so and kept to ourselves while we played and coached tennis. It looked like so much fun that we both jumped right in and got started. Here I am now, 2 years later, traveling all over the place playing both tennis and pickleball.
What’s your preference – playing indoor or outdoor?
Coming from Southern California and with pickleball courts at our club, I’ve never played indoors. Being more of a power player than a defensive player, I’ve been told that outdoors is best for my style of play.
Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?
I prefer singles in tennis and doubles in pickleball, but I’m looking to get started at singles in pickleball next year. I just like the teamwork and fun that a pickleball doubles game produces. Pickleball is so much fun, doubles makes it double-the-fun, and winning in pickleball is great. But losing, honestly, isn’t that bad. I mean it’s only pickleball!
What’s your favorite place to play? Why?
My favorite place to play is our club, Bobby Riggs Tennis Club in Encinitas, California. That’s where all our friends are and where I call home.
What’s your secret sauce? Any tips for players?
My secret sauce and tips for all players is this: Make your opponent play your style. It you have fast hands and power, speed the point up. If you like the soft game, slow it down and make your opponent do what you do best.
What’s your day job? How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?
My full-time job is teaching tennis and managing our tennis/pickleball club. This allows me the freedom of playing 7 days a week if I want. I also compete in tennis and am playing for team USA in South Africa in 2017, so I will probably put the paddle down for a while and work on my tennis, then pick the paddle back up again to get ready for the US OPEN in Naples, Florida.
Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?
No lucky rituals for me. Maybe a good steak dinner the night before.
Do you have any pickleball goals you’d like to share?
As far as my pickleball goals, I believe the best way to get good at anything is to enjoy the process. Getting good is what happens to people who love what they are doing, so I guess I just want to keep having fun!
Anything else you’d like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?