Meet The Pros – Ben Johns
There is no doubt that Ben Johns is a fierce competitor.
Ben can be an intimidating contender who brings his tennis “tenacity” to his pickleball game. Watch out for him at Nationals this year. Enjoy!
Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?
2017 US Open Pro Men’s Singles – Gold
2017 US Open Pro Men’s Doubles – Bronze
2017 US Open Men’s Doubles 19+ – Silver
2017 US Open Mixed Doubles 19+ – Bronze
2017 SoCal Summer Classic Men’s Doubles 19+ – Gold
2017 SoCal Summer Classic Men’s Doubles Pro – Silver
2017 SoCal Summer Classic Mixed Doubles Pro – Bronze
2017 SoCal Summer Classic Men’s Singles Pro – Gold
2017 Canadian Nationals Mixed Doubles Pro – Gold
2017 Canadian Nationals Men’s Doubles Pro – Gold
2017 Canadian Nationals Men’s Singles Pro – Gold
2017 PPF Zone Bend Men’s Doubles Pro – Gold
2017 PPF Zone Bend Mixed Doubles Pro – Silver
2017 PPF Zone Bend Men’s Singles Pro – Silver
What paddle do you play with and why?
I play with the Elite Pro from Engage Pickleball because it provides the maximum amount of spin and power. I also love how I can really feel the ball on the paddle.
What’s your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?
I first played pickleball in Estero, Florida in February 2016. The Bella Terra Community built pickleball courts right next to the tennis courts where I played tennis with my brother. I saw pickleball played while I was hitting and thought it looked like fun, so I gave it a try and loved it!
What’s your preference – playing indoors or outdoors?
I like outdoors way better. It’s much more dynamic and difficult to play than indoors. Indoors uses a very soft ball that is too easy to control.
Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?
I love playing both doubles and singles because of the change in strategy and shots, but I do enjoy doubles more. There’s more variability in the game and the points last longer.
What’s your favorite place to play? Why?
My favorite place to play are the first courts I ever played on, the Bella Terra Community courts. I like them because they’re the most familiar to me.
What’s your secret sauce? Any tips for players?
I don’t really have a secret sauce, but for players that want to improve, my biggest tip is practice smart. Always practice your fundamentals like dinking and 3rd shot drops. Even if you’re not successful with them for a while, you’re going to improve faster than everyone that doesn’t practice them. If you’re playing with lower level players, experiment, try new shots, and don’t worry about winning.
What’s your day job?
I don’t have a regular job, but I do teach pickleball quite a bit.
How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?
How much I play a week very much depends on where I’m at. While I’m in Florida I might play 10 hours a week. While I’m in Maryland it’s probably between 0-3. I make time to play just by getting everything else I have to get done on schedule.
Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?
I wouldn’t say I have any “lucky” rituals. For me it’s all about preparation. Lots of practice leading up to the tournament helps along with eating well, getting a lot of sleep, etc.
Do you have any pickleball goals you’d like to share?
My main goal is winning gold in Men’s Doubles Pro at one of the big three tournaments: U.S. Open, Tournament of Champions and USAPA Nationals.
Aspen Kern posted on Facebook, “I was asked this week who I least liked going up against, and I answered ‘Ben Johns.'” You will definitely be a witness to some fierce pickleball if you get to see Ben compete. Thanks, Ben!