Meet The Pros – Jose (Joey) Farias
Jose Farias loves to play and teach tennis and pickleball. You have to admire a tennis instructor who falls in love with this game. Enjoy!
Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?
2016 US Open Men’s Doubles 5.0 – Gold with DJ Howard
2016 US Open 19+ Mixed Doubles – Bronze with Catherine Parenteau
2017 Southwest Regionals Men’s Doubles 5.0 – Gold with Sean Rickard
2017 Southwest Regionals Mixed Doubles 5.0 – Silver with Miok Lee
2017 US Open Men’s Doubles Pro – Bronze with Ben Johns
2017 US Open 30+ Men’s Doubles – Gold with Rafael Siebenschein
2017 US Open 30+ Mixed Doubles – Silver with Lee-Anna Camper
2017 Northwest PPF Bend Men’s Doubles – Gold with Ben Johns
2017 So-Cal Mens Open Singles – Bronze
2018 Southwest Regionals Mens Doubles 5.0 – Gold with Sean Rickard
2018 Southwest Regionals Mixed Doubles 5.0 – Bronze with Miok Lee
2018 US Open 30+ Men’s Doubles – Bronze with Chris Miller
2018 US Open 19+ Mixed Doubles – Silver with Catherine Parenteau
What paddle do you play with and why?
I play with the Gearbox GX5. I really enjoy the new paddle; I was able to put a lot of my input on how the paddle should feel and play, making it tailored to my preferences. It has plenty of pop and is soft enough for me to really control my shots around the kitchen.
What is your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?
I was a full-time tennis coach when I was introduced to pickleball in Lansing, Michigan, while working at a club that had 4 pickleball courts. I was introduced to the sport by Dan O’Toole and DJ Howard. I had a great group of “new players” who were learning at around the same time and they were Corrine Carr Siebenschein, Simone Jardim and DJ Howard.
What is your preference – playing indoors or outdoors?
I enjoy playing outdoors more because that is what I am most familiar with and I sometimes have trouble seeing indoors.
Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?
I prefer doubles because of the strategy behind it and how different it is from tennis. Pickleball strategy is one of the reasons I fell in love with the game. My tennis background definitely helps with singles but it is a little too close to tennis to pick it as my favorite.
What is your favorite place to play? Why?
I would pick East Naples Community Park and the US Open to be my favorite place to play. I enjoy the atmosphere of the tournament and the courts there are world class.
What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?
I would say my secret sauce would be my deceptive shots, my one-handed backhand drive/roll and consistent dinks, especially from the right side of the court. If I could give one tip to players it would be to get as low and balanced as you are physically capable of and take more dinks in the air.
What is your day job?
I was a full-time tennis pro but about a year and a half ago I became the Director of Pickleball at a Tucson Country Club in Tucson, Arizona and am now full time pickleball. I am an IPTPA-certified Pickleball Instructor and I travel all around doing clinics. Its a rough life, haha!
How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?
I practice about 4 hours a week, but I do teach close to 30 hours each week so I get plenty of dinking practice you could say. Since I do pickleball full time now I have plenty of time to practice, but in Tucson it’s the lack of practice partners that I have to deal with. I have another 5.0 in town named Sean Rickard who I try to drill with when his schedule allows.
Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?
I don’t know if I would call it lucky, but something I tend to do before playing in a tournament is drink chocolate milk the morning of the event and possibly have a cookie.
Do you have any pickleball goals you would like to share?
My pickleball goals would be to help grow the sport in any way I can and to be a positive role-model on and off the court to up-and-coming juniors. I would also like to medal in a pro event in all three majors by the time I am done playing.
Anything else you would like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?
My experience being one of the top pickleball players has been amazing because I get to meet players from all over the world and travel. I now get to do what I love for a living, and it is such a blessing.