Meet The Pros – Nick Williams
Pickleball Pro Glen Peterson says: “I believe Nick is the best player in Washington state right now. It is safe to say Nick is one of the top 20 players in the nation in men’s open doubles.” He sounds like one serious contender. Enjoy!
Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?
Gold at Yakima Classic, Quarters at US Open, Semis at SoCal Classic, matching wins against McGuffin/Goebel, Evans/Campbell, Johns/Siebenschein, Farias/Dawson. I also have multiple losses to many of these players so I certainly haven’t gotten the better of any of them.
What paddle do you play with and why?
I have been using the Selkirk PRIME S2 for most of my time playing pickleball. The paddle allows me to feel the ball on the paddle face as well as create spin.
What is your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?
I have a tennis background and played for the University of Washington in the mid 1990’s. My brother convinced me to try pickleball during the summer of 2016. I’ve been playing regularly since.
What is your preference: playing indoors or outdoors?
I much prefer outdoors on a sunny day. When the conditions are more difficult with wind, sun or shadows the game is more interesting. It’s harder to line up balls perfectly and play pure power. A ball out of round will drive me crazy though.
Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?
I preferred singles in the beginning as the transition from tennis was easier. I now prefer doubles after learning some of the nuances. There are similarities between pickleball and tennis with singles but doubles is a completely different game, which I like.
What is your favorite place to play? Why?
The first time I actually played games was on a court tucked away in a small park in Bellevue, WA. It’s probably the best outdoor court in the area and is still my favorite place to play.
What is your secret sauce?
I try and stay mentally in the moment. Games are quick and momentum changes often. It can be costly to let negativity carry over from point to point.
Any tips for players?
After watching various levels play, I commonly see issues with court positioning/coverage. Teams shouldn’t get beat down the line or through the middle. Hitting hard with a cross court angle shot is very difficult in pickleball and teams should make opponents try and beat them with the most difficult shot.
What is your day job?
I work for Boeing as a Financial Analyst.
How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?
I usually play twice a week for a total of about 5 or 6 hours a week.
Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?
I am not superstitious, but I do try and break a sweat with a good warm up before the first match.
Do you have any pickleball goals you would like to share?
I would like to experience playing against the top players at as many of the major tournaments as possible. I have a wife and 6-year-old twins, so finding the right balance will be the challenge.