Meet The Pros: Ty Petty
Ty Petty loves this game and he is ready, willing and able to share his love of pickleball with anyone who steps on the court. Enjoy!
Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?
2018 Minto US Open, Mixed Doubles Over 40 with Lucy Kitcher – Gold
2018 Logan Stanley Memorial Classic, Nashville, TN, 5.0 Men’s Doubles with Jeff Carlson – Gold
2018 Logan Stanley Memorial Classic,Nashville, TN, 5.0 Mixed Doubles with Mary Helen Atkins – Gold
2018 North Carolina March Madness, Concord, NC, 5.0 Men’s Doubles with Jesse Simon – Gold
2017 Piggleball Tournament, Lexington, NC, Mens Open Doubles with Jeff Carlson – Gold
2017 USAPA Atlantic South Regional, Griffin, GA, 5.0 Men’s Doubles with Brad Tursky – Bronze
2017 Battle on Beech, Beech Mountain, NC, 5.0 Mixed Doubles with Stephanie Lane – Gold
2017 USAPA Great Lakes Regional, Kalamazoo, MI, Mixed Doubles 5.0, 35-49 with Kat Smalley – Bronze
What paddle do you play with and why?
I just switched from the Engage Blade to the new Engage Poach Extreme. I have played competitive table tennis my whole life so I am used to having a paddle that is only 6 inches wide and I love the long skinny paddles for their aerodynamic feel. The Poach Extreme still has a lot of power when I need it, but I really needed the excellent control it offers for third shot drops, volleys and dinks. It gives me a chance to compete at the highest level. I have been sponsored by Engage for over a year and am very thankful for their support.
What is your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?
My wife Cindy actually discovered pickleball for our family, and we immediately became addicted. It combined the best elements of table tennis and badminton, which we’ve played for years in the backyard. This has been a great enhancement to our marriage and I am proud to say that my wife is my favorite pickleball partner, although we stick to recreational games. Unlike playing competitive table tennis, you can play pickleball with anyone and have a fun and competitive game, while getting good exercise.
What is your preference, playing indoors or outdoors?
My first introduction to outdoor play was a tournament in Las Vegas on the roof of a hotel and casino, with over 30 mile per hour winds. It was so windy the nets were blowing over and across the court until they hit a fence, even though they were weighted down at the base. Since then, I have slowly come to embrace playing outdoors and definitely prefer it over indoors. Although all of the organized play in our area is indoors, I try to get outside to play every chance I get.
Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?
I preferred singles when I first started because it was easier to figure out strategies using skills from other racket sports, but I prefer doubles now since I have come to understand and embrace smart pickleball strategies.
What is your favorite place to play? Why?
My favorite tournament is the Logan Stanley Memorial Pickleball Tournament in Nashville, TN. They play great music in the gym, provide an amazing assortment of snacks, and the tournament is run by one of the best referees in pickleball, Don Stanley. Two of the most beautiful places I have played are Beech Mountain, Nort Carolina and Hiawassee, Georgia.
What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?
If you want to improve, it is more important to be able to slow the ball down than to speed the ball up. I wish I had learned that a lot sooner so I hope it helps someone else as they climb up the pickleball ladder.
What is your day job?
I am an Agriculture and 4-H Extension Agent for the University of Tennessee Cooperative Extension Service.
How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?
I usually play 2-4 hours per week, but it’s tough because most of the organized play in our area is in the mornings. We finally have some outdoor pickleball courts with permanent lines on four tennis courts, so we have been able to play in the evening more often. Pickleball is my main source of exercise and the practice helps me stay sharp for tournaments, so I make it a priority to find a day or two to play most weeks.
Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?
My most important ritual before any tournament is to make sure all of my tie-dye headbands are clean and ready to go.
Do you have any pickleball goals you would like to share?
My goal is to win another Mixed Doubles Gold medal and also win a medal in Men’s Doubles next year at the US Open. I am also looking forward to teaching several clinics this fall around East Tennessee.
Anything else you would like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?
I have been blessed to have an opportunity to play this sport with some of the world’s best players and will continue to share my love for the sport with anyone who steps on the court.