Meet The Pros – Sarah Yates-Parker
Awesome! This is Kyle Yates SISTER! Enuf said. Enjoy!
Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?
2019 US Open 19+ Women’s doubles Silver with Katie McKee
2017 US Open 19+ Mixed Doubles Gold with Kyle Yates
2017 US Open 19+ Women’s doubles Silver with Rachel Elliot
2017 Atlanta Open 5.0 Women’s Doubles Silver with Lucy Kitcher
2017 Nationals 19+ Women’s Doubles Silver with Jessica Stout
What paddle do you play with and why?
I currently play with the New Tempest Pro by Paddletek. Absolutely love the company and their products.
What is your pickleball story? Who introduced you to pickleball?
I started playing some pickleball when I came home (Fort Myers) on various breaks from college in North Carolina (Pfeiffer University). My brother Kyle, mom Julie, step-dad Larry, and Uncle Mike introduced me to pickleball. I seriously started to play when I graduated college in 2014 and permanently moved to Winston Salem, NC. From there I met our great pickleball group in NC and my husband Daniel and I have worked hard to compete at higher levels.
What is your preference: playing indoors or outdoors?
I totally prefer outdoors more than playing indoors. Anyone that knows me will tell you that! Haha. I blame it on the fact I learned outdoors in Fort Myers, Florida and that is what I am most comfortable with.
Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?
I have had a handful of knee injuries and surgeries so I do not play any singles (besides skinny singles against my husband, Daniel Parker). My favorite is women’s doubles.
My favorite place to play is at East Naples Community Park for the annual US Open. The crowd and atmosphere at this facility is unlike any other.
What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?
My secret sauce? I guess I don’t really have a secret sauce besides finding openings down the middle and between teammates to place the ball. HUGE tip for players is practice practice practice. Get a ball machine, or a really good friend to go out with you and practice all kinds of shots. Third shot drops are so important and being able to get up to the kitchen line to put pressure on your opponents.
What is your day job?
I actively work as a Registered Nurse in the Operating Room at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem, NC. I work 3 12 hour day shifts through the week which lets me play some on my off days. I am also currently enrolled in my Masters Program for Nurse Practitioner so that takes up a lot of my time.
How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?
I really try to play 4-8 hours a week, whether it is rec play or even just drilling with my ball machine and/or husband on our own.
Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?
No specific rituals. I faithfully use my foam roller before big tournaments and try to drill a lot on certain important shots weeks before a big tournament.
Do you have any pickleball goals you would like to share?
I really want to be able to compete with my brother Kyle again at a major tournament. Playing with a sibling or spouse can be very difficult, but I loved competing next to him and sharing that memory together.
Anything else you would like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?
This sport has brought so much fun, competitiveness, friendships, and memories to my life. I am fortunate enough to be healthy and have the ability to play like I do. People who know me, know that I do not give up, and strive to become a better player and person every day.