Meet The Pros – Tony Girodo
Tony is a full-time RV’er, so he gets to play pickleball with folks from all over. He must have a fantastic array of pickleball friends. Enjoy!
Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?
2019 National Senior Games Mixed Doubles with Sandy Scanlan – Silver
2019 Wickenburg Ranch Men’s Doubles Age – Gold
2019 Grand Canyon State Games Mixed Doubles Skill/Age with Sandy Scanlan – Gold
2019 Robson Ranch, Mixed Doubles Skill/Age with Sandy Scanlan – Silver
2018 Margaritaville USAPA Nationals, Mixed Skill/Age Doubles with Sandy Scanlan – Silver
2018 US OPEN Men’s Doubles Age with Bob Costanza – Gold
Mixed Doubles – Skill with Connie Reker – Bronze
2018 Happy Trails, Mixed Doubles Skill/Age with Sandy Scanlan – Gold
2018 Duel in the Desert, Men’s Doubles Skill/Age with Doug Cook – Gold
2017 Round Up@ Sun City AZ, Men’s Doubles Skill/Age with Bill Marshall – Gold
What paddle do you play with and why?
I currently play with the Tempest Wave. I used to play with an original Paddletek pickleball paddle, no model name, and had it for about 7 years.
What is your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?
Ten and a half years ago my wife and I started RV’ing. At our first stop in Palm Springs I kept hearing this “ping – ping – ping” sound and went to investigate. I was invited to play, and the rest is history. I have a tennis and racquetball background. My wife plays recreationally. Pickleball has turned out to be a great social sport. We’ve made a lot of good friends. No matter where we go, we find people who play pickleball.
What is your preference – playing indoors or outdoors?
Ninety-five percent of the time I play outdoors.
Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?
I prefer doubles. I may venture into singles at some time in the future.
What is your favorite place to play? Why?
Indian Wells is my favorite place this year, also Happy Trails and Pebble Creek. The Surprise, Arizona area has 16 public area courts that are great. They may be expanding the number of courts in the future.
What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?
I have a supportive spouse, and that really helps. It also helps to get the right partner. Get one who plays like you or better. Make sure you drill all the time and seek to play with better, skilled folks. This builds confidence. It helps to use a Sports Tutor machine to practice drills.
What is your day job?
I am a full-time RV’er with my wife. Just recently visited Portland, Maine and the beach in New Jersey.
How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?
I play 2-3 hours a day, 15-20 hours a week. I usually take a day off during the week to let my body heal. Thankfully, I ‘ve had no major injuries.
Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?
I pet our dog “Mojo,” a schnauzer who gives me big “MOJO.”
Do you have any pickleball goals you would like to share?
My current goal is to medal at the USAPA Nationals.
Anything else you would like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?
This is a great game to play and for meeting new friends. I keep playing to keep active. Eighty percent of my commitment to the game is so that I can continue to eat ice cream! I try to improve every day. I suggest working on 1 or 2 things at a time, like dinks, lobs and 3rd shot drops. That’s the best way to improve your game, in my opinion.