At just five years old, Parris Todd asked her parents for a tennis racket for her birthday. Her parents knew nothing about tennis so this surprising request came out of the blue. Soon after, Todd’s tennis journey got underway, unleashing her talent and passion for the game. With more training sessions and hours on the court she continued to develop her gift, becoming a top junior player starting at age ten. Currently Parris holds over 85 tennis titles.
As the pandemic slowed down the globe, pickleball summoned her to the pickleball courts. Since fall 2021 Parris has been playing pickleball, competing in her first pickleball tournament in January 2022. We sat down with her to talk about her rising status as a pickleball pro, her goals, and more!
How were you introduced to pickleball?
My grandparents started playing pickleball ten years ago, and I used to make fun of them for playing an old persons’ sport. I was playing tennis at TTC in Newport Beach and they have a very big pickleball presence, so eventually I thought why not give it a shot.
What are some of your most memorable pickleball moments?
PPA Foot Solutions in February was my first ever singles tournament, where I was able to beat some of the top Women’s singles players and take 4th overall and have a breakthrough tournament. My recent win in San Clemente PPA has definitely been my most memorable; winning my first PPA singles title meant so much to me. I have put in a lot of hard work off the court in the last few months and it was an awesome reward.
How has your tennis background influenced your pickleball game? Strengths? Differences?
Having a tennis background helps with court movement, hand eye coordination, and overall patterns. Pickleball has a lot of soft elements to it; the dinks and drops requires much softer hands then what people are used to with tennis.
We know fashion is another passion of yours. What do you look for when picking out your looks for tournaments? Do you design what you wear?
I absolutely love matching sets! They are just so easy to throw on and color coordination is a big thing for me. Currently I am only wearing other brands that I love, but hopefully soon I will be designing and collaborating with other activewear brands to bring a different style and flavor to pickleball.
Where do you see this sport in 5 years? Any short-term and long-term goals?
Being a sport in the next Olympics would be a huge achievement for pickleball. I would personally like to see it grow more internationally to bring more awareness to the sport. I think it’s on the right path as the fastest growing sport.
What can you tell us about your strategy and game mindset?
I always believe I can win, no matter who is on the other side of the net. Rest at the end, not in the middle!
What are you doing when you are not playing pickleball?
There aren’t too many days I’m not on the court, and if I’m not on the court I’m probably still thinking about pickleball! I like to relax with my friends on my days off, go out to dinner, go shopping, see movies, all that exciting “normal” life stuff.
We’re looking forward to seeing where this exciting player’s pickleball career takes her!