Meet The Pros – Scott Clayson

Meet The Pros – Scott Clayson

Silver Fall Brawl Scott Clayson/Laura Ogden

Fall Brawl St. George, Utah: Gold with Tyler W. Sheffield, Silver Scott Clayson/Laura Ogden Fenton Kovanda, Bronze Roxanne Pierce/Scott Lennan

Scott Clayson has been described as an “awesome partner and a class-act person” by one of his doubles partners. He’s a humble guy who is totally addicted to this sport! ENJOY!

Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?

Silver in 2016 Fall Brawl Mixed Doubles age with Laura Fenton Kovanda
Gold in 2016 Tournament of Champions Legends Men’s Doubles with Scott Moore
Silver in 2016 Tournament of Champions Legends Mixed Doubles with Alex Hamner
Gold in 2016 US Open Men’s age 50-55 with Scott Moore
Silver in 2016 US Open Mixed age 45-50 with Stephanie Lane
Bronze in 2016 US Open Men’s Senior Open 50+ with Michael Gates
Gold 2016 USAPA Western Regional Tournament Mixed 50+ with Gigi LeMaster
Gold in 2016 Grand Canyon State Games Men’s age 50-60 with Michael Gates
Silver in 2016 Grand Canyon State Games Mixed age 50-55 with Alex Hamner

What paddle do you play with and why?

I play with the Paddletek Tempest Wave. Early on in my pickleball experience I tried a number of different paddles. I have now found a home with the Paddletek Tempest Wave. I think it strikes the right balance of touch for the soft game and pop for a deep return of serve. I also feel that it has durability so it lasts longer than some other paddles I’ve used in the past.

What’s your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?

Interestingly, I was introduced to pickleball in 1998 by a coworker. We only had four of us playing for about a year. At the end of the year, our most avid player died and our group ceased to play. I didn’t play again for another 13 years, as there was no one to play with. Then a local tennis player, Kyle Klein, started a group in our local community of Brigham City, home of Tournament Of Champions, and my addiction grew from there.  If anything, I’ve had to restrain myself from playing too much. I would strongly encourage others to cross train with other exercises as I have found injuries come from repetitive angles on my joints.

What’s your preference – playing indoor or outdoor?

I prefer outdoor play as I like the fresh air and the outdoor surface. We do play indoors for 2 or 3 months though and still have a great time.

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

I prefer doubles as I want to save my joints so I can play as long as possible!

What’s your favorite place to play? Why?

I really enjoy playing recreationally in Brigham City, Utah. We have a number of different levels of players in our local area. We have a great time playing competitive games plus a little trash talking to keep it interesting.

What’s your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

My background was in high school tennis and participating in local community racquetball tournaments, but my most dominant influence has been table tennis. My mindset for the game of pickleball is that it’s like one large ping pong table. I grip high on the neck of the paddle handle and use the same grip I use on a ping pong paddle. I use a lot of wrist and particularly favor my backhand, which is unusual for a pickleball player.

What’s your day job?

I retired back in 2010 from working in the oil / gas industry as a CPA. I do a few hours of consulting each month plus some of my own investing activities. When I go out to play pickleball, I tell my wife I am headed to work. She caught on really quickly.

How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?

In past years I played 4 or 5 days per week, but I’ve cut that back to 3 days per week as I want to cross train with other exercise programs like biking, lifting weights, etc. In hours, I probably play 10 hours per week.

Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?

Eggs and whole grain cereal for breakfast. Playing warm up points or games help me greatly.

Do you have any pickleball goals you’d like to share?

My goal is to not take it so seriously. If it becomes too much like work, I won’t enjoy it. It is just a game and I want to keep it that way. With that being said, it is more fun to win than to lose.

Anything else you’d like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?

First, I am not one of the best in world. I prove it by losing regularly! Second, I am excited to see the sport grow and positively affect the lives of people who may not have played a sport at their age or physical ability. I also think the social and emotional benefits are unique and are the greatest part of why the sport is so addictive. I do think there can be a “dark side” to the pickleball addiction if people do not keep a proper perspective and life balance. I worry sometimes that people alter their family, religious or work life to accommodate an excessive amount of pickleball. That being said, the sport has far more positive benefits than negatives and I enjoy it very much!

USAPA 2015 Nationals: Gold Medalists Rob and Jodi Elliott, Silver Medalists Josh and Abby Grubbs and Bronze Medalists Scott Clayson and Stephanie Lane.

2015 USAPA Nationals: Gold Medalists Rob and Jodi Elliott, Silver Medalists Josh and Abby Grubbs and Bronze Medalists Scott Clayson and Stephanie Lane

Meet The Pros: Gail and Dennis Dacey

Meet The Pros – Gail and Dennis Dacey

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The family that plays together, stays together, right? Gail and Dennis are experts on playing and winning at mixed doubles with each other. Enjoy!

Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?

Gail and Dennis have an impressive list of wins, and here are the medals they won together:
2016 USAPA Nationals – Mixed Doubles age – Gold, with Dennis
2015 National Senior Games – Mixed Doubles age – Silver
2014 Arizona State PB Championships – Mixed Doubles age – Gold
2013 National Senior Games – Mixed Doubles age- Gold
2013 So. Cal Classic – Mixed Doubles age – Gold
2013 USAPA Nationals Mixed Doubles age – Silver
2012 USAPA Nationals – Mixed Doubles Age – Gold
2012 Huntsman Sr. Games – Mixed Doubles age – Gold

What paddle do you play with and why?

Gail:  I play with the Legacy. I have a good feeling for the soft game with it and it gives me punch when I need it.
Dennis: The Black Mamba by POP. I like both the touch and the power it gives me.

What’s your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?

Gail: I played tournament tennis as a kid, racquetball as an adult. When my partner got injured I was without a sport for a couple of years. In 2007, an article in the paper described pickleball. I showed up at the courts and found I could use most of my skills from tennis and racquetball. I was hooked!
Dennis: I saw a feature in the local paper on pickleball. Just by reading the article, I knew I would love the sport.

What’s your preference – playing indoor or outdoor?

Gail and Dennis: A resounding, “Outdoors!”

Grand Canyon State Games - Gail Dacey - Glen Brower Gold

2016 Grand Canyon State Games – Gail Dacey – Glen Brower Gold, Marylou Furaus – Bob Youngren, Silver, Rita Weihe – Lance Thiede Bronze

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

Gail: I used to love singles more than doubles but my hamstring made me change my mind. I have grown to love and appreciate doubles, especially the connection with my partner. It’s very rewarding to work together toward a mutual goal.
Dennis: Doubles, because it doesn’t hurt so much!

What’s your favorite place to play? Why?

Gail and Dennis: We’re lucky enough to have plenty of great places near our homes in Surprise, AZ and San Marcos, CA.

What’s your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

Gail: My secret sauce is to keep the game “vanilla:” be methodical and stunningly boring, waiting patiently for the killer opportunity. And chewing gum!  Tips? Always be on the lookout for advice and tips , including watching videos that might help your game.
Dennis: My favorite shot is the backhand cross court dink from the even side of the court. Tip? Drill, drill, drill.

Dennis Dacey — at Granlibakken Tahoe.

Dennis Dacey — at Granlibakken Tahoe.

What’s your day job?

Gail: I was an elementary school teacher for 30 years, mostly kindergarten and 1st grade. I have been retired for 10 years. I wouldn’t go back for anything. Life is good, right here, right now!
Dennis: I was USAPA Rules Chairman, and now serve as IFP Rules Chair. I am a retired engineer.

How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?

Gail: I love to play a couple of hours a day so maybe 12 – 14 a week. The hard part is restricting play to give the body and mind a break and do the rest of “life”!
Dennis: 18 hours a week. No problem making time.

Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?

Gail: Just the basics: eat right, hydrate, plenty of rest. Chew gum!
Dennis: Early to bed, early to rise.

Dennis and Gail Dacey — at Pueblo El Mirage RV & Golf Resort.

Dennis and Gail Dacey — at Pueblo El Mirage RV & Golf Resort.

Do you have any pickleball goals you’d like to share?

Gail: My short term goal is to wake up in the morning pain free and grateful for all pickleball has done to enrich my life. My long term goal is to play in the Nationals XVIII (2026) in the 80’s Mixed Doubles with my sweet husband and maybe earn a medal!
Dennis: My goal this year was to heal from ankle surgery and win gold at the Nationals in Mixed Doubles.

Anything else you’d like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?

Gail: Ha! I don’t know about that, unless you add “for her age.” In that case I’ll credit good genes and take some pride for making the most with what I have. I am even more proud of finding a way to play competitively with my husband… not always an easy task!
Dennis: At 70+, I’m competitive with my peers (and occasionally the younger guys) and that’s good enough for me.

Gigi LeMaster, Melissa McCurley, Gail Dacey and Dennis Dacey before the great treetop adventure!

Gigi LeMaster, Melissa McCurley, Gail Dacey and Dennis Dacey before the great treetop adventure!

Meet The Pros: Tracy Worley Hagen

Meet The Pros: Tracy Worley Hagen

We are loving the influx of tennis players who fall in love with pickleball. Tracy played Wimbledon in ’82. She is a class act! Enjoy!

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Tracy Worley Hagen and Wendie Mahan, Gold Women’s Doubles 55+

Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?

2016 USAPA Nationals in the Women’s Doubles 55+ with Wendie Mahan- Gold
2016 US Open Women’s Doubles 50+ with Kris Anderson – Bronze
2016 Tustin Winter Classic – Mixed Doubles with Sid Crossley – Bronze
2014 USAPA Nationals Women’s Doubles 50 with Kris Anderson – Gold

What paddle do you play with and why?

I am sponsored by Paddletek and I love playing with the Paddletek Graphite Tempest.

What’s your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?

I’ve competed in tennis for 40 years, played Wimbledon in 1982, and I was ranked #1 in Women’s Doubles in the 50’s nationally. I started playing pickleball 3 years ago and I’m addicted. Here’s why: It’s easier on my shoulder than tennis, mainly because of the serve. It’s also easier on my knees because I don’t have as much court to cover. It’s super satisfying to hit the ball with that noise it makes on the volley. It’s fun playing with men and women together, as pickleball is more of an equalizer than tennis.

It’s obvious to me why the sport is growing so fast because anyone can play it, whether or not they played another racquet sport. Obviously if they did, they start out with an advantage from a hand/eye coordination standpoint.

The only negative I’ve found in pickleball is that fact that tennis courts are being cannibalized at a rapid rate everywhere! But besides that, I love my new sport.

What’s your preference – playing indoor or outdoor?

 I prefer playing outside because we have great weather here in Southern California.

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

I prefer doubles because there is more strategy and less court to cover.

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Tracy Worley Hagen and Mike Fedderly Jan 2016

What’s your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

Secret sauce for competitions is the same as for tennis: shade, lots of protein, rest legs in days immediately before the competition to have strength to go the distance late in the day. Advice: Try it!  You’ll like it…

What’s your day job?

I own a video production company called Video Resources in Santa Ana, California. I’m recently widowed and I have 2 children. I’m also a 4-time Mayor of Tustin, California, my home town where I still live.

 

Meet The Pros: Jennifer Dawson

Meet The Pros Jennifer Dawson

Women's open doubles winners: Gold: Sarah Linh Ansboury /Christine Barksdale Silver: Jennifer Lucore/Alex Hamner Bronze: Cammy MacGregor/Jennifer Dawson

Women’s Open Doubles winners: Gold: Sarah Linh Ansboury /Christine Barksdale Silver: Jennifer Lucore/Alex Hamner Bronze: Cammy MacGregor/Jennifer Dawson

Here is a pickleball success story that comes from pickleball being added to a tennis club. Enjoy Jennifer’s story!

Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?

2016 USAPA Nationals 35 Doubles Gold
2016 Andalucia Women’s 5.0 Champion
2016 California State Games 5.0 Champion
2015 USAPA Nationals Women’s 19 Under Silver

What paddle do you play with and why?

I am currently playing with the Engage Encore Pro because it has the perfect balance between power and feel, with the added benefit of being able to grip harder pickleballs.

What’s your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?

Here’s my pickleball story: Pickleball came to the tennis club my husband and I own. We both watched for a year or so and kept to ourselves while we played and coached tennis. It looked like so much fun that we both jumped right in and got started. Here I am now, 2 years later, traveling all over the place playing both tennis and pickleball.

What’s your preference – playing indoor or outdoor?

Coming from Southern California and with pickleball courts at our club, I’ve never played indoors. Being more of a power player than a defensive player, I’ve been told that outdoors is best for my style of play.

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

I prefer singles in tennis and doubles in pickleball, but I’m looking to get started at singles in pickleball next year. I just like the teamwork and fun that a pickleball doubles game produces. Pickleball is so much fun, doubles makes it double-the-fun, and winning in pickleball is great. But losing, honestly, isn’t that bad. I mean it’s only pickleball!

Mixed Doubles 35+ Gold: Kris Anderson/Kevin Booth Silver: Jennifer Dawson/ David Lecours Bronze: GeeGee Garvin/ Mike Gates (Missing)

Encinitas Mixed Doubles 35+ Gold: Kris Anderson/Kevin Booth, Silver: Jennifer Dawson/ David Lecours: Bronze, GeeGee Garvin/ Mike Gates (Missing)

What’s your favorite place to play? Why?

My favorite place to play is our club, Bobby Riggs Tennis Club in Encinitas, California. That’s where all our friends are and where I call home.

What’s your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

My secret sauce and tips for all players is this: Make your opponent play your style. It you have fast hands and power, speed the point up. If you like the soft game, slow it down and make your opponent do what you do best.

What’s your day job? How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?

My full-time job is teaching tennis and managing our tennis/pickleball club. This allows me the freedom of playing 7 days a week if I want. I also compete in tennis and am playing for team USA in South Africa in 2017, so I will probably put the paddle down for a while and work on my tennis, then pick the paddle back up again to get ready for the US OPEN in Naples, Florida.

Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?

No lucky rituals for me. Maybe a good steak dinner the night before.

Do you have any pickleball goals you’d like to share?

As far as my pickleball goals, I believe the best way to get good at anything is to enjoy the process. Getting good is what happens to people who love what they are doing, so I guess I just want to keep having fun!

Anything else you’d like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?

Meet The Pros: Pothen Varughese

Meet The Pros: Pothen Varughese

Pothen Varughese winning silver in the Men's 80+ at Nationals!

Pothen Varughese winning silver in the Men’s 80+ at Nationals!

Dr. Varughese is new to the USAPA Nationals competition and brings a life-long love of tennis to his experience on the pickleball court. Enjoy!

Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?

In the past 5 years, I have won gold medals in singles and men’s doubles in my age group at the Senior Games in Tucson, AZ, and singles and mixed doubles in the Ohio Senior Games and singles in the Pennsylvania Senior Games. Of Course, this year I won a Silver medal in singles and Bronze in the doubles at the USAPA Nationals at Palm Creek.

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Rally Graphite Power Paddle

What paddle do you play with and why?

I play with the Rally Graphite Power paddle made by PickleballCentral. The weight of the paddle is light enough for me which helps prevent elbow problems. I like the feel of it when the ball strikes the paddle and it generates good power on the serves and volleys. It also gives me good control on my dinks.

What’s your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?

When I retired in 2005, a friend of mine invited me to visit The Voyager RV Resort in Tucson, AZ in the winter of 2005. My wife and I spent 10 days there during Christmas vacation. Pickleball is a very popular game at the Voyager Resort and I was introduced to it there. Since I had been a tennis player for most of my life, it was very easy for me to learn the game of pickleball.

What’s your preference – playing indoor or outdoor?

I play both indoor and outdoor and I enjoy both, but my preference is to play outdoors.

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

I play mostly doubles and occasionally singles. In my age group, it is difficult to find players who want to play singles.

voyager-rv-resort-in-tucson-arizona

Voyager RV Resort in Tucson, Arizona

What’s your favorite place to play? Why?

My favorite place is the Voyager RV Resort in Tucson. I spend 5-6 months there in the winter. There I can play with a lot of different men and women who are highly skilled and give me very challenging games. A number of Canadian players also vacation there and I enjoy the international atmosphere.

What’s your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

My secret sauce is returning the serve with a heavy under-spin deep in the backhand corner. My advice to players is to be patient, patient, patient! Many good players miss an easy shot because they are impatient and rush the return.

What’s your day job?

I am a retired college professor and I enjoy reading books on religion, history and politics when I am not playing pickleball or tennis. I am also a track & field enthusiast and have competed regularly in Senior Olympics and won numerous gold medals over the past 10 years.

How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?

I play pickleball about 3 hours each day, except Sundays. Since I’m retired, I have plenty of time available. Generally, I play 2 hours of tennis in the morning and then 2-3 hours of pickleball. Then in the afternoon, it is time for me to read my favorite book. I also go to the gym and work out for about 90 minutes twice a week.

Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?

I’m not superstitious so I don’t have any particular rituals, but I do like to stretch my leg and arm muscles for a few minutes before a match.

Do you have any pickleball goals you’d like to share?

My goal is to win a gold medal in pickleball singles and doubles and mixed doubles at the National Senior Olympics to be held in Birmingham, Alabama in June 2017.

Anything else you’d like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?

Playing pickleball keeps me healthy at the age of 80. Participating in various tournaments gives me the opportunity to meet new people and players and increase my circle of friends. Pickleball friends are the best people in the world.

Introducing Pickleball as a Competitive Sport: Trinity Episcopal School in Galveston, Texas

trinity-episcopal-school

Activity Center at Trinity Episcopal School, Galveston

I heard it by the grapevine that some great things were happening in one school PE program in Galveston, Texas.  Here is some of their story, shared by Anne Hyatt, Program Director at Trinity Episcopal School. ENJOY!

We are in our 4th year of playing pickleball at Trinity Episcopal School, and I jokingly say that I have a group of little addicts. They are always asking me if they can play during PE, get more court time, when our next tournament is, etc. They are nuts about pickleball! I’m our school’s Program Director, and coincidentally also in my 4th year here. I was charged with creating after-school and extra-curricular activities in our new athletic facility, and in my first year I stumbled upon pickleball in an equipment catalog and thought we should give it a shot. We practice once a week, on Fridays, from 3:00pm-5:30pm. When I started, we played on Fridays for the spring semester. We are now up to every Friday from September – March, and I know they’re going to ask me for extra practices in April. 

 

The first year wasn’t as successful as we’d hoped. We only had about 18 students in 2nd – 8th grade, and a lot of them didn’t stick with it. The second year I had more students (20) in the same age range, but I tried to change our dynamic: we had holiday parties, a separate practice for the older kids and hosted our first “tournament.”

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Students playing pickleball at Trinity Episcopal

I think there were only 6 students registered, but at that point they finally had a grasp of the rules and it was awesome to see this competitive spirit come out of them during tournament play. I also added pickleball into my PE curriculum. I think it was a combined effort of students getting better and me getting better too. I was more confident in the rules and how to play the game and it helped the kids be more confident as well.

Last year the program took off; I had 30 students registered for after-school pickleball, with an even split of 15 2nd-5th graders and 15 6th-8th graders. We extended our season and played from October – March, and 20 of the 30 students participated in our 2nd annual “Spring Swing Tournament.”  

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Trinity Episcopal medal winners at Mid-South Regionals

I took 10 students to the USAPA Mid-South Regional in May of 2016 to compete, and everyone medaled in either doubles or singles (or both). We were the only Juniors registered, but we don’t mention that. 😉 Last year’s group was so large that I had to enlist the help of a couple parent volunteers, and we also hosted a family night where parents could play with or compete against their students.

This year the program is at an all-time high. I have 37 students playing after school, 18 2nd-5th graders and 19 6th-8th graders, and they are insane about the sport. Every week my younger kids learn some part of the court, the game or the rules of play and we practice basic techniques like forehand shots, volleys and serving. We end almost every practice with a game called “Defender” – sort of like King of the Court – and they all groan when I say time is up. My 6th-8th graders work on skills and strategy. They play as many games as they can during the hour and half practice. I’ve literally had to blink the lights on them to get them to quit and go home.

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2016 Spring Swing Tournament Participants

We really are a pickleball school, as silly as it sounds. When my players traveled to Louisiana in May to compete, it was the farthest any of our athletic teams had ever traveled to compete. I have kindergarten parents stop me and tell me that they can’t wait for TWO years from now, when their child can start playing pickleball. One of our biggest challenges is that they don’t have the opportunity to compete against other students, or they aren’t really welcomed to enter in the 19+ division of tournaments. They are crazy about pickleball, and it’s so cool to see their development and growth in the sport. I love what the sport has done for our students and for our campus as a whole.

Thank you Anne for sharing how a program like yours can grow pickleball athletes!

Meet The Pros – Tyson McGuffin

Meet The Pros: Tyson McGuffin

tyson-mcguffin-award

Tyson McGuffin – First Time at the 2016 USAPA Nationals

I heard it through the grapevine that Tyson is one of  the TOP 5 tennis players in Washington State. What better person is there to convert to the pickleball way of life! Tyson was featured on the local news, KIMAtv.com in July. Check out the video here. Thanks Tyson for giving our readers your enthusiastic story of how you became addicted to this wonderful pickleball community! Enjoy!

Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?

2016 USAPA Nationals – Men’s 19+, Singles – Silver, Men’s Open Singles – Silver
2016 Int’l Indoor Pickleball Championship – Men’s Singles Open – Gold
2016 So Cal Summer Classic – Men’s Singles Open – Gold
2016 Coeur D’Alene Classic Pickleball Tournament – 5.0 Men’s Singles – Gold,
5.0 Men’s Doubles – Bronze with Jay Rippel

What paddle do you play with and why?

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Enrique Ruiz Signature 30PXL Epic paddle

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Maxima Composite 21PMXO Paddle

I am sponsored by Selkirk Sports. I started playing with the Enrique Ruiz Signature 30P-XL Epic paddle. I also just started playing with the Maxima and love it. It totally suits my game. It is a good shape paddle for someone like me coming from playing tennis. It’s got that extra length going for it.

What’s your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?

I live in Yakima. I’ve been teaching tennis for a long time, and have competed extensively in tennis tournaments. I met this older guy, Bill Chotts, who used to play tennis but messed up his knee, and who had switched to pickleball. He kept bugging me to try it. One day he dragged me over to the YMCA to play. At first, I hated it. I couldn’t figure out how to score in doubles. I had trouble with being on a gym floor with thousands of lines. It was hard to adjust to the game and I couldn’t make sense of the dinking game. I love to smack the ball hard, so pickleball just didn’t seem to suit my competitive nature.

When I entered my first tournament, I found I could get a good cardio workout. My competitive nature was satisfied, and I got the extra added benefit of a big pickleball family: great people who will fight for the win on the court and then go out with you after for a beer or dinner. Everyone I’ve competed against is now a best friend. I love how the older, veteran players welcome newcomers. This is not how it is on the tennis circuit.  You compete, and then you leave. You don’t stay to socialize. 

What’s your preference – playing indoor or outdoor?

I love to play outdoors, especially when it is 95 degrees out, where I am at my best and can grind my opponent down. I fell in love with this game at the 2016 USAPA Nationals this year. I was there the whole 10 days and when I wasn’t competing, I was playing pickup games with some of the other players. I was a court rat, playing with 5.0 players all day, like Brian Ashworth, Chris “Mills” Miller, Dalton Vavra and Irina Tereschenko and loving it!

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

Singles play is my SPECIALTY! My tennis game gives me my advantage in Singles. I started learning with doubles, but struggled with the 30-40 ball dink. The singles game in pickleball is a better match for my tennis background. I also love the workout I get with the singles game.

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Daniel Moore, Marcin Rozpedski, Tyson McGuffin, winners of the 2016 Open Men’s SIngles

What’s your favorite place to play? Why?

I love to play in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. I am sponsored by Selkirk Sports of Hayden, Idaho, and loved playing at the Coeur D’Alene Classic Pickleball Tournament. It is a dream area for the sport!

What’s your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

I come from a wrestling family. My dad and oldest brother were both wrestling coaches. I wrestled in college and love the individual and mental aspects of competition. Mentally, I am a warrior, and competing is all about survival of the fittest. My advice is, when the going gets tough, just hunker down. Stay tough and it will eventually turn around in your favor.

What’s your day job?

I am a full-time tennis instructor in Yakima, Washington. 

How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?

I play 5-8 hours, whenever I can.

Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?

Not really. I’m not superstitious. With 2 cups of coffee, a good breakfast, plenty of electrolytes and bananas, I’m good to go.

Do you have any pickleball goals you’d like to share?

I want to start training to be a certified pickleball trainer. I want to win big in 2017: USAPA Nationals, Tournament Of Champions, the Canadian Nationals and the US OPEN tournament for the  1st time. In 2025, I want to win gold in Men’s Doubles with my son Ty!

Anything else you’d like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?

tyson-with-his-inspiration

I’m engaged. I have a 3 year old son, Ty. He is my inspiration! I love pickleball, the whole scene. Pickleball totally sells itself. Pickleball is a game anyone can play. I am a full-blown pickleball addict. I can’t live without this game. I want to encourage people to play the fastest growing sport in the world. Pickleball has the best community of any sport I know; it is the best social scene anybody can find.