Meet The Pros – Jose (Joey) Farias

Meet The Pros – Jose (Joey) Farias

Joey Farias

Joey Farias, credit to Partovich Photography

Jose Farias loves to play and teach tennis and pickleball. You have to admire a tennis instructor who falls in love with this game. Enjoy!

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

2016 US Open Men’s Doubles 5.0 – Gold with DJ Howard
2016 US Open 19+ Mixed Doubles – Bronze with Catherine Parenteau
2017 Southwest Regionals Men’s Doubles 5.0 – Gold with Sean Rickard
2017 Southwest Regionals Mixed Doubles 5.0 – Silver with Miok Lee
2017 US Open Men’s Doubles Pro – Bronze with Ben Johns
2017 US Open 30+ Men’s Doubles – Gold with Rafael Siebenschein
2017 US Open 30+ Mixed Doubles – Silver with Lee-Anna Camper
2017 Northwest PPF Bend Men’s Doubles – Gold with Ben Johns
2017 So-Cal Mens Open Singles – Bronze
2018 Southwest Regionals Mens Doubles 5.0 – Gold with Sean Rickard
2018 Southwest Regionals Mixed Doubles 5.0 – Bronze with Miok Lee
2018 US Open 30+ Men’s Doubles – Bronze with Chris Miller
2018 US Open 19+ Mixed Doubles – Silver with Catherine Parenteau 

What paddle do you play with and why?

I play with the Gearbox GX5. I really enjoy the new paddle; I was able to put a lot of my input on how the paddle should feel and play, making it tailored to my preferences. It has plenty of pop and is soft enough for me to really control my shots around the kitchen.

What is your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?

I was a full-time tennis coach when I was introduced to pickleball in Lansing, Michigan, while working at a club that had 4 pickleball courts. I was introduced to the sport by Dan O’Toole and DJ Howard. I had a great group of “new players” who were learning at around the same time and they were Corrine Carr Siebenschein, Simone Jardim and DJ Howard.

What is your preference – playing indoors or outdoors?

I enjoy playing outdoors more because that is what I am most familiar with and I sometimes have trouble seeing indoors. 

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

I prefer doubles because of the strategy behind it and how different it is from tennis. Pickleball strategy is one of the reasons I fell in love with the game. My tennis background definitely helps with singles but it is a little too close to tennis to pick it as my favorite. 

Jose Farias in Michigan

5.0 Singles Finalist -Jose Farias Bronze (left), Simone Jardim Gold (center), Brandon Schmeling Silver in Williamston, Michigan.

What is your favorite place to play? Why?

I would pick East Naples Community Park and the US Open to be my favorite place to play. I enjoy the atmosphere of the tournament and the courts there are world class.

Jose Farias with friends at the USOPEN

Jose Farias with friends at the USOPEN

What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

I would say my secret sauce would be my deceptive shots, my one-handed backhand drive/roll and consistent dinks, especially from the right side of the court. If I could give one tip to players it would be to get as low and balanced as you are physically capable of and take more dinks in the air. 

What is your day job?

I was a full-time tennis pro but about a year and a half ago I became the Director of Pickleball at a Tucson Country Club in Tucson, Arizona and am now full time pickleball. I am an IPTPA-certified Pickleball Instructor and I travel all around doing clinics. Its a rough life, haha! 

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

I practice about 4 hours a week, but I do teach close to 30 hours each week so I get plenty of dinking practice you could say. Since I do pickleball full time now I have plenty of time to practice, but in Tucson it’s the lack of practice partners that I have to deal with. I have another 5.0 in town named Sean Rickard who I try to drill with when his schedule allows.

Joey Farias for the win

Joey Farias for the win – fueled by chocolate milk

Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?

I don’t know if I would call it lucky, but something I tend to do before playing in a tournament is drink chocolate milk the morning of the event and possibly have a cookie.

Do you have any pickleball goals you would like to share?

My pickleball goals would be to help grow the sport in any way I can and to be a positive role-model on and off the court to up-and-coming juniors. I would also like to medal in a pro event in all three majors by the time I am done playing. 

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

My experience being one of the top pickleball players has been amazing because I get to meet players from all over the world and travel. I now get to do what I love for a living, and it is such a blessing. 

Meet The Pros: Tiener-X Nguyen

Meet The Pros – Tiener-X Nguyen

Tien Nguyen

Tiener-X Nguyen

Tiener-X Nguyen is an extreme strategist! I say this because he turned down chances to play in order to deeply study this game of pickleball before stepping onto the court. It is clear to me that he loves this “inclusive” game and he is in it to win it. Enjoy!

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

2017 State Games of Oklahoma (first tournament): Gold – Mixed Doubles 50+
     Gold – Singles 50/55+, Silver- Doubles 50/55+
2017 USAPA West Regionals: Gold- Mixed Doubles 4.5 50+
2017 State Games of America: Gold- Singles 5.0 50+
     Gold – Mixed Doubles 4.5 50+: Bronze- Doubles 4.5 35+
2017 OK Senior Games – Gold in three disciplines
2017 USAPA Nationals: Gold – Doubles 4.5 50+
     Bronze- Mixed 4.5 50+, Bronze, Singles 5.0 50+
2018 State Games of Oklahoma: Gold-Singles 5.0
     Gold- Mixed Doubles 5.0 50+, Silver- Doubles 5.0 50+
2018 Hawaii Senior Games – Gold in two disciplines
2018 USAPA Mountain Regional: Silver- Mixed Doubles 5.0 50-59
***All but two medals won in the Mixed division was with my wife, Moira Roush, as my partner***

What paddle do you play with and why?

Pro S1G

Pro S1G

I play with the Selkirk Pro S1G+; I like the overall feel and balance of the paddle. The paddle has been discontinued so I plan to upgrade to the newer AMPED models soon. I am a part of the Selkirk Team.

What is your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?

I first encountered pickleball during a TDY (temporary duty) near Surprise, AZ, in 2007. I saw from afar what appeared to be very small tennis courts. I returned that evening and saw how the game was played. It was enjoyed by both genders on the same court, young and old competing alongside and/or versus each other… camaraderie and “fun” filled the atmosphere. After watching for about an half hour, I pondered to myself what a great sport it was to give everyone across the spectrum an avenue to stay fit and still compete if desired. At the time, I didn’t lift a paddle or pursue pickleball any further.

In September 2016, I was exposed to pickleball again at a local gym through a friend’s invite. I watched and absorbed the game as I saw her play. I stayed a couple of hours to “let it dink in” (pardon the pun). I noticed how much fun as well as the “friendly competitiveness” everyone experienced. I did not partake, although I was asked. I did this two more times just to get a better understanding/knowledge of the game. On my fourth visit I participated and brought my own paddle, a wooden one.

I really enjoying playing sports, especially ones that hold my interest. I try to be a “student” of the game. A couple months later, I introduced pickleball to my wife. We’ve continued to play ever since.

What is your preference: playing indoors or outdoors?

I prefer outdoors where you have to learn to play the elements (sun, wind, shadows, etc). Those who can adjust their games better to the elements will normally come out ahead. In the Oklahoma City (OKC) area, there is only one outdoor place where everyone plays. It’s at Stephenson Park, where four pickleball courts are painted on one slightly dilapidated tennis court. There is a need for more outdoor courts in Oklahoma.

Tien Nguyen 2017 USAPA Nationals

Tien Nguyen 2017 USAPA Nationals

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

I like both, perhaps a slight edge toward singles, because in singles you “can’t not” stay focused during a point. When you do, you have given your opponent the advantage. In singles, I get to hit the ball every other hit.

I also enjoy doubles because everyone likes being a part of a team. I like setting up my partner as she/he knows when I have hit a better than average shot to gain a team advantage. When fatigue comes into play, doubles is a great alternative.

What is your favorite place to play? Why?

Little Valley Pickleball Complex, Ogden, Utah

Little Valley Pickleball Complex, Ogden, Utah

Little Valley Pickleball Complex in St. George, UT. It is a great 24-court outdoor facility with lights, benches, restrooms and shade pavilions. It is open to the public and FREE to play. If OKC had a place one-quarter the size of St. George’s, it would assist with the “obesity” problem. The staff & volunteers in St. George run a great Regional Tournament.

What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

I don’t have one but may go to one in the future: two hands on both sides in kitchen exchanges. I had to change my tennis strokes by hitting two hands on both sides due to two elbow surgeries.


Tips: Concentrate more on the easy put-aways. It is the point you have earned and/or set your team up to win. Don’t be so nonchalant and lose focus when executing it. It’s the easy points that you/your team must win, not the difficult ones.

What is your day job?

I am a Telecommunications Engineer for Tinker Air Force Base. I am a civilian who has been on five deployments: Qatar, Djibouti, & Cuba. If I had known about pickleball back then, I would have made a valiant effort to introduce it to our men and women overseas. I plan to introduce pickleball to Tinker Air Force Base personnel this summer.

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

I play 8-10 hours per week; I would like to do more drilling but there are not enough courts, so play takes precedence. I play mostly after my work day is finished and on weekends. Most times my wife and I are together, whether it is to play or drill.

Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?

I like to eat duck feet. (Just kidding…making a Swedish joke). None.

2018 Hawaii Oahu Tournament – Tiener-X Nguyen-Moira Roush Gold, Lori Tokutomi-Pete Bresciani Silver and Chris Why-Jimmy Lowe, bronze

Do you have any pickleball goals you would like to share? 

I would like to play the top seniors in singles to see where I stand and what areas can improve. I got a chance to play a few at USAPA Nationals last year. Also, I would like to bring pickleball to other countries, especially Vietnam (my birth country). In Asian countries I have witnessed exercise regimes in the form of walking, badminton, Tai Chi, swimming, etc.  I see where pickleball would be a great addition to their fitness routines.

I would like to venture into the “Have Net, Will Travel” pickleball lessons concept. Something along the lines of my wife and I driving to provide lessons to individual(s)/couples/families/peers. Yes, you can watch videos and read all you want, but most people are visual/hands-on oriented. With us being present, the learning potential would be much greater. Anything within a 7 hours’ drive would be considered.

Oh yeah, and I enjoy cooking!

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

Pickleball has been the only sport where I have witnessed a great-great grandpa playing/competing with his great-great grandson… filled with smiles, being competitive and continuing to make life-long memories. I do have a “Barrel List” (like a Bucket List):

  • Play on the same court with a person from each of the 50 States.
  • Play a tournament in all 50 States
  • Play in all 6 continents

I have “Sour Dills” (like pet/pickleball peeves): In pickup play, when an opposing team avoids hitting to the better player. This tells me 0-0-2 things:

(1) You would rather win versus improving your game… really… win a “pickup game”?
(2) You are preparing (for your upcoming tournament) to beat teams that are “inferior” than yours. Thus you need to work on that game strategy.

I plan to take advantage of free lessons and tips.

Meet The Pros – Randy Coleman

Meet the Pros – Randy Coleman

Randy Coleman

Randy Coleman

Randy has sized up the competition quickly and set his sights on beating Scott Moore, one of the best singles competitors in the world of pickleball. Good luck Randy, look out Scott! Enjoy!

2017 USAPA Nationals, Joe Nguyen/Randy Coleman - Bronze

2017 USAPA Nationals, Jay Rippel/Scott Burr – Gold; Scott Clayson/Justin Rodgers – Silver and Joe Nguyen/Randy Coleman – Bronze

Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?
I played my first sanctioned tournament as a self-rated player in Houston, Texas in 2017
February 2017- The Real Dill, Houston, Texas
Gold Medal- Mixed Doubles 4.5 skill
Gold Medal- Men’s Doubles 4.5 skill
Gold Medal- Men’s Doubles 50+
(I was contacted by the USAPA and moved to a 5.0 in April 2017)
April 2017- Texas Senior Games, San Antonio, Texas
Gold Medal- Mixed Doubles Age 50-54

Randy Coleman, Silver,

Randy Coleman, Men’s Singles 5.0, 50+- Silver

September 2017- USAPA Great Plains Regional, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Silver Medal-Mens Singles 5.0, 50+
Gold Medal- Mixed Doubles 5.0, 50+
November 2017- USAPA National Championships (my first)
Silver Medal- Mens Singles Age/Skill 5.0, 50+
Bronze Medal- Mens Doubles Age/Skill 5.0, 50+
January 2018- State Games of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Ok
Silver Medal- Mens Singles 5.0, 50+
Gold Medal- Mens Doubles 5.0, 50+
March 2018- South Florida Slam, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl
Bronze Medal- Mens Pro Singles Open 19+
Silver Medal- Mens Pro Doubles Open 19+

 

 

 

What paddle do you play with and why?

I am a Pro Athlete for Selkirk, and I play with the AMPED Epic for singles and the AMPED S2 for doubles. Being a former tennis player, I like the Epic’s longer handle and head-heavy leverage when I am hitting ground strokes. It still has a large sweet spot for volley put-aways and overheads. I play with the AMPED S2 for doubles thanks to its smooth, soft feel with easy power. The shorter handle naturally puts my hand closer to the paddle face which gives more control for kitchen rallies while still maintaining power when needed.

What is your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?
I grew up playing tennis from a young age in Lubbock, Texas, and into college. I also grew up playing anything with a ball. I’ve had a ping pong table since I could walk. My brother played competitive badminton in college, and I used to practice with him all the time. I grew up playing a beach paddle sport called Smashball or Kadima with 2 wooden paddles and a small uninflated ball. In 2015, while living in Florida, I went back to Lubbock, Texas to visit. I have a friend that, when I am in town, we are always golfing, throwing softball, playing basketball or getting our Smashball paddles and going to the park to hit. The object of the game of Smashball is just to keep the ball going when hitting back and forth without it hitting the ground. I kept saying: There has got to be a better paddle we could use!

I Googled Smashball paddles, and these funny looking pickleball paddles came up. I got curious and began looking into pickleball paddles. I found that a local sporting good store had a Wilson paddle. I went to only buy the paddles but then saw the balls and decided, why not? We fell in love with our old game and our new paddles, but then decided to try this pickleball game we saw online. With no place to play, we hit on a tennis court.

In Lubbock the volleyball courts in the parks are on concrete. We found ourselves making up a game hitting over the volleyball net. It’s actually fun; I’ll show you sometime! I went back to Florida and looked up places to play pickleball. I found converted courts in Ocala and then the golden gates opened when I found the dedicated courts in Daytona Beach Shores. I was quickly addicted, traveling almost every weekend 1 ½ hours from Gainesville to play on these great pickleball courts with some really good players. The rest is history.

Randy Coleman in action outdoors

Randy Coleman in action outdoors

What is your preference “playing indoors or outdoors?
In March of 2016, when I moved from Florida to Houston, Texas, I quickly learned that there are no public outdoor courts in Houston, except for one friend who had his own outdoor court. Needless to say, if you want to play pickleball in Houston, you play indoors, mostly at YMCA locations.

To answer your question, I absolutely prefer outdoor play. I grew up playing tennis on outdoor courts. It’s just a totally different game to me. I understand the need to have indoor play, but as the sport continues to grow, I would love to see sport complexes accommodating several sports, building acrylic hard surface pickleball courts, just as they have for tennis. 

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?
I totally love the individual personal accomplishments you get when you play singles. It’s just you and the opponent. It’s fast, it’s hardcore, it’s intense, it’s pure endurance. I am 54 however, so my mind loves singles, while sometimes my body is not very happy with my mind for loving singles. I will say doubles can really bring a smile to your face. Its strategy, patience, offense and defense. It’s exciting for the crowds. And when you find great chemistry with a partner, there is nothing like it. Did I answer your question?

It’s kind of like ice cream. Some of us have a few favorites, and how do we choose? I really like pistachio, chocolate almond, chocolate mint and orange sherbert, but if I walk by a freezer and I see Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey, I’ll always pick that one. So I guess you could say singles is my Chunky Monkey.

Randy Coleman hiking

Randy Coleman hiking

What is your favorite place to play? Why?
Wow, so many, it’s like the ice cream dilemma. I am still pretty new to this sport, but because I am fortunate enough to play in so many locations in a fairly short amount of time, I do have some wonderful memories of many.  

I spent 23 years living in Florida, and Daytona Beach Shores has some initial lasting memories. Arizona is a mecca of beautiful pickleball locations, and the hiking in the surrounding mountains is awesome. Chicken N’ Pickle in Kansas City was just so uniquely cool with great food and beer, so I’ve heard. The Bobby Riggs Tennis/Pickleball Center in California holds a true special place for me for its laid back feel, the California weather and Steve Dawson. Monument Park in Colorado Springs, where my son lives, is always special to pass through with views of Pikes Peak, and of course, more spectacular hiking.

Playing with Sergio Garcia and ex tennis pro Amer Delic at a friends house in Austin

Playing with Sergio Garcia and ex tennis pro Amer Delic at a friends house in Austin, Texas

Everywhere I go, except Florida unfortunately, I have a close group of players and friends, and we ALWAYS take time during tournament play to go on as many hiking adventures as we can. So you ask me what my favorite place is? Well, it’s all of them, because pickleball is not just a sport, or an outdoor court, it’s about meeting new people and making an adventure together wherever you are.

What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?
I am a visual learner. I watch the top players and mimic their movements through hours of practice. A tennis background helps to develop the natural movements and advanced shot selections. I will say, no matter what your level, you will play how you practice. You can’t expect different results doing the same thing over and over. Cliché’? A little, but it’s pure and important.

Take tips from as many pro instructors as you can, preferably an IPTPA instructor with consistent baseline fundamentals, and learn at least one thing they teach. Then take all those “one” things and apply them to your game. If you grew up playing a sport, take those fundamentals you were taught and learn to apply them into your paddle movement. You don’t just hit your shots over, hit your shots with a purpose. Don’t just serve the ball, serve deep to a target. Don’t just dink the ball over, dink to a target. It’s a chess game; be patient.

What is your day job?

My day job is now pickleball. I left a great paying job last November with benefits, decided to minimize my life, sold 75% of my belongings, and only mostly kept what I could take on the road.  I signed with Selkirk as a Pro Playing Athlete, coach and distributor in January. Fittingly, Selkirk is the only paddle brand I have ever played with. I decided I wouldn’t worry about gaining monetary wealth, but enjoy the peace and happiness through teaching, sharing and playing this life-changing sport.

How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?
I will practice and play anywhere from 10-18 hours a week if I am preparing for an event. I’m not counting any teaching hours of court time. I will schedule a recovery or fun day every 3 or 4 days.

Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?
I don’t have a ritual before a tournament, but I am a slightly methodical person during a tournament. There’s a mental list of things I check. I make sure I have a fresh Tourna Grip dry wrap on all my paddles, plenty of dry daily shirts, wrist sweatbands, 2 hats, 2 pair of socks for each day, 2 pairs of shoes to rotate, 2 pairs of ankle braces (Adidas Speedwrap), plenty of Bai drinks and water. (Uh oh, guess I do have a ritual!)

Do you have any pickleball goals you would like to share?
I want to beat Scott Moore in singles in a tournament. I want to play pickleball and go hiking with friends in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. And my ultimate goal is to help see this sport make it into the Olympics and be a part of the coaching staff. Thanks to Daniel Moore and USAPA President Jack Thomas, I have been invited by the newly formed Shenzhen Pickleball Association to go to China this May and introduce our USA Pickleball at the International Trade Expo to teach and help build their programs. I was also invited into their school system to teach pickleball to students. It is truly an honor, and I am humble to be a part of this monumental opportunity.

Randy Coleman and friends at a LevelUp Pickleball Camp

Randy Coleman and friends at a LevelUp Pickleball Camp

Anything else you would like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?
I hope that because of this sport, which is like no other, I have become a better person. I love to joke and laugh, start conversations at restaurants, in line at checkout registers, sitting on planes (yes, I have pulled out 2 paddles and a ball and played pickleball on a plane with a stewardess!) and what I am finding is that all the roads somehow lead back to pickleball. 

I am a social media person. I love taking selfies with friends on the court and at the homes of so many wonderful hosts. Because of them I can do what I do, and what I find is that this big world gets a little smaller because of a wiffle ball and a paddle. My favorite sporting event in the world is the Olympics. The only sporting event where over 200 countries put aside political differences to compete for the spirit of the games. Just as the Olympic motto I wear proudly as a reminder: Faster, Higher, Stronger. It’s the pinnacle of excellence that I may not achieve, but I can always strive for. Life IS competition, and it’s always better with pickleball.

Meet The Pros – Lisa Punuali Naamu

Meet the Pros – Lisa Punuali Naamu

Lisa Naamu

Lisa Punuali Naamu

Lisa is a tennis pro turned pickleball pro who loves the competition that tennis converts bring to the game. Enjoy!

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

2017 USAPA National Championships-
Senior Open Women’s Doubles with  Gigi LeMaster – Gold
55+Open Mixed Doubles with Blake Wilcox – Gold
Senior Open Women’s Singles – Gold
Women’s Doubles Age 50+with Kim Jagd – Silver

What paddle do you play with and why?

Encore Pro

Encore Pro

The paddle I was using during these tourneys was the Engage Encore Pro. It has great control and power.   I recently just switched to the new Engage Poach Advantage paddle because it feels great when I hit the ball hard or soft.  It will be a great new test for me at the 2018 US Open.

What is your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?

My start in pickleball came after 47 years of playing tennis.  I decided to try something different and I heard about pickleball.  Around May 2016 I went over to Freedom Park in Palm Desert, California and borrowed paddles for 2 weeks before I made a commitment  to try the game.  I bought my first paddle there and never looked back.

What is your preference – playing indoors or outdoors?

I prefer playing outdoors vs. indoors because I live in Southern California. It’s so natural for me to play outdoors like I did with tennis.   When it gets to be 100 degrees plus here in the desert, I like to take it indoors where it is air conditioned.

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

I enjoy playing women’s doubles, mixed doubles, and singles.  Like tennis I really enjoy playing 3 events.  Doubles you depend a lot on your partner to help you.  In singles it’s all you.  I like the challenge.

What is your favorite place to play? Why?

My favorite place to play pickleball is Southern California.  Whether it be Palm Desert, Tustin, Temecula or San Diego.  The weather and good players make it all worth while.  I often travel to these other places because I love playing with my friends there and the caliber of play is very good.

What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

My tip for players whether you are a recreational player or a tournament player is to continue to try to study the game by watching, reading, video taping, taking lessons, drills and practice.  

What is your day job?

Currently, I teach pickleball seasonally at the Embassy Suites off Hwy 111 in Palm Desert, CA.  During the summer I will teach some outdoors but mostly indoors because of the heat. I also enjoy teaching at the local parks: Freedom Park in Palm Desert, Fritz Burns in La Quinta and Whitewater in Rancho Mirage.

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

I play about 5-6 days a week, especially when preparing for a pickleball tournament. I make time to play pickleball by carefully planning and preparing ahead.

Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?

I don’t believe in lucky rituals before a tournament.  I believe in planning, and preparing myself with drills, practice matches, good nutrition, sleep and massage! I also get some coaching from good counsel which can be sufficient preparation before a big tournament.  It’s a discipline that is worth the effort.

Do you have any pickleball goals you would like to share?

My pickleball goal for 2018 and beyond is to be the best player I can be.    I want to continue to help grow and spread this great sport by teaching, coaching and using my website to reach local and global areas.

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

Coming from a tennis background has definitely helped me excel quickly in this game.  I see a lot of new players coming in from the tennis world and other sports, so I expect the competition to be even better.  I have learned so much from playing with different players with different styles, behaviors, attitudes and backgrounds.  Winning or losing I always can take away something to improve my game.

Meet The Pros – Bill Muno

Meet The Pros – Bill Muno

Bill Muno, Scott Moore and Glen Peterson

2017 USAPA Nationals – Bill Muno/Bronze, Scott Moore/Gold, Glen Peterson/Silver

Bill entered his first Nationals in 2017, competing with the best for bronze. Bill is headed to the US Open this year along with his wife and son. Nothing’s going to stop this pickleball family! Enjoy!

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

My first USAPA Nationals was 2017.  I placed 3rd in singles in the Senior Pro division. Also placed 3rd in the Age division.

What paddle do you play with and why?

I am sponsored by Paddletek. I play doubles with the Tempest Wave, and singles with the new Sabre paddle.

What is your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?

I teach tennis and my mom kept trying to get me to play Pickleball. Like many tennis players I said I would play Pickleball when I can’t play tennis anymore. My wife and I tried it and were hooked!

What is your preference – playing indoors or outdoors?

We enjoy playing outside in beautiful Colorado Springs with 300 days a year of sunshine!

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

I’ve always enjoyed playing singles more, because it’s all on my shoulders.

What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

I’ve played tennis my whole life with the idea of making my opponents beat me and not beating myself. I hate unforced errors!

Mixed 4.5 Winners Gold: Nanette Muno, Bill Muno Silver: Emilie Mesnier, Micky Knapton Bronze: Mollie Holmes, Scott Anderson

Mixed 4.5 Winners Gold: Nanette Muno, Bill Muno Silver: Emilie Mesnier, Micky Knapton Bronze: Mollie Holmes, Scott Anderson

What is your day job?

I’m still teach tennis but I’m trying to transition into teaching more pickleball.

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

We try to play each day the weather will let us. I play 10-15 hours week, but can’t keep up with my wife who plays 20 plus a week.

Do you have any pickleball goals you would like to share?

Looking  forward to competing in the US Open and watching my wife and son playing mixed doubles together!

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

Play your best and forget the rest!

Meet the Pros – Nancy Nowak

Meet The Pros – Nancy Nowak

Nancy Nowak

Nancy Nowak

Nancy has had the privilege of playing with one of the best instructors in the country, Deb Harrison. Together they are a force to be reckoned with. Enjoy!

Deb Harrison and Nancy Nowak - Huntsman World Senior Games

Deb Harrison and Nancy Nowak – Huntsman World Senior Games

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

2013 World Huntsman Senior Games: Gold Mixed Doubles (60-64) with partner Dick Scott
          Silver Women’s Doubles (60-64) with partner Deb Harrison
2009 USAPA Nationals: Silver Women’s Doubles with partner Judie Kelly

What paddle do you play with and why?

My paddle of choice for the past 2 years has been the Paddletek Bantam EX-L. This paddle provides nice pop but also allows control. I’m currently trying some of the elongated paddles as they have become the new craze.

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

I retired and bought a home in The Villages, Florida in 2004. A golf friend introduced me to the game. Being a former racquetball and badminton player, the game came naturally to me. Since then I have been addicted.

What’s your preference – playing indoor or outdoor?

I prefer outdoors. We have 180+ courts in The Villages with open play every day. Lighting seems to be an issue indoors for me.

Nancy Nowak and Dick Scott

Nancy Nowak and Dick Scott

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

I prefer doubles both women’s and mixed. Like teamwork concept of doubles. Deb Harrison and I often partner for tournaments, and when you play with same person you know and sense each other’s next move.

What is your favorite place to play? Why?

Lake Miona Recreation Center is my favorite place to play as the competition is great there. These courts attract mainly 4.5 and 5.0 players.

What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

I am known by my pickleball friends as Nasty Nancy due to 3 shots I use to pull my opponent’s out of position. These shots are a cut drop, bump lob off dink and inside out cut to sideline. These shots can be seen on Picklepong Deb’s U-Tube video.

My tip for players is to form practice groups where you work on different aspects of the game and then try to implement them as you play.

What is your day job?

Retired and enjoying life.

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

I usually play 6-7 days per week for 2-3 hrs. Sometimes twice a day if I have the opportunity. Also, for the past 10 years I attend a Weekly Advance Women’s PB Clinic led by Deb Harrison.

Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?

No, not really.

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

I have friends in their 70’s & 80’s who are still enjoying this game so my goal is stay healthy and keep my skills sharp so I can continue to play for several more years.

Nancy Nowak and Steve Butler

Nancy Nowak and Steve Butler – playing in the 2018 US Open.

Meet The Pros – Carol Lindow

Meet The Pros – Carol Lindow

Carol Lindow

Carol Lindow

Carol is an ambassador for both pickleball and tennis. She does not believe a player has to give up one for the other! Enjoy!

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

2017 USAPA NATIONALS -Gold, Women’s Doubles 5.0/Age with Jackie Faegre
       -Bronze, Mixed Doubles 5.0/Age with Randy Bourne
2017 US OPEN-Gold, Women’s Doubles Age with Jackie Faegre
      -Gold, Senior 5.0 Women’s Doubles with Jackie Faegre
2016 NATIONALS-Gold, Women’s Doubles Age with Jackie Faegre
2015 NATIONALS- Gold, Women’s Doubles Age with Jackie Faegre
2015 NATIONAL SENIOR GAMES- Gold, Women’s Doubles Age with Jackie Faegre
-Silver Mixed Doubles Age with Skip Houghton

2014 HUNTSMAN WORLD SENIOR GAMES- Gold, Women’s Doubles Age
-Bronze Mixed Doubles age

What paddle do you play with and why?

Manta Extreme Point 5 and Manta Cobra Lite. These paddles give me great control and power when needed. Also, I seem to get a more consistent 3rd shot and great touch. I am a Manta Sports Sales Representative and member of the Manta Pro Team. I love being sponsored by Manta. They are a good up-and-coming company.

What is your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?

I have always loved racket sports and started playing pickleball 5 years ago when I retired and was looking for something new to do with my time. As a former Physical Education teacher, I taught pickleball, but did not realize it had become so popular until I retired and started playing and competing in it. I love the quickness, strategy and variety of shots involved in the game. Plus, the people that play it have so much fun that it is hard to stop playing.

“ One more game,  OK…”

Duel in the Desert 5.0 65+ - Jim & Yvonne Hackenberg, Gold; Carol Lindow & Randy Bourne, Silver; Marsha Freso & Murph Murphy, .Bronze

Duel in the Desert 5.0 65+ – Jim & Yvonne Hackenberg, Gold; Carol Lindow & Randy Bourne, Silver; Marsha Freso & Murph Murphy, .Bronze:

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

I only play doubles mostly for this reason: I have had bilateral knee replacements and I want them to last for a long time. The lateral movement of  singles would be much to demanding on my replacement knees.

What is your preference – playing indoors or outdoors?

My favorite place to play outdoors is at the Palm Creek Resort in Casa Grande, Arizona, where I spend my winters. There are 32 individually-fenced, premier courts here. This is a place I refer to as “pickleball heaven” for active adults. In the summer I play in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where there also are numerous, designated-outdoor pickleball courts with a very active pickleball community.

carol Lindow angle shot

Great Angled Smash Shot!

What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

I feel having a wide variety of shots is the key. I don’t want to be predictable and I like trying to take away my opponent’s type of game style with various shots that can throw them off. I feel being consistent, keeping the ball in play and not making mistakes is the key to success. I like to play percentage pickleball and not give away “free points”. I try to keep a calm disposition and not get upset when my opponents gain momentum in the game. When I get behind, I tend to concentrate better and always believe we can win the game or match no matter what the score might be. So much of this game is mental. I also enjoy “setting up” the point for the offensive lob or angled smash shot which I would say are my favorite shots. 

What is your day job?

I am a retired PE Teacher.  

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

“One more game” is my motto, which means I play every day, endlessly! 

Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?

Not really. I just try to focus. I don’t get nervous because it is so much fun. A ritual would probably make me nervous. 

Do you have any pickleball goals you would like to share?

I have met most of my goals to win gold in all the major tournaments. Of course my goal now is to stay healthy and encourage tennis players to play both sports because one game helps the other. I don’t believe you have to give up one for the other. One of the big resistances among tennis players is that they might want to quit tennis because they fall in love with pickleball, but there are so many folks that do both. Many folks who play tennis at Palm Creek, where I live in the winter, have warmed up to the game. So I also “ambassador” for the game of tennis for the pickleball players, because they can do both. I might consider going abroad to play pickleball as long as they have Age categories. Madrid may be a possibility. 

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

I am fortunate to have good partners. A good partner is a fine player you can have fun with, like Randy Bourne, who shares the court with you and who encourages their partner. 

Carol Lindow and Randy Bourne

Carol Lindow and Randy Bourne