Meet the Pros – Lenny Chimino

Meet The Pros – Lenny Chimino

Cynthia Tietze January 15, 2018 · Congratulations to CarlTietze & Michael Cox for battling into the dark and taking home the SILVER🥈MD 5.0 65-69 at the Southwest Regional, way to go all you guys! Gold to Seymour Rifkind & Lenny Chimino, and Bronze to Mark Freidenberg & Al Hager

MD 5.0 65-69 at the 2018 Southwest Regional –  Al Hager & Mark Freidenberg – Bronze, , Lenny Chimino & Seymour Rifkind – Gold and Carl Tietze & Michael Cox – Silver

Lenny Chimino is an Illinois-to-Arizona snowbird who sometimes can’t convince folks back home that pickleball is a sport. He’s a retired teacher and coach, so that makes him a subject matter expert on what a sport is in my eyes. Enjoy!

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

2018 USAPA Nationals MD 65-69 5.0 Gold with Ted Meyer
2017 USAPA Nationals MD 65-69 5.0 Gold with Ted Meyer
2016 USAPA Nationals MD 65-69 5.0 Gold with Ted Meyer
2016 USAPA Nationals MX 65-69 5.0 Bronze with Sally Dobson
2015 USAPA Nationals MD 65-69 5.0 Silver with John Grasso
2014 USAPA Nationals MD 60-64 5.0 Silver with John Grasso
2013 USAPA Nationals MD 60-64 5.0 Gold with John Grasso
2012 USAPA Nationals MD 60-64 5.0 Silver with John Grasso
2011 USAPA Nationals MD 55-50 4.5 Silver with Mike Rains
2018 SW Regional MD 65-69 5.0 Gold with Seymour Rifkind
2018 SW Regional MX 65-69 5.0 Gold with Carolyn Bagley
2016 Huntsman MD 65-69 5.0 Gold with Ted Meyer

Head Radical Pro

What paddle do you play with and why?

This past year I played with the Head Radical Pro and Radical Tour paddles. I like the grip, touch, control and power of these Head paddles.

Head Radical Tour

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

I was asked to come play pickleball while on a hike in Sabino Canyon, Arizona. I learned more about the game from John Grasso and Tony Calendrillo and watched tournament play to learn to compete. I also spoke with Pat Kane and Chili.

What is your preference – playing indoors or outdoors?

I like playing outdoors in the sun, fresh air and elements.

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

I prefer doubles. I like the strategy, teamwork and dink play. I also prefer to play tournaments with different players during the season.

What is your favorite place to play? Why?

I don’t really have a favorite place. I love tournament play as well as any place there is good play, good fun or learning opportunities.

Lenny Chimino Casa Grande

Juli Goft, left (hand), Estelle Dechaine, Rob Barrett and Lenny Chimino play a game of pickleball at Mission Royale. (photo credit Oscar Perez/ Casa Grande Dispatch, Feb 23, 2016)

What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players? 

Not really. I try to “Keep it Simple.” So my advice? Keep the ball in play. Play soft and be patient. Be a positive encouraging partner.

What is your day job?

I’ve been retired since 2005. I was a high school teacher, coach and administrator over my 31 years in public education.

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

I try to play 3 times a week, probably 10-12 hours. I also enjoy golf and biking.

Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?

I used to be superstitious when coaching basketball, but not with pickleball or tournament play.

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

My goal is to play as long as physically possible and as long as my skills allow me to be competitive.

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

Enjoy the game. Always show good sportsmanship on and off the court as a partner and opponent.

 

Meet The Pros – Steve Deakin

Meet The Pros – Steve Deakin

Steve Deakin Margaritaville

Steve Deakin at 2018 USAPA Nationals, Indian Wells

When I first reached out to Steve, I thought he was a young up-and-coming pro. Hey, his track record now speaks for itself! He is a bona fide PROfessional. Enjoy!

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

These would be my most memorable results in the limited time I have been competing:

2019 International Indoor in Centralia – Gold in the Men’s Doubles.
2018 US Nationals Indian Wells, Silver in 35+ 5.0, Men’s Doubles and 5th/6th in the Men’s Doubles Open/Pro division.
2018 Canadian Indoor Championships Chilliwack, Men’s Doubles Open – Silver and Mixed Doubles Open – Silver
2018 Kamloops, Open Men’s Doubles Open – Gold and Mixed Doubles Open – Silver
2018 Alberta Provincial Championships Doubles Gold Men’s and Mixed Doubles Open
2018 Pacific NW Regionals in Bend 5.0 Bronze in both Men’s Doubles 19+ and Mixed Doubles 35+
2018 Grip and Rip Doubles – Gold Men’s and Mixed Doubles Open
2018 Pickle Barrel Classic – Silver Men’s Doubles 5.0 and Gold Mixed Doubles 5.0

Steve Deakin/Rick Witskin Gold

2019 Intl Indoor Pickleball Tournament: Tyson McGuffin/Morgan Evans-Bronze, Steve Deakin/Rick Witskin – Gold, Erik Lange – Bronze

I would like to thank all my partners to date who have been a part of my journey the past 2 years. Mike “The Ninja” Yee, Tim MacVinnie, Mike “The Jockey” Kerr, Darren Tillson, Marco Jankowiak, Barry Mah, Nick Williams, Rick “Ripskin” Witsken, Brenda Martel, Ronith Cogswell, and Irene Mah.

What paddle do you play with and why?

I play with the Selkirk Amped Invikta. It is by far the best paddle I have played with to date. I enjoy the extra length that gives more reach along with the added power and touch that makes this paddle so desirable by many players of all skill levels.

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

I come from an extensive tennis background but suffered a shoulder injury while competing at Canadian Nationals August of 2016. I was rehabbing this injury for months without any relief or return to sport in sight. I was getting frustrated with the process as I had many big tournaments on the horizon that I had to withdraw from due to this injury. This was devastating for me as tennis was a huge part of my life. My dad recognized this and approached me about a sport called pickleball. Claiming it is “exciting, fun to play and much easier on the body.” I had reservations at first about playing a sport that had a hamburger garnish in its name. Ha ha! After 3 consecutive weeks of an invite  to play at my local recreation centre (which I declined), I finally decided to give in, take my dad up on the offer and join him. I was immediately hooked and left tennis behind January 2017. I still struggled with the shoulder issue but was able to play/compete while rehabbing. I earned a gold medal in my first tournament in March 2017 and now pickleball is one of my passions.

What is your preference – playing indoors or outdoors?

Hands down, outdoors! I always enjoy the challenges of navigating the wind, sun, etc. I also prefer playing with the Durafast 40 Pickleball. I am no stranger to playing indoor pickleball though, as I live in Vancouver and I’m pretty certain it rains more than half the year! Haha.

Steve Deakin Men's Doubles

Steve Deakin at 2018 USAPA Nationals

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

I love doubles, as rallies can be very long. It combines the excitement of the fast exchanges along with the patience of the soft game. I really enjoy the thinking and strategies involved as well.  Even so, I do plan to start playing some singles next year.

What is your favorite place to play? Why?

I have two places that stand out. Number 1 is the Pitt Meadows Rec Centre near my home where I played pickleball for the first time. I will never forget the picklers there that taught me the rules of the game as there were quite a few. Number 2 is the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. I recently played USAPA Nationals there and the atmosphere was electric, the crowd support was large and the courts were pristine.

Steve Deakin action

Steve Deakin at the 2018 USAPA Nationals

What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

My secret sauce is my hand speed and dinking consistency. Tips: Practice patience while dinking and learn to recognize the right time to speed up a point. I will hit as many dinks as I feel necessary to extract the right ball from my opponents to put away. Think before you dink. I strongly believe if you want to improve your game (no matter what skill level) drill those dinks and third shot drops!

What is your day job?

I work for my uncle’s business selling mineral exploration equipment to mining camps.

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

This is a touchy subject and may want to plead the 5th on this one… haha. Just ask my wife Stacy who has become a pickleball widow. I would say I play 12 hours a week and she would say 20 hours. I am sure somewhere in the middle is the truth. I play 3-4 days a week depending on what tournaments are coming up and what time of year it is. I’ll usually play 3 days a week during winter months and 4 days a week during summer months when the weather is nice.

Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?

I am very ritualistic when it comes to tournament preparation and that came from my tennis background. However, I have lightened up just a bit on those rituals for pickleball. One funny thing I will typically not do during a tournament is sign the score sheet after a win. I am sure my partners scratch their head when I point to the referee and walk away.

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

I would like to win Gold at the USAPA Nationals, the US Open and the Tournament Of Champions Event in the next 2 years.

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

Pickleball has opened up so many amazing opportunities for me. It keeps me fit, healthy and has cultivated many new friendships. I love it and will continue to play for many years to come. A special thanks to the entire group at Selkirk who have treated me very well throughout my development as a competitive player. A very special thanks to my wife Stacy and family who have supported me with this new passion.

Meet The Pros – Katie Dyer

Meet the Pros – Katie Dyer

Katie Dyer Scheels Gold

2018 Scheels Capital Classic – Gold KaSandra Marie Gehrke/Katie Dyer, Silver LeEllen Lane and Erin Parriott, Bronze Camille Hughes-Strope and Stephanie Shouse Lane

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

2018 USAPA Nationals, Women’s Doubles Age 35+ with Mary Helen Atkins– Gold
2018 USAPA Atlantic South Regional, Women’s Doubles with Sarah Parker – Gold
2018 Texas Open, Women’s Doubles Age with Kasandra Gehrke- Gold
Women’s Doubles Pro with Kasandra Gehrke – Bronze
2018 Scheels Capital City Classic, Women’s Doubles with Kasandra Gehrke – Gold
2018 Colorado Open, Women’s Doubles with Stephanie Lane – Gold
Mixed Doubles with Jesse Taylor – Silver
2018 Logan Stanley Memorial Classic, Women’s Doubles with Stephanie Lane – Gold
Mixed Doubles with Jesse Taylor – Silver
2018 Trussville Charity Classic, Mixed Doubles with Jesse Taylor – Gold
2018 Grand Canyon State Games, Women’s Doubles with Mary Helen Atkins – Silver
Mixed Doubles with Dave Glendenning – Bronze
2018 East Naples Winter Classic, Women’s Doubles with Joanne Russell – Silver
Mixed Doubles with Jesse Taylor – Gold
2017 USAPA Atlantic South Regional, Women’s Doubles 4.5 with Gretchen Ratchford – Gold
2017 Georgia Mountain Fall Classic, Women’s Doubles with Leanna Camper – Gold
2017 Pickleball Nashville Labor Day, Women’s Doubles 4.5 with Kristin Parvin, – Gold
Mixed Doubles 4.5/5.0 with Jesse Taylor – Silver
2017 Battle on Beech Mountain, Women’s Doubles 4.5/5.0 with Noa Geyne – Silver
Mixed Doubles 4.5/5.0 with Joshua Cook – Silver
2017 Atlanta Open, Women’s Doubles 4.5 with Noa Geyne – Gold
Mixed Doubles 4.5 with Joshua Cook – Gold

Katie Dyer action shot

Katie Dyer with her eye on the pickleball

What paddle do you play with and why?

I play with the Selkirk Amped Epic. The paddle gives me great touch at the kitchen line as well as power and control. The longer handle is perfect for my two handed backhand. I also prefer a very thin grip, which I believe gives me more feel and precision with my shots.

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

I played college softball and love playing practically any sport. Four designated pickleball courts were built in Collegedale, Tennessee, one mile from my house and another mile from my work. My friend, Chuck Daniels, encouraged me to try out the new sport, sending me weekly text messages with the entry-level wooden paddle link on Amazon. After four consecutive weeks of messages, I ordered the paddles and have been hooked ever since.

Katie Dyer Texas Open

Jeanne Stasny Follow · January 9 · Jeanne Stasney with Celeste Pafford, KaSandra Marie Gehrke, Katie Dyer and Lisa Naumu in Dallas, Texas.

What is your preference – playing indoors or outdoors?

I only play outdoors. After a long day of working indoors, I am always ready to get outside and play with friends.

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

I definitely prefer doubles. I enjoy the teamwork aspect that doubles brings to the table as well as the strategic part of the game.

Katie Dyer and Maryhelen Atkins

Katie Dyer and Maryhelen Atkins, Gold, 2018 USAPA Nationals at Indian Wells

What is your favorite place to play? Why?

My favorite place to play is Indian Wells, California at the 2018 USAPA Nationals. It was my first Nationals and winning a gold metal certainly was the highlight for me.

What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

My two-handed backhand is my signature shot. I love generating topspin, dropping in the kitchen or holding a misdirect shot until the last moment. I encourage players to play with many different types of pickleball players, whether bangers or dinkers. Play your game. Often times we find ourselves falling into our opponents’ style of play. Know what your strengths are and stick to them. Improve your weaknesses during drilling practice.

What is your day job?

I am a pharmacist at a specialty compounding pharmacy, Solutions Pharmacy, in Ooltewah, TN. We are licensed in 23 states and ship out all over the country. I meet patients all over the United States, and I am personally rewarded with the ability to affect a patient’s quality of life.

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

I play three to four hours approximately three to five days a week. I do not get off of work until 5pm or 6pm and am eager to get to the courts to exercise and enjoy quality time with friends.

Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?

I do not have any lucky rituals before a tournament. I do, however, focus on hydration and getting plenty of rest before the tournament. I practice diligently the week prior to the tournament on third shots, dinking, and quick hands drills.

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

I would love to win an open pro event in women’s and mixed doubles.

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

I would like to thank my family for their continued support and encouragement. I would also like to thank Selkirk Sports for their sponsorship in helping me spread the love of this amazing sport.

Meet the Pros – Matt Goebel

Meet the Pros – Matt Goebel

Matt Goebel

Matt Goebel

Matt played pickleball on his own home court as a kid. He also has quite the court advantage! Look at that reach! The competition must have a difficult time getting the ball past Matt.  Enjoy!

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

2018 USA Pickleball Nationals 19+ Men’s Doubles Gold with Tyson McGuffin
2018 Tournament of Champions Men’s Doubles Pro Gold with Tyson McGuffin
2018 Triple Crown Men’s Doubles Silver with Joey Farias
2018 SoCal Summer Classic Men’s Doubles Open Bronze with Tyler Loong
2018 International Indoor Pickleball Championships Mixed Doubles Open Bronze with Miok Lee
2018 Brigham City Memorial Mixed Doubles Open Silver with Christine Barksdale
2018 US Open Men’s Doubles Pro Bronze with Tyson McGuffin
2017 Coeur d’Alene Classic Men’s Doubles Gold with Tyson McGuffin
2017 Canadian Nationals Men’s Doubles Open Silver with Tyson McGuffin
2017 International Indoor Pickleball Championships Men’s Doubles Open Silver with Tyson McGuffin
2017 Brigham City Memorial Men’s Doubles Pro Silver with Tyson McGuffin
2017 Grand Canyon State Games Men’s Doubles 19+ Bronze with Rob Davidson

Matt Goebel and Tyson McGuffin

Matt Goebel and Tyson McGuffin at 2018 Margaritaville USAPA Nationals

What paddle do you play with and why?

I play with the Selkirk AMPED Invikta. I really love Selkirk as a company and what they stand for and believe in, and they also make some great paddles. The Invikta is longer than the traditional paddle, but not as skinny as your regular elongated paddle. It gives you that extra reach that really enhances how you can strike the ball without shrinking the sweet spot or paddle face.

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

I grew up just outside of Seattle and actually had a pickleball court in my back yard when I was really young, so I was introduced to the sport early on. When we moved, I started playing tennis and left pickleball behind. Then, when I was playing tennis in college, my parents got invited to play at a rec center by some friends, sop I joined in and got hooked again. Whenever I came home for breaks we’d all go play pickleball. When I graduated, we played a tournament in Canada, and I haven’t really played tennis since.

What is your preference – playing indoors or outdoors?

Nothing beats getting to play pickleball outdoors on a sunny day. Up here in Washington we don’t get the opportunity to play outdoors year round, so when I can get outside I take full advantage of it!

Matt Goebel, Tonja Major

Miok Lee with Kurtis Campbell, Matt Goebel, Tonja Major and Tyson McGuffin.

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

Definitely doubles. I love the strategy and the way you can set up a point in doubles. It requires you to work really well with your partner and have a lot of patience to wait for the right opportunity to attack.

What is your favorite place to play? Why?

I enjoy all of the tournaments Kyle Klein and Co. put on in Brigham City, UT. They have a beautiful facility with 16 courts plus a championship court that is tough to beat. But the real draw is the people and the hospitality. When I go to play there, I feel like a part of the family and enjoy every second of it.

What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

The number one thing that helps me compete with the best players is my aggressive forehand that puts my opponents on the defensive and allows to finish off points early. It’s really important for all players to find a style that works well for them. Figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are and find a way to highlight your strengths and hide your weaknesses. Not everyone can be great in all aspects of pickleball, but we can all play the game on our terms to best set ourselves up for success.

What is your day job?

I am a high school math teacher, which makes the summer months an ideal time to travel around and get to play with and against some of the best players in the country.

Miok Lee and Matt Goebel

Miok Lee and Matt Goebel – 2018 Intl Indoor Championship

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

I typically play 2-5 hours a week, but try to ramp that up in the weeks leading up to a tournament. It’s hard to find time to play consistently during the school year, but my wife knows how much I enjoy playing, so we make sure to find some time each week and sometimes I even convince her to come drill with me.

Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?

Nothing special for tournaments. I just try to treat it like a normal day. Get a good nights sleep, get a hearty breakfast in, and make sure to get a good warm up. My wife and I did go to Hawaii for our honeymoon directly before Tyson and I won gold at Tournament Of Champions, so that might have to become the ritual in the future.

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

Competitively, my goal is to win a gold medal in men’s doubles at the three major tournaments. I’m 1/3 of the way there, so we’re making progress. Outside of the competition, I want to continue to travel around and meet more wonderful people from all over the country and world, playing this glorious sport.

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

The thing that makes this sport so exceptional is the accessibility and the social aspect. Anyone and everyone can pick up a paddle and play. I get to play against the best of the best, but I also get to go home and play with my wife, my siblings, my parents. It’s a sport that brings people together. Throughout my time playing, I’ve met some truly wonderful people that have made my life better, and I look forward to all of the new experiences and relationships that this sport will provide me in the future!

Meet The Pros – Michelle Esquivel

Meet the Pros – Michelle Esquivel

MIchelle Esquivel

MIchelle Esquivel at the 2018 Margaritaville USAPA National Championships – photo credit to ProPickleball

No doubt about it, Michelle Esquivel is a fierce competitor and dedicated instructor who is totally in love with pickleball. Enjoy! 

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

2018 USAPA Margaritaville Nationals, Women’s Singles 5.0 19+ – Gold
2018 Tustin Winter Classic, Women’s 5.0 Doubles with Lisa Naumu – Gold
+ Mixed 5.0 Doubles with Jeff Warnick – Gold
2018 International Indoor Championships, Mixed Open Doubles with David Wage – Silver
+ Women’s Doubles Open with Lindsey Newman – Gold
2018 SoCal Classic, Women’s Doubles Open with Gee Gee Garvin – Gold
2018 Engage Golden State Championships, Women’s Doubles Open with Lindsey Newman – Silver
+2018 Mixed Open Bronze with Jeff Warnick
2018 Las Vegas Open, Women’s Doubles Open with Gee Gee Garvin – Bronze
2018 Western Regional, Women’s Doubles 5.0, 19+ with Kris Anderson – Gold
+ Mixed Doubles 5.0 19+ with Jeff Warnick  –  Gold

What paddle do you play with and why?

I love playing with the Engage Poach Advantage! It has the perfect combination of control and power I need for my game.

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

While coaching tennis at Orange Coast College in 2015, my fellow colleague text me and invited me to play pickleball over at the courts in Tustin, CA. That was the first time I had ever heard of the sport and I even laughed and asked, “What the heck is pickleball?” Just like most, I was instantly hooked and addicted to the sport. I remember playing my first tournament at the 2016 SoCal Classic in Oceanside, CA, where I fell in love with competing. I knew I wanted to take my game to the next level after last year’s USAPA Nationals. Since then, I’ve been able to show some great results and compete against the top players in the game. It’s been such a blast so far.

What is your preference: playing indoors or outdoors?

I love playing pickleball both indoors and outdoors, but if I had a preference I would rather play outdoors. I come from a Southern California tennis background and love being outdoors as much possible. If not, playing indoors is just as great.

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

I definitely enjoy playing doubles more but love the physical & mental challenge of singles.

Michelle Esquivel Mixed Doubles

Michelle Esquivel and Rob Cassidy in Mixed Doubles at 2018 USAPA Nationals

What is your favorite place to play? Why?

I really loved playing at Nationals this year at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. I grew up watching the tennis pros play at the same venue during the PNB Paribas Open and never thought I’d be competing there for pickleball. It’s an amazing facility for both spectators and players. It was so much fun playing for the fans.

What is your secret sauce?

My tennis background really helps, especially with my footwork and positioning for doubles.

Takako Tourangeau, Lee Whitwell, Michelle Esquivel, Tracie DeJager, Bonnie Williams and Lindsey Newman

Takako Tourangeau, Lee Whitwell, Michelle Esquivel, Tracie DeJager, Bonnie Williams and Lindsey Newman

Any tips for players?

Work on your weaknesses! I personally love driving the ball and hitting hard, so I tend to focus and work on third shot drops and dinks as much as possible. In rec games, I’ll intentionally play balls I would usually feel uncomfortable hitting, so they become easier in tournaments. I also recommend challenging the stronger player on the court during practice games. I know winning is fun, but you’ll only get better by getting out of your comfort zone.

What is your day job?

I just changed career paths from being a tennis coach to teaching pickleball! I was just hired as a teaching pro at the Pickleball Zone Bend in Central Oregon. The brand-new indoor facility just opened a week ago right before Nationals. I’ll be teaching clinics, lessons and setting up events with Lisa Palcic who is the Head Director of the Oregon Pickleball Academy.

Lisa Palcic and Michelle Esquivel

The Oregon Pickleball Academy-Pickleball Zone Bend, with Lisa Palcic and Michelle Esquivel

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

If there’s an opportunity to play, I’ll always take it. I’m at a point where I can’t get enough pickleball. I make it a top priority to routinely drill and set up games whenever I can. I try to get in 12-15 hours of games per week.

Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?

I don’t have any luckily rituals before a big tournament, but I prepare myself as much as I can by getting enough rest, making sure I hydrate and stretch.

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

I’ve accomplished one of my top goals by medaling at Nationals this year. I’m working hard to earn a place on the podium at the US Open and Tournament of Champions for next year.

Anything else you would like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?
Pickleball has surprisingly changed my life in such a positive light. I never thought I’d be so passionate about it. I love teaching it, competing and being a part of its unique community. I admire and respect all the ambassadors, volunteers, tournament directors and people who’ve made the sport what’s it’s become today. I also appreciate all the fans and pickleball addicts who just can’t get enough. We can all relate! Without all of you, it wouldn’t be the same, so a sincere THANK YOU

Meet the Pros – Moira Roush

Meet the Pros – Moira Roush

Moira Roush

USAPA West Regional Moira Roush/Tiener_X Nguyen

Moira Roush is one of the best who plays with the best. Enjoy!

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

2018 Hawaii Oahu Tournament, Mixed Doubles with Tiener_X Nguyen – Gold
2018 Great Plains Regionals, Women’s Singles 5.0 Age – Gold
Mixed Doubles 5.0 Age with Nabil Merhi – Silver
2018 Oklahoma Senior Games, Women’s Singles, Age – Gold
Mixed Doubles with Jack Thomas – Bronze

2018 USAPA Mountain Regional, Mixed Doubles Skill with Tiener_X Nguyen- Silver
Women’s Doubles Skill with Vivian Edwards – Silver
2017 USAPA Nationals Women’s Singles – Silver
Mixed Doubles 4.5 Age with Tiener_X Nguyen – Bronze

2017 State Games of America, Women’s Singles – Gold
4.5 Mixed Doubles with Tiener_X Nguyen – Gold

What paddle do you play with and why?

I am honored to be sponsored by Selkirk. I play with the new Invikta mid-weight paddle. I love the feel it gives me for dinking and the response I get when I need power. The extra length is also helpful at times.

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

My husband began playing pickleball and told me I had to try it. He played for 3 months before I tried it. Each time he went he played longer and longer so I decided if I wanted to see more of him I needed to start playing! Once I played, I saw why he was so excited about the sport.

What is your preference – playing indoors or outdoors?

I prefer to play outdoors. I like the surface and the light is better. Unfortunately, in Oklahoma City we don’t have many outdoor venues.

2018 Hawaii Oahu Tournament – Tiener-X Nguyen-Moira Roush Gold

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

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

I play both singles and doubles. In singles I enjoy out-thinking the other player and the workout that it provides. Playing doubles, I enjoy the teamwork and the challenge to create openings to put the ball away.

What is your favorite place to play? Why?

I loved playing at the North Georgia Pickleball Club in Atlanta. Beautiful setting and lovely courts. Also love to play in St. George, Utah.

What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

No real secret sauce, I just try to remember to keep my grip light and bend at the knees. That would be my advice to others besides watch the ball!

What is your day job?

I am lucky that my day job is teaching pickleball! I’ve gone from being a certified tennis instructor to certified pickleball instructor. I love helping people improve their games and have more fun on the court!

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

Nahola Fitness Center Pickleball Clinic taught by Moira Roush

Nahola Fitness Center Pickleball Clinic taught by Moira Roush

I play 15-20 hours a week in addition to the time I spend teaching/drilling with students.

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

My pickleball goals are to compete well in the major tournaments and continue to improve my game. As an ambassador I also want to grow  the sport by introducing it to others as a sport they can play at any age and ability level.

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

My favorite part of pickleball is the people I have met all over the country. As we age it’s harder to meet people but pickleball makes it extremely easy and that makes life better!

Meet The Pros – Devin Shoquist

Meet The Pros – Devin Shoquist

Devin Shoquist

Devin Shoquist

Pickleball put a smile on Devin Shoquist’s face from day one.  If you are in the neighborhood, Pickleball Station in Kent, WA, you may just catch his smile. Enjoy!

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

2018 Pickleball Station Pre-Nationals Tournament, Mixed Doubles with Lynn Syler – Gold
2018 Blue Hole Bash in Sequim, WA, Mixed Doubles with Lynn Syler – Gold
2017 So Cal Men’s Doubles with Rob Davidson Age – Gold
2016 Oregon State Games, Mixed Doubles with Camille Schermerhorn– Gold
2016 International Indoor Championship, 4.5 Mixed Doubles with Shonda Schallenberger – Gold

Lynn Syler/Devin Shoquist - Gold

Bryce Ogren/Julie Haney – Silver, Lynn Syler/Devin Shoquist – Gold, Allison Hastings/Douglas Hastings – Bronze

What paddle do you play with and why?

I play with the Selkirk Amped Maxima. I like the reach and feel of the paddle and it gives me the ability to create top spin on my shots.

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

I played tennis in high school. I’ve played other racket and paddle sports, including ping pong. Fast forward to 7 years ago, I saw pickleball being played at the local YMCA. I talked to a couple of guys about it and found out how many folks were playing. I just stepped into the action one day and haven’t looked back. I started competing 3 years ago.

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

 I like them both. I like singles because it’s a challenge and I am the only one responsible for the results.

What is your favorite place to play? Why?

Devin Shoquist with Rhonda Smith at Pickleball Station

Devin Shoquist with Rhonda Smith at Pickleball Station

I enjoy playing at Sehmel Park, Gig Harbor, WA and Pickleball Station in Kent, WA. 

What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

My secret sauce is Hammer Gel, espresso flavor, and my tip for players is to do everything you can to keep the ball in play.

What is your day job?

I am a psychiatrist.

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

I play 12-15 hours a week, 3-4 times a week. I make time to play because I find the game to be good exercise and great stress relief.

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

As a 35+ and 50+ player, I hope to win gold at one of the National Tournaments.

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

Pickleball has been an excellent way to have fun and meet new people.