FEBRUARY

2020

ALICE TYM

THE FOUNDERS

OF THE US OPEN

FOCUS ON FUN

THE PICKLEBALL

US OPEN ENTRY

HAS GONE LOTTERY

BARBARA WINTROUB

BARBARA WINTROUB

THE SENIOR GAME:

IS PICKLEBALL AT FAULT

OR ARE YOU?

SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLES

PICKLEBALL GAME CHANGERS™    VIDEOS

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BARBARA WINTROUB

For the last eleven years, Barbara has played competitive tournaments, taught and coached Pickleball. Barbara has written a fitness blog for the last six years in the USAPA newsletter and was the first to offer a fitness article in the new Pickleball Magazine.
She introduced Pickleball at Rancho La Puerta, Tecate, Mexico. The oldest spa resort saw the value of having Pickleball permanently installed at this destination resort.
Barbara is a certified USPTA tennis teaching professional, so the transition to teaching Pickleball was not difficult. She teaches all over the Coachella Valley.
Barbara is also an active aging expert degreed in Kinesiology; a First Tier Pilates instructor certified by the PMA; Medical Exercise Specialist certified by AAHFRP; faculty with ACE; UCLA extension Personal Training Dept.; Balanced Body University; Educational Director Retrofit School of Pilates and speaker with American Bone Health.
Barbara's Pilates
website

THE PICKLEBALL US OPEN ENTRY HAS GONE LOTTERY

What does that really mean to the players?  We have no clue?  We don’t know the formula the tournament director uses to allow entries.  We don’t know how many events we can get into even if we enter 3, 4, or 5 events.  If we are waitlisted, we don’t know if we can still get into an event as players are dropping out. In order to play this tournament, many of us have to book a hotel or condo, purchase an airline ticket, rent a car, find partners, etc. way in advance. We could lose all our travel purchases.

Here are some of the scenarios:  My friends playing in 75 women’s doubles were told there is no division for them unless they bring all their own competitors.  What!  So that’s what they did, brought all their own women players.  These women also brought their own mixed doubles partners so they could play several events.  With the lottery none of these women got into the mixed division, they were all waitlisted. Even the team that won the division last year. What!  All of them booked a condo, none of them want to come, so they lose their deposit on the condo.  

I have come to this tournament 4 years in a row but that means nothing in the lottery. I entered 5 events but I got waitlisted in the event I could do well in. Also, I entered singles. I’ve won a medal three times. Last year they put me in a younger division. This year there is no guarantee I can play my age group or will they put me down in age.  I’m 74.

 

This tournament tells the older players there aren’t enough of them to hold a division. And when there are enough of them the US Open doesn’t let them in. What sport in the world denigrates and discriminates against older players?  None that I know.  

The US Open is considered a major tournament. Thousands of players enter but the choice is not based on their merit but on some kind of a nebulous lottery system. Maybe it’s all about the money. Why let a player enter 3-5 events when you can get $100 from each player you let in, instead of $35 for each event we want to enter. 

This lottery system is not sports it’s a circus.

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ALICE TYM

Played all the tennis majors. Ranked #13 in the world, Florida Gator Intercollegiate Hall of Fame, U Florida Hall of Fame, USPTA Coach of the Year
Coached U of TN at Chattanooga women to two national titles
Coached Yale women to top 20 and Ivy Championship
Taught geology and geography for 40 years at UT Chattanooga
Won NSGA badminton singles and table tennis singles and doubles
Won pickleball titles including Huntsman and USAPA Nationals and SSIPA Worlds Founder and board member of SSIPA
IFP board member and originator of the Bainbridge Cup
Most importantly: 3 great kids and 7 great-grandkids

 

THE FOUNDERS OF THE US OPEN FOCUS ON FUN

Terri Graham and Chris Evon formed Spirit Promotions and founded the US Open Pickleball Championships in 2016 in Naples, Florida. They saw that the sport needed a world-class event. "Not just an event, but a BIG event," Chris said. "Tournaments were being designed for competitors, not for spectators or entertainment." The number of players in 2020 is anticipated to be 2,500.

Terri and Chris had been part of the Indoor Racquet Sports Division of Wilson Sporting Goods. Terri was the Business Director and Chris was the Promotions and Marketing Manager. "The #1 skills we brought to the Open was to include FUN. Sounds like a simple skill but no one had really focused on the fun element. We had been to many big events in our days at Wilson and the one common theme of the successful events was seeing so many people with smiles on their faces. We know we will not please everyone all the time but we can sure try to make sure everyone has fun whether it is playing, dancing, drinking, eating, sunning, or just hanging with friends," Chris explained. "The US Open is the biggest pickleball party in the world! That will never change," she announced.

They suggest that new tournament directors "be creative and genuine as you create your own identity and unique experience for players." Chris explained that "pickleball is booming not only in the US but around the world. There are 3.3 million players in just the US. However, look for this number to reach double digits over the next several years. Sit back and watch this sport explode! It will be so much fun to witness."

I asked Chris what can we expect from the Open in 2020 as registration begins in early January. She said, "Collier County approved 10 additional courts to be built at East Naples Community Park in 2020. That will bring our total for the US Open to 60 permanent courts--the largest pickleball facility in the world. The county is also working on upgrading the electric and wifi capabilities so we can continue to upgrade our facilities to all who attend. Our Expo tents will be air-conditioned, we always increase the shade around the park, we will have Food Trucks, and more. And, the party will be bigger and better than ever!"

The relationship between Collier County and the US Open has been a great one since the beginning. Chris said, "They believed in us from the start and saw the opportunity to bring a world-class event to Naples. Collier County set the standard and many have followed putting in their own pickleball courts. The staff of Collier County and the Commissioners have paved the way for others to build on their success."

I asked Chris for advice for young women entrepreneurs. She responded, "First to believe in yourself. Set realistic goals, but don't be afraid to push the envelope. Listen to advice, learn from those before you, but be willing to create your own ideas. And, once you start, stay on your own course! It's always important to learn to grow and to change, but don't allow others to steer you away from your goals and your mission statement."

As the US Open has continued to grow, Terri and Chris have realized their dream. Naples has become a major pickleball center in the US, and the Open is certainly "The Biggest Pickleball Party in the World."

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BARBARA WINTROUB

For the last eleven years, Barbara has played competitive tournaments, taught and coached Pickleball. Barbara has written a fitness blog for the last six years in the USAPA newsletter and was the first to offer a fitness article in the new Pickleball Magazine.
She introduced Pickleball at Rancho La Puerta, Tecate, Mexico. The oldest spa resort saw the value of having Pickleball permanently installed at this destination resort.
Barbara is a certified USPTA tennis teaching professional, so the transition to teaching Pickleball was not difficult. She teaches all over the Coachella Valley.
Barbara is also an active aging expert degreed in Kinesiology; a First Tier Pilates instructor certified by the PMA; Medical Exercise Specialist certified by AAHFRP; faculty with ACE; UCLA extension Personal Training Dept.; Balanced Body University; Educational Director Retrofit School of Pilates and speaker with American Bone Health.
Barbara's Pilates
website

THE SENIOR GAME

IS PICKLEBALL AT FAULT? OR ARE YOU?

The answer is a bit of both.  Let’s say your doctor says you really need to get off the sofa and do some exercise.  After being a couch potato or tomato for years, you need to decide what your next step will be.  All your friends are now playing Pickleball. They suggest you must try Pickleball so you can join them in the fun they are having.  It’s more than buying a paddle and a ball and some shoes and going out to play.  It’s about how’s your balance moving right, left, forward, back.  Maybe not the best you think.   But, you played tennis 40 years ago and you weren't bad.  That should count for something.  Yes, it does but it counts 40 years ago not today.  Can you bend your knees, have new knees, have a new shoulder, have pain in your shoulder?  You need to take all this into account before you start running around on the Pickleball court.  More new players fall and hurt themselves because they think they are 30, not 70.  Find a beginner class where everyone’s level is the same.  The teacher will structure the class based on the ability of the students.  You will also have beginners to practice against before you go out to compete with your friends who have been playing months or years. 

How strong and flexible are you?  Not very for most of the new players I teach.  I make sure we do a warm up before we begin playing.  I give strength and flexibility exercises to see where the players are at before doing drills.  The teacher needs to make suggestions on what exercises would be beneficial. 

Some of the responsibility of fitness is clearly on the player.  Those players who chase after balls they shouldn’t seem to wind up in the ER.  Be the best you can be at any age but be smart about it. 

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