David Jordan's Historic Leadership of Pickleball
During a Pandemic
INTERVIEW WITH SCOTT CLEERE
Director of Tennis, Templeton Tennis Ranch
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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
DAVID JORDAN'S HISTORIC LEADERSHIP OF PICKLEBALL
The USAPA is undergoing major changes in its organizational structure as it shifts from a volunteer working board to a volunteer advisory board which will direct a hired staff. The growth of pickleball has brought about the need for more administration. But, the thread that runs through the growth of pickleball and the broadening of its USAPA administration has been David Jordan.
David first got involved in pickleball at the Thousand Trails Park in Hershey, PA. After years of being a pied piper of pickleball around the country along with his wife Nancy, he became the President of the USAPA from 2013 to 2017. He cites some of his most meaningful accomplishments including the vast ambassador system which spreads the word of pickleball throughout the US, the growth of the USAPA national tournament from 400 players in 2012 to 1500+ in 2017, the expansion of the regional championships, the sanctioning of tournaments giving them no cost liability insurance coverage for participants, and the hiring of additional staff. The most rewarding experience he said, "was the opportunity that Nancy and I had to travel the US and Canada as ambassadors for this great sport."
L-R Summer Jordan (granddaughter), David Jordan, Alex Hamner, Barney McCallum, Nancy, Jenifer, Ray Pereyra (former board member). Back row is Kathy and Darryl Noble.
Original court on Bainbridge Island
In 2005, David and Nancy began playing the Huntsman World Games in St. George, Utah. For 10 years he and Nancy promoted USAPA membership and helped with the referees at the tournament. He became the Tournament Director in 2016 and has continued at that position to build this highly successful tournament.
The Huntsman World Games pickleball tournament began with 8 courts. Jordan now uses 38 courts and 2 venues to run the Games. The first year had 80 players; last year there were 900! Jordan believes the growth is due to three major components. "First, it has always been a very well run tournament with a host of great volunteers and a tournament that puts the interests of the players first. Second, it is backed up by a great organization in the Huntsman World Games staff and their network of employees and volunteers. Third, St. George is a great town with a beautiful landscape and it has fantastic attractions including Zion National Park and Snow Canyon State Park. It also has great weather during the Games," he explained.
Playing in Segovia Spain
The Huntsman World Games brings 13,000 athletes to St. George from around the world. "It has a tremendous economic impact on the city," Jordan said. "It is one of the fastest growing towns in the US."
Madrid Spain tournament
When asked what the key elements are on running a large pickleball tournament Jordan said, "planning, planning, planning,"! He explained, "You have to put together a strong team that is willing to put in the time and energy it takes plus there has to be a strong base of volunteer help." He said, "We start planning for next year's games about two weeks after the finish of the current year games."
The key to getting good volunteers is showing them that they are appreciated and that you are willing to do what it takes to make their job as easy as possible Jordan believes. He said, "Pickleball Nation is made up of great people who have given their time and effort to make this sport as rewarding as possible to all who play."
Jordan said, "The USAPA is the key to the growth and governance of the sport. Survival is dependent on a strong governance body and its control of rules and oversight of the sport. The USAPA has done an outstanding job of promoting and growing the sport. This has been done by the hard work of mostly volunteers up to this point. It is now time for the USAPA to take the next step and be run by competent staff with an oversight board."
David and Nancy Jordan have certainly been instrumental in guiding the USAPA through years of exciting growth. They continue to make the Huntsman World Games a premier event.
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
PICKLEBALL WITHDRAWAL DURING A PANDEMIC
What if you cannot play Pickleball for weeks or months? During the2020 COVID-19 Pandemic, many courts around the country are locked, sending thousands of players scrambling for something to do. First, I want you to think about a couple of situations before you try to break the lock on your public courts or continue to play with lots of different players from many different areas, on your public courts.
Here are two scenarios to consider. Iceland and VO, Italy tested EVERYONE in their respective locations. Half of the inhabitance tested positive but had no symptoms. Look around you. What if half the players you played with yesterday were positive for COVID with no symptoms. Now, you’re a carrier risking those close to you.
Another scenario: Why did the Olympics cancel? The NBA, NFL the PGA, LPGA and all major and non-major tennis tournaments cancel? Because they value and protect their athletes. What’s with Pickleball players who just won’t stop playing? I understand it’s addictive and social and exercises but at what risk-your life?
Here are things you can safely do. Set up a net on your driveway or street and have no more than 4 social distance close friends playing. Remember wear gloves and Lysol the balls, paddles and gloves. Hit against a backboard or wall. Practice dinks, 3rd and 5th shots, serving, lobbing, etc. Drilling on the wall is fun and challenging. See if you can hit 100 balls without missing.
If push comes to shove and you cannot play, watch PB videos or try something new like stretching and strength training. This is a great time to prepare your body for the future by doing good things for your body. Look for Pickleball Barbara stretching videos on YouTube.