Love that Pickleball mimics life...always an opportunity to RESET

I am Dotti Berry, aka Coach B, from Birch Bay, WA (2 hours north of Seattle and just five minutes from the Canadian border).

My wife, Robynne, and I have been together almost 20 years. We have two girls, Baylee Joy and Willow Joy, two red standard poodles.

Outside of pickleball, I love gardening. I call it yard “play” vs. yard work. It is very centering for me, much like pickleball. When I am doing both, I am “in the moment” and joy oozes from my pores.

Roby and I enjoy reading books…together. She reads out loud to me. We call them “hot tub” readings as we get our cup of coffee and begin the day. We have enjoyed book after book for 20 years. This also leads to great discussions.

I love the engagement and sense of community in pickleball equally as much as I love playing. When I discovered pickleball, I realized what was missing from my life. I quickly became enamored with our wonderful sport and passionate about spreading the word. Sound familiar? :slight_smile:

That lead me to become an Ambassador.

Prior to that, however, I can only describe my journey as “synchronistic.” I was returning from Hawaii after two weeks. Sitting by a gentleman and his wife on the plane, he asked me what I had done while in Hawaii. I said “I played pickleball every day. I just started playing back home and love it!” He replied, “Well, my friend, Tyson McGuffin just won the US Open.” I said “Sir, I’m sorry. I don’t know who he is. I really am very new.” He told me to google “Tyson McGuffin” when I got home. One thing you have to understand about me. I am a very curious person. So I googled him and discovered that he lived (at the time) in Spokane, WA and that he was conducting a boot camp in June. I immediately signed up. And the rest is history. Tyson asked me to stay after each day and watch Matt Goebel and him practice. He wanted me to meet Matt because Matt is from my area (Bellingham, WA, just 18 miles south of me).

Meeting Tyson and Matt led me to create a big community event the following February where I got the mayor of Bellingham, WA, to issue a proclamation for “Whatcom County Pickleball Week.” I also had Tyson conduct a 3-day boot camp and Matt conduct a 2-day boot camp.

Recently, I decided that during our “stay at home” time, it would be perfect to put together a summit about the mental game. Having coached women’s basketball at the University of Kentucky, I recognize how key this is to elevating my game and thought it might be a topic of interest to others. That is an understatement! It exceeded our expectations with the ongoing level of interest, from Pros and Coaches to participants.

I felt that whatever we could learn in this moment about the mental game could be used now, as well as applied to when we return to the courts. If you didn’t get an opportunity to attend the EPIC Pickleball MindShift Summit, where we talked about how one letter (meaning the little things) can turning the MindShit in your head into a MindShift, you can still register for free and listen to the recordings. I was honored to have Coach Dayne Gingrich as my co-host and we had amazing guests such as Morgan Evans, Sarah Ansboury, Wes Gabrielsen, Helle Sparre, CJ Johnson, Laura Fenton, Lauren Stratman, and Peter Popovich!

To top it off, Astronaut Anne McClain launched our two-day summit. Talk about someone who offered great gold nuggets about being in isolation (204 in space) as well as how to have a dream without it having you.

I hope you can see that I am passionate about pickleball in all ways!


It appears that this short yet sweet phrase sums up how you look at life. I love it! @PickleballPhil wrote a great post called Embrace the suck! where he talked about how we look at the challenges in front of us. I love the mind-shift message of positivity, growth, and progress, that you and @Dayne evangelize!

Isn’t it crazy how such a simple game could have such a profound effect on someone… that they would go to such great lengths to spread the word and help as many other people to experience the same.

I used to LOVE playing ultimate frisbee… one of my favorite games. I loved bowling. I loved racquetball. I hated running… but I ran a couple of marathons, Spartans, and a bunch of half-marathons… just to fill the need for physical fitness.

Now… I play pickleball. That’s it.

Not that I don’t love those other sports… it’s just my sense of satisfaction is so much greater when I play pickleball that I just don’t have a desire to make time for any other sport/game. My progress is more swift and recognizable. My resting heart rate is now that of a fine-tuned athlete!

With pickleball, it’s almost like you have an opportunity to RESET (as you noted) constantly.

If you made a mistake the last point… RESET.
In the middle of each point, after you hit the ball… RESET.
You lost the game… RESET.
You lost the match… RESET.

If we could learn to live life with that same pickleball attitude, we’d all be a lot better off.

Thank goodness for Mondays… a chance to RESET for the coming week and make this the best week of our lives!

Let’s gooooooo pickleFAM!

PS… @CoachB, maybe you could tell me how in the world I can find the time to READ! :stuck_out_tongue: I absolutely love the idea of reading, but boy is it a challenge to make the time for it, with everything else on my plate!


Well, I replied to the mail but don’t see it showing up here, so just coming in and “replying” and pasting in what I wrote, Jordan! :slight_smile:

Hi Jodan,

Thank you for sharing. I love " it’s just my sense of satisfaction is so much greater when I play pickleball.” I couldn’t agree more! I have played golf one time since I discovered PB! I appreciate all your comments and feedback. Ok, reading? Well, it’s like any other habit, developed one step at a time. It’s sort of like when I say “Choose a great day.” Is it something you really want to do? Just asking. If it is, the “Choose to read.” My experience is that we all find the time to do what we really want to do. Hey, reading might not be that particular priority for you and that’s ok. Perhaps while we are “hunkered down” at home, you might choose to find time to read? (ok, maybe you aren’t hunkered down at home where you live, but here in WA state we are through May 31 for now and PB is not open yet). So I am working on my mental game! Coach Dayne and I so love this subject. :slight_smile:

Anyway, the way we started reading in this manner is that when Robynne and I first got together, I said something about loving to read. She said “I can count on one hand the number of books I have read that I didn’t “have to read.” I replied, “tell me more.” She said “Well, I am a good reader but it doesn’t ‘stick’ in my brain. I can’t recall what I just read.” So I asked her if there was a way that it did “stick.” She said “yea, if I read out loud, I can recall what I just read.” I said “Want to read a book to me?” She said yes, and that started our habit of doing this. And I cannot begin to tell you the amazing conversations it has created between us. It would drive me crazy to read out loud but she loves it. Now, here’s the interesting part. About 5 years ago, she started picking up books (at first reading off a kindle and now off her iPad) or even paperbacks when we were on vacation. What she discovered was that she can now retain what she reads silently. It’s as if her brain has rewired itself. But we so love this process of her reading out loud to me that we have continued it. Now go “love the idea of reading” enough to choose to do it! :slight_smile: