Stan's Pickleball Path

I have always been semi active in sports and competition. After reading @jordan’s pickleball story I realized that we are very similar in several ways. I grew up playing baseball and then I started getting into some more obscure things to compete in. For example, I was on the USA Jr National Luge Team and the BYU Ballroom team. I guess that even translates into some hobbies (beekeeping) and work (map making). So, I guess taking up pickleball was not that far out from the norm for me. My father in law has put together an adult softball team since before I knew him, and I have been playing on the team for the past 16 years. My wife loves to play tennis and has tried to get me to play but I just end up hitting to many home runs. :blush: I guess you can say this is my sports background leading up to pickleball.

In the fall of 2018 Spanish Fork City built 16 amazing courts just a few blocks from my house. As most people, I had no ideas what that was. My wife said we should play and so before the courts were built, we bought a starter set with wooden paddles and a net. We set it up in our driveway and played a little. We played with our kids and it was fun to learn the rules and dink around. At the grand opening of the courts I won a Paddletek Phoenix LT paddle and I was amazed at how much better it was playing with that vs a wooden paddle. So, the next thing you know I was buying $20-$30 paddles for all my kids and I ended up using an UpStreet paddle that I really liked until it chipped and cracked on me. I now use the Prince paddle and love it.

In 2018 I had set some goals for myself and I accomplished them. I was so happy that I thought I should figure out what I should do for 2019. With pickleball on my mind I decided to make a few pickleball related goals. I wanted to complete in 2 or more tournaments and become a 4.0 level player. Little did I know what that meant. All I knew was what was in the rating descriptions.

Well February rolled around and I was thinking I better get on this goal. I found out Scott Rozier was putting on a Masters of the Web Facebook tournament. I had absolutely no idea what to expect or even a partner. I called up a friend and neighbor of mine, the amazing Kevin Doyle, and asked if he would like to play in the tournament with me. We have been partners since. We needed a place to play and seeing that the courts were closed still, I found out that people play pickleball in the mornings at the Provo Rec Center. I decided to give it a try and see if I could meet up with other players. That was so nerve racking and intimidating. The players were so nice and welcoming. I was not very good but was willing to give it my best. Now during the winter months Kevin and I play and drill there 3 times a week. During the summertime we play and drill almost every day at the Spanish Fork courts. The only time that I can get away to play is in the mornings from 6:00 until about 8:00. So, if you want to play with me or our group of players, you now know where we are. We played in 5 tournaments and had a blast. It was my last tournament of the year that I decided to up the stakes and play at a 4.0 level. We won! :1st_place_medal:

Some of my goals this year 2020 are still pickleball related, but a little more intense. I want to:

  • Compete in at least 10 tournaments (I think I have about 16 on my list to play in) with 3 podium finishes, 1 being Gold
  • Become a certified referee
  • Be a student of the game and soak up as much information as I can to be a better player.

Wish me luck in my adventures.


I’ll be moving to Spanish Fork in the fall and am looking for a regular group to play with, so I’ll take you up on that invitation to play. What is the process like to become a certified ref?

Sweet we are all in this together to get better. I am trying to figure that out as I go. What I really need to do right now is practice refereeing games so I am more comfortable in that role.

Those are awesome goals to have! You got this!

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There is a lady here names shannon Wright she lives in salt lake county and runs the programs she is a great resource for reffing and the process she usually runs several tournaments in bluffdale and always people to ref them and get experience there are different levels of reffing is my understanding so that would be a great place to start. here is her email address to get involved in salt lake county.

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@atuttletuttle Thanks. I have reached out to her and have chatted a bit about refereeing. I was getting all set to go ref some rec games with friends but now that is on hold.

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Shannon is such a great ambassador for Pickleball in our community here in Utah. She will be a great resource!

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