Category Archives: Members

Breaking the Comfort Zone

Special thanks to Silvino (Sill) Lyra for sharing his story of competing in his first pickleball tournament…

Breaking the Comfort Zone… My Experience…

By Silvino (Sill) Lyra

As an Olympic Coach, I have witnessed the resistance that some athletes have to participate in high level events. As with anything in life, we need goals. So, as a new player in this wonderful sport that is pickle ball, I set my goal to be a 5.0 player, no matter how much hard work takes. My first step was to participate in the closest competition to Boise, high level event.

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On August 9th 2017, this humble 3.0 player took his first steps at the Northwest Mecca of pickle ball…Bend Oregon…to participate in the pickle ball Zone Bend USAPA Pacific Northwest Regional Tournament, in conjunction with the Pro Northwest Event.

The setting of the venue, with the volunteers working hard in all sectors to have everything in place for the next day’s start, would cause envy in the best production company in Hollywood. Everybody had a smile and a soaked shirt, as the temperature was getting very hot.

Watching the players doing their training made me doubt my decision to participate in this amazing event. However, a couple of encouraging words from my partner, John Sweeting, made me understand that in order to walk 1,000 miles we need to make one first step…so here I am.

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I did my usual stretching exercises and placed my paddle in one of numerous courts from that amazing facility. Indeed, the Town of Bend has a gift of the life time with this venue.

I introduced myself to a fellow player named Mike and we went to face each other in a singles game. He is a 3.5 player, very nice and friendly, that gave me very good instructions during our experience. He beat me 11 x 4. Hey, I thought to myself, I made 4 points, and my goal for the competition was 5 points, so I’m on my way. I always played doubles and this was a very bold adventure to play singles.

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Not only were the high level players challenge, there was also the altitude, the heat and a different ball from the one that I use to train. Since the start of the outdoors season, I’ve used an Onix 2 and here they are using the Ultra 40. Basically, I needed to be very soft on my shots, as the ball travels very fast. On my first day, I lost a lot of points missing the services and returning long balls. I have to work on that for the next day. I’m glad that I arrived earlier.

Then I had a couple of doubles games with a very good player as a partner, maybe a 4.5, whose name was Bill…a very nice, experienced player. We played against Mike and another lady, also a great player—everybody is so friendly and supportive!

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My competition day, in the midst of the Pros, playing in that amazing fast/slow/fast game, was just a gift to me, to be present in such a high level event.

During my first game for me, I got killed 15 x 0—I had an amazing opponent! The second game, my opponent had a lot of handicap skills and I accomplished 15 x 2. In my third game, at some point I was losing 9 x 2, but I discovered some weaknesses in my opponent. Well…I lost 15 x 7, but HOORAAAYYYYYYY!!! I broke my goal of scoring 5 points. Mission accomplished!

On the next day, I had the doubles competition with John. Our bracket was 3.5 players. He is an amazing player that teach me a lot during our 3 games of 11 points. We lost the games by a small margin; however, the learning experience was priceless…thanks, John, for taking the chance to play with me…it was an honor to be your partner. He just returned from being a medalist in track and field in the Seniors Games in Idaho and also played on the singles games on the day before. On the next day he was supposed to play mixed doubles—the man is a machine!

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This was my experience at Bend. A couple days ago, I got my official rankings from the USAPA. I’m officially a 3.0 player! A start point in my way to 5.0. When will I arrive there? I don’t know and I don’t care…I will just work as hard as I can…

On Thursday August 31st, I’m heading to the PPF Tournament of Champions in conjunction with the Brigham City Fall Classic (2.5 – 4.5 Non-PPF) in Utah.

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I will play mixed doubles with my partner Sarah Hart from Meridian. I’m expecting more great game atmosphere, most importantly, more experience. Sarah is a great athlete and we will have a lot of fun.

To be continued…

Hobble Creek Fundraiser #1–Paddle Raffle

Nick and Tami Leach of Simply Pickleball are holding some fundraisers to raise money for the Hobble Creek Pickleball Complex.

Here is some information about Fundraiser #1 from Nick and Tami:

Titan1st – Simply Pickleball is raffling off a Pro-Lite Titan Paddle.

It’s their top of the line paddle using “new” technology with a carbon fiber paddle face. As of May 15th, these will retail for $125. They will raffle for only $25 per ticket – it’s a steal of a deal. (See flyer)…

Nick and Tami will be collecting money for tickets, beginning tomorrow – Mon. May 1st, and will hold the drawing at the Boise’s Awesome Pickleball Adventure Memorial Tournament – at Settlers Park on Mon. May 29th around noon.

You DO NOT have to be present to win.

So if you have been thinking of getting a new paddle or want an extra one or so – please don’t hesitate to get a ticket or 2 or 3…

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Dick Johnson again brings home Gold at the US OPEN!

Boise’s own Dick Johnson won a gold medal at the recent US Pickleball Open Championships!

From Lawana Johnson:

Besides the Gold in 75 Mixed Doubles with Gail Brown, Dick also took 4th in 75 Singles and 5th in 75 Mens Doubles. Medaling again at this year’s US Open begins Dick continuing into his third consecutive year of medaling in all 6 Grand Slam Major events in 2015-17 (22 National/World medals: 9 Gold, 8 Silver, & 5 Bronzes). He is also one of the few pickleball players in the world who have played in both the tennis and pickleball US Opens.

djuso It was the largest (and, many felt the toughest tourney in history). 1300 players from 15 countries competed over 7 days (compared to 900 at last year’s Nationals). 48 lighted courts in beautiful Naples, Florida, including a spectacular covered stadium court with box seating. Televised by CBS Sports. Prize monies for the pro events. Wheelchair events. Clinics by the Professional Pickleball Academy. Entertainment each day.

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US Open Pickleball Championships

The Minto US Open Pickleball Championships are being held in Naples, Florida through April 30. The event started on April 22.
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You can catch some of the action on Facebook by searching for US Open Pickleball Championships. There is a live feed of the Zing Zang Championship Court, and you can watch matches that are scheduled on that court. (Best time to watch is in the afternoons between noon and 4:00 p.m. MST.)

DLJBoise’s own Dick Johnson is competing again this year at the US Open. He and his wife, Lawana, travel to many tournaments across the U.S. Dick is very excited to compete at this tournament, as it is expected to be the largest pickleball tournament in the world.

Dick Johnson — SSIPA Member

From Lawana Johnson:

As many of you know, Dick is a long time tennis champion and now, after playing only 4 years, is a National and World Champion in pickleball, the fastest growing sport in North America.

He has won 21 medals in the six pickleball majors (The US Open, National Sr. Olympic Games, State Games of America, Huntsman World Games, International Indoors, and USAPA Nationals.

He is also one of the few players in the world who have played in the US Opens for both tennis and pickleball (Gold & two Bronze medals).

Below is a nice article about Dick on the website of the Super Senior International Pickleball Association. If you look closely, you will also learn a bit more about our wonderful 53 years together!

Just click below and then click on the PDF link about Dick.

http://www.ssipa-pb.org/stars-archive

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