Breaking the Comfort Zone – Part 2

Special thanks to Silvino (Sill) Lyra for sharing his story of competing in his first two pickleball tournaments… This is part 2 of 2.

PPF Tournament of Champions in conjunction with the Brigham City Fall Classic (2.5 – 4.5 Non-PPF) in Utah…

By Silvino (Sill) Lyra

An amazing event in all aspects. This was the Grand Slam of the Pro Pickle Ball Association with $57,000.00 in Prize Money.

Almost all of the top players were there, taking a chance for the big prize.

A Gold Medal would pay $3,000.00.

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However, for this simple 3.0 player, just the hope of more experience and the opportunity to be competing together with my partner Sarah Heart on her first official event.

This time, Boise had very good representation. We had for the men’s doubles Dave Astley and Chad Holley, Brian McNatt and his son Kalen McNatt, and Sue Astley with her partner Kristi Holley for the women’s double.

Guess what? GOLD for Sue and Kristi, in a great performance, on the first day of the event. They played beautifully and deserved that medal. They won 6 games in a total of 10 on the bracket 3.0 – 3.5. Well done ladies! I had the honor to watch their performance shot by shot.


For the men’s doubles, our teams faced a very strong field of 3.5 players, from different states, with all kinds of different strategies that brought a lot of experience to them. Now they know the issues that they need to work on for the next time. They fought very hard, with total  determination, in extremely hot weather, but no medal this time.


Again, I want to make my point about the value of leaving the comfort zone and facing the unknown. These experiences are the building steps for any player who wants to be better. I take my hat for those guys. Well done!

For me and Sarah an amazing and costly lesson happened, together with another lesson that was extremely fulfilling to our hearts and minds.

9451755180374456440.0I arrived on Wednesday and had the opportunity to acclimate till our day on Monday. I had daily skills training and several games with other partners. Sarah arrived on Saturday to play with me on Monday, with our start at 1:30 PM, against 6 teams, facing a temperature above 93 degrees.
In our bracket, on the first round we got to be “idle” or a “bye.”

At first I was happy with that, because we could observe all the other opponents and learn some things about them. However, again inexperience strikes!


The second round started immediately after the first one and our opponents were leaving a game, already warmed up, to play with us, who were totally cold with less than 1 minute to “warm up”…a total disaster! We lost that game, then we lost the next game and then gradually our skills started to materialize and we finished with 3 games that we won and 3 that we lost.

Wow! What an amazing lesson that we could only learn at an event of that level. We had jitters, which caused errors all over the place. I have to say that Sarah recovered better than me and I believe that by the last game, we were ourselves completely. It was our best performance on that day, and I’m very proud of my partner.


Now, the lesson that was extremely fulfilling for our hearts and minds. You see, even with all their free time to enjoy Labor Day, Sue, Dave, Kristi and Chad went to the venue again, facing that crazy heat, just to share and support us.
V__21CB What an amazing example of friendship, sportsmanship and unselfishness. They did all that they could to support us, together with Dave, Sarah’s husband. They gave us instructions, reminded us to relax and, very importantly, when to ask for a break on the game. They took pictures, brought us food, drinks and most of all a lot of love. Thank you very much guys! We have no words to thank such support.


I think that this event is an official closure to our outdoor season of pickle ball.

Now we need to go back to the drawing board and study all of the accumulated experiences. Then set the goals for the indoor season that is starting, preparing to challenge ourselves again for tournaments and competitions.

Thanks to all for your attention, principally to Kathy Getto for posting these two series articles.

Good games to all, and remember that success is only accomplished with hard work and participating in high level events.

My best regards to all…