Category Archives: Sill Lyra

Keeping Track to Get Better

By Sill Lyra

ladder-2I recently competed in a a round robin event with a group of other players.

While it wasn’t a competition and our scores were not recorded, I learned a lot from my experience.

I think it is important for athletes who want to get better to monitor their play.

Here are my suggestions:

  1. Every athlete who wants to grow in any sport needs a diary. All Olympians have one.
  2. Every day that they play, they should record all the scores of the games in which he or she participates. Then add the total points that they will have if they won all those games. Then, with simple math, compute the points that he or she had in reality, in comparison with the total possible overall. This percentage will show how he or she is progressing.
  3. I learned that your team is as strong or as weak as your partner. So, if you have a weak partner, that is the time to be humble and help that person. Remember that you also were once a beginner in the sport. This is an opportunity to fine tune your strokes, as the results will not be the best expected. If your partner is better than you, again, be humble and try to learn from him or her. Another great opportunity.
  4. Remember that you are the only person responsible for your growth in the sport.

Here are my scores over some recent days:
– 09.28 = 90%
– 09.29 = 86%
– 10.12 = 93%
– 10.24 = 76%.

So, let’s play our games and smile to life.

My best regards…

Sill Lyra

An Exuberant Sunny Fall Morning in Boise

By Sill Lyra

The sky was blue without a patch of white…the amazing contrast between that “CAVU” and the wonderful colors of the trees made this Tuesday October 24th a perfect day for…






No…not for the air show. This was a couple weeks ago and was just amazing… after 20 years…

Yes!!! Of course was a perfect day for a round robin pickle ball event at Manitou Park.

Organized by the Boise Pickleball Club, this event had about 16 participants including myself.

There was a great atmosphere of friendly competition, with a good variety of levels of players between 3.0 and 3.5.

A perfect way to say good bye to outdoor plays. A gold key season closure.

Another very positive point was a very constructive and educational conversation that I had with Carson Spencer, Boise Pickleball Club President, in respect of my last posted article WE ARE GOING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

Here are my conclusions after speaking with him:

I was wrongly informed that the deal agreement with Boise Parks and Recreation was 50/50% for the construction of Hobble Creek. In reality, the club’s responsibility was about 37% of the total costs. I’m sorry about that.

I understood that he was aware of the liability insurance that I was asked for by Parks and Recreation.

Indeed, all pickle ball players from our area should continue to work together to raise the amount left of about $100,000.00 in order that Boise Parks and Recreation can start the construction.

So, let’s continue to work hard on that direction.

We are Going in the Right Direction–Sill Lyra

First of all congratulations to Dick Johnson and Tim Gleason for their success at the 2017 Nevada Senior Games. Well done! You are our inspiration!

So, at a very good time, I learned that BAPA is organizing some great events for all of us.

  • An in-house tournament following the BAPA format (round-robin preliminary rounds to establish seeding and pairings, followed by bracket play) – planned for November.
  • An indoor, regional, skill-based tournament – planned for February.
  • An outdoor, regional, skill-based tournament – planned for Memorial Day weekend.
  • 2018 Senior Games – an outdoor, age-based tournament – planned for August.

Considering my previous article Let’s Place Boise on the Map, if the two regional events, one in February and the other on the Memorial Day weekend, plus the Senior Games, could have the registration organization done by, then we will have our Boise on the national map! If the announcement of these events could be posted now, with the limit of registered players, and the date to open the registration, considering our max capacity, we will be definitively moving in the right direction.

I know that charges a fee for each registered player, but the way they run their business is just amazing. They run basically 100% of the competitions in US and abroad. I don’t care to pay more for the registration for that events if they are part of that system, as I believe this is the best form to advertise our competitions.

Remember that for this year’s Nationals, on the date they opened registration, they had arrived at the limit of players half an hour after the opening time (if I’m not mistaken, around 1,700 athletes)!

So, let’s use these guys. It will be one more step to place Boise on the National map of events.

As I said in the beginning, the news about these events came on the right time, at least for me.

I had been very frustrated. Sometime last week, I decided to promote the sport of pickleball in some way, trying to put into action what I’ve been saying in these series of articles. So I asked Kathy Getto for the binder that she offered to us, showing how to organize a round robin event, and she sent it to me in
few minutes. Great! Thanks Kathy.

At that time, I didn’t know about the BAPA plans, so I consulted with Boise Parks and Recreation to know what would be necessary for me to organize events at Fort Boise. I was told that I would have to pay an hourly rental fee for the gym, which was fair, but also that I would need to have a personal liability policy of $1,000,000.00 (one million dollars!) to rent the place for that event. I was asked if was for personal profit and I answered that after the expenses were paid from the registration fees, the leftover money would go to Hobble Creek project. Even so, the personal liability issue stands, even if the event was raising money for new courts. That was an official requirement from the organization, even considering the normal signing of waivers that happens for all kinds of events.

I have to say that my frustration disappeared as I learned about BAPA’s initiative for their four events.

We are going in the right direction!

However, a question came to my mind. I know that we are placing our hearts on raising half of the necessary amount of money to built Hobble Creek. Hobble Creek will be run by Boise Parks and Recreation. So, will their requirements to use the facilities will be the same as for the Fort Boise gym? Do the clubs have
the necessary liability insurance policy?

I think we need to have this answered and defined, not only verbally but on paper, before expending any more time on this project.

By this time, I can say thanks to God for Home Court and Settlers Park. Meridian indeed has a very good vision for progress.

So, let’s unite and make these coming events the best ever. The organizers can count on me to help!

My best regards to all…Sill

Let’s Put Boise on the Map — Sill Lyra

This is the first in a series of monthly articles by Sill Lyra. 

Continuing our discussion about participation in tournaments as a way to improve your game, get out of your comfort zone, and, of course, increase social interaction, I took a look at the number of competitions listed at this moment on the calendar of some states around the country.


Last weekend, in Utah there are 8 tournaments listed, Florida has 15, Oregon has 6, Washington has 10…Nevada has 8…Idaho has NONE!… as you can see at:

This month and the next we are having some local events organized by the two clubs in Boise. The Boise club events with just a social goal and the BAPA event, with its competitive edge, will record the results for the first rounds of round robin play.

Throughout this post I have included some pictures of 3.0 ranked players from the events on both 9/28 and 9/29.

DSC_0006 (1)These events were wonderfully sunny, a perfect setting for great pickle ball games.

The Boise club, as I said, didn’t record the scores and just had players change partners and play. This is fun, but this is what we always do in our daily play days. I bet the majority who signed up wanted their scores to be recorded, the percentages calculated, and maybe have finals for the top winners. But I can say that just for the organization of such event, the club should receive our congratulations. It is a great start to shaking the boat.

I also participated in an independent event as a 3.0 player. Under the leadership of Kathy Getto, it followed a format that recorded the results of each game and at some point, showed to all participants the percentage of success in points for each athlete.

In my opinion, we should have continued until a final was held between the athletes with the highest percentages. Maybe a 2 out 3 games of 15 points. I think that this is what competition is about. We should not be afraid to face our reality and work hard to improve it.

DSC_0015 (1)

If any individual faces another in a sport event, is a competition! The results should be recorded and compared with previous events and from there, the individual will have an idea about what they will need to work to improve.

I know that as a former Olympic coach, that there are a lot of fear in athletic competition…I call it “ego fear”…to participate in “official events” where there will be a record of what he or she is accomplishing. We don’t want to feel bad or weak in our game. So, we play for “fun” with no registration of our results. In doing this, at the end, the “ego” will not be hurt.


I think that is fine. It is a personal choice and needs to be respected. However, playing any sport is competition! It is one individual against another…period! Or a team against another team…period! For the ones who want to improve their game, the competition is the opportunity that will tell them what they need to do to improve.

At these two recent local events, it was a pleasure to see friends improve their games about 100%; like Pat Roark or Lannin Compton, who I witness their first days at indoors plays at Fort Boise. Congratulations…you guys are doing great!


Of course we are having these local events that I congratulate both clubs for holding it.

As a matter of fact, I have no idea why there are two clubs. I know, I’m sorry, I’m new and totally don’t know the internal politics, but I keep wondering why two clubs?

The sport is growing without control and we need to be united by the only goal that matters…PLAYING PICKLE BALL!…Well, I think it is wonderful that we have all the people who make up these clubs, playing the sport in one way or another.

We do need these kind of local events, but also we need to appear at the national level of pickle ball. Our state is part of the Pacific Northwest Region of Pickle ball. Alaska (if I’m not mistaken), Washington, Oregon and Idaho are the states that form this region.

To travel to those states means hundreds of miles driving or flying, hotels and general travel expenses. Not everybody can afford that. I’m one of them.


What if we, who live in the capitol of this state, have events that will bring athletes from these areas to participate here in our city? What a great experience to have a stop in Boise for the Pros!

What do we need? We already have summer facilities at Manitou Park and Settlers Park (for our 2017 Senior Games this facility was a success). For the Winter, we have Home Court YMCA and Fort Boise (with only 3 courts). Fort Boise is part of Boise city’s Parks and Recreation. Their interest is to serve the community, and, to a great extent, contribute to the growth of the sport. Their social goal to bring people to the sport is evident, independent of who is who or how many clubs we have or not.

Hobble Creek is a dream that is a little far away; it depends on our city officials waking up to understand the growing and importance of this sport and take the initiative to build state-of-the-art facilities, like what I witnessed in Bend, with only 17,000 residents, and Brigham City with just 18,000, Meanwhile, Boise, with an estimated population of 223,145 has just little islands of places to play. They need to understand that events will bring money to the city. Hotels, restaurants etc. will benefit, and, of course, our beautiful City of Trees will be on the map for another sports activity.

What’s missing? What about if both local clubs unite for the purpose to create competitive events? What if we form a “Competitions Committee” that will create a calendar of events, with members working on the calendar, sponsorships, locations, logistics, volunteers etc.?

How many of you can donate some of your time and social connections to help accomplish this goal?

We CAN do anything in life that we put our minds to!

Let’s place Boise on the circuit of great pickle ball events. We have great players, emerging facilities and the will to improve.

As Emerson said…”Without enthusiasm nothing can be done.”

For any of you who are willing to join forces for this goal …my name is Silvino Lyra (Sill)…my email is SILLINTERCOACH@YAHOO.COM and I’m willing to help place BOISE ID, on the map of the Pickle ball world.

Email me if you want to volunteer to this goal. Tell me in what way you can help and what your suggestions are and we can start from there…

For every 1,000-mile-walk, we just need one step to start and then one step at a time…as in pickle ball…you only need to make one point at a time…

Email me and let’s get to work!



“Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do.”