Author: Emily

The Story of a Pickleball Star

The Story of a Pickleball Star

Everything you need to know (and more!) about pickleball

When I was in New York for the first time, I met one of the best people I know. She’s a good friend and she’s a pickleball player. Last week, her son, Ryan, and I had lunch.

Ryan was telling me about her time with pickleball.

“When I was in junior high and high school, I was the only pickleball player,” she said. “I played with all the girls in my class and they’d say, ‘you play very professionally.’ I was like, ‘that’s all I want to do.’ Because pickleball was a sport that I wanted to do, but I didn’t have any coaches.”

At the end of high school, Ryan was a pickleball pro player. She was a star. She won a national championship at the age of 19 in 2004, when she was only 20 years old. She had never played the sport before.

Not only did she enjoy the sport, she loved it. She played it until 2006 when she got in trouble with her coaches. They told her that she had to play fewer games and that she’d have to play ‘pro’ pickleball. Ryan didn’t want to give up pickleball. She went back to playing it, but did it only on the weekends.

Fast forward to her years when she got married and had the opportunity to travel. Ryan was a pickleball star. She met a world traveler named Jeff Leeder in the fall of 2010. He was from Colorado and he loved to travel. Ryan asked him to teach her how to play pickleball in the United States.

“We were on vacation and he asked me if I wanted to play pickleball,” she said. “I thought about it for a couple of months. But I was with my husband

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