Name: Michelle Chin | Age: 28 | Home courts: Markham Pickleball Club (Canada) & Brisbane Pickleball Club (Australia)
HOW WERE YOU INTRODUCED TO PICKLEBALL?
My mom and I wanted to try a new sport together and the community centre was offering introductory pickleball lessons, we thought it would be a good opportunity to bond and learn something new.
YOU’RE A CANADIAN LIVING IN AUSTRALIA. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THIS JOURNEY AS A PICKLEBALL PLAYER?
When I first moved to Australia, the sport was so new and there weren’t many places to play but the people were friendly and so enthusiastic about pickleball, I felt at home. I did have quite the shock when I had to pay $20/hour, having previously been able to play for free outdoors or $4/three hours at the community centres. Since then, pickleball has exploded and there are pickleball dedicated courts and many places to play in Brisbane. Sport is rooted in the Australian culture and within a short period of time, pickleball has grown and the level of play has improved very rapidly. It is exciting to watch the growth of the beautiful sport on the other side of the world.
DO YOU HAVE A RACQUET OR PADDLE SPORT BACKGROUND? IF SO, HOW HAS THAT INFLUENCED YOUR PICKLEBALL GAME?
Rumour has it that I am a collegiate tennis player and former badminton champion. In reality, I am just someone who loves all racquet sports. I was on the tennis team in high school and played badminton in university, occasionally dabbling in table tennis. All of which influences my style of play and comfort holding a paddle on court.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT PICKLEBALL?
I originally fell in love with the sport because of the welcoming pickleball community. It is also easy to pick up but difficult to master, which makes it addicting because you can start playing quickly and allows for all ages to play. I love that I can play with my family, there are always smiles and laughter on the court.
HOW HAS IT FELT TO PROGRESS IN SKILL OVER THE YEARS?
Pickleball is a special sport where the initial progression is quite rapid and then improvement tends to taper until you can point out flaws in your game. Overall, the experience is surreal and I’ve had wonderful mentors from the moment I picked up a pickleball paddle and would like to thank Joseline and Alex for guiding me through my journey and for everything they have done to grow the sport in Canada.
WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR FONDEST MEMORIES YOU’VE EXPERIENCED IN CONJUNCTION WITH PICKLEBALL?
It’s a toss between playing in the Canadian Nationals against Catherine Parenteau and my brother firing pickleballs at me while I wore hockey pads.
WHICH TMPR PADDLE DO YOU PLAY WITH AND WHY?
I play with the Oculus LX paddle. I love the balance and feel of the paddle when it seamlessly swings through the air. In addition to its aerodynamics, the Oculus LX also has a large sweet spot which is great for defence.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE NEW PLAYERS WHO ARE JUST LEARNING THE GAME?
Always have fun and to learn the control game as tedious as it is because the power game comes easier (and that's coming from someone who really enjoys starting firefights).