Pickleball has taken off in Dawson County, and who better to teach a new crop of local athletes the secrets of the game than the world’s best senior player?
Scott Moore, currently ranked the No. 1 senior pickleball player in the world, hosted two fundamental pickleball clinics April 24 at Rock Creek Park to give a select group of pickleball enthusiasts his principles and techniques to enhance their gameplay.
“There’s a lot of things about pickleball that are counter intuitive and so we can help kind of shortcut the learning process for people by teaching them not just the skills and the strategy but also a framework of how to build a good, solid pickleball foundation,” Moore said.
The 57-year-old self-professed “racket sport junkie” that’s played almost every racket sport ever invented, first picked up his pickleball paddle six years ago.
“Anytime there’s a paddle or a racket and a ball I’m interested so I tried it and about a year later ended up at the national pickleball tournament,” Moore said.
Moore said he was shocked that there were 900 people competing at the national tournament in Phoenix, Ariz. and out of almost 1,000 competitors, he earned a silver medal.
From then on he was hooked.
“I thought ‘I’m going to be a national champion. This is my one and only opportunity to do it and I’m not missing it,’” Moore said. “I started taking it seriously and the next year my son and I both won two national championships.”
In the past five years, Moore has amassed 20 national championships, and has played pickleball in 20 states and 12 countries. With his son, Daniel, who also happens to be the No. 1 pickleball player in the world, the pair has taught their pickleball principles clinics in 18 countries.
“I travel around the country visiting new places, making new friends, teaching the game I love – it’s a rough job but somebody’s got to do it,” Moore joked.
Moore said that his journey into the world of pickleball has changed his life and opened opportunities to play and teach players of all ages around the globe.
“It’s just turned into one of those things, a hobby that has become a business which has become a lifestyle and most of the source of our friends and it just totally changed my life,” Moore said.
Ove the course of the last six years, Moore has developed his principles and training techniques that have helped him stay at the top of his game.
Before each tournament, Moore spends six to eight weeks training two hours per day. One hour is devoted to drills and one hour to playing. He also uses blood flow restriction bands that he says has him “in the best shape of his life.”
Moore also says it’s important to eat right and drink plenty of fluids, as well as adapt to the environmental factors of the tournament such as temperature and humidity.
But the most important aspect for Moore is understanding that pickleball is not a game of power and speed, but one of strategy.
“The better you get, the softer you need to learn to play and that’s kind of unique to pickleball,” Moore said. “It’s more of a finesse and strategy game than just a power and speed game, and that’s another reason it’s such a great game because anybody, any age, can play if you really understand the strategy.”