Court Connections: Insights from Pickleball Pros Sponsored by Paddletek

May 15, 2024

Court Connections: Insights from Pickleball Pros Sponsored by Paddletek

Welcome to our Court Connections May blog edition, where we dive deep into the mental game of pickleball with insights from two seasoned pros, Andrea Koop and Irina Tereschenko. As sponsored athletes by Paddletek, they share their perspectives on mental toughness and wellness, offering valuable lessons and strategies to elevate your game both on and off the court. Join us as we explore the mindset of these elite players and uncover the secrets to their success.

How has your mental toughness evolved throughout your pickleball journey, and how does it influence your approach to training and competition?

IRINA TERESCHENKO: "Being a professional athlete means facing a lot of adversity. Mental toughness to me is being able to shut everything out when you compete and problem-solve later." 

ANDREA KOOP: "I always try to remind myself that I chose to be out there competing or practicing and since it was a choice I made, I need to make the best of it. There are other things I could be doing (lawyering, family time, other hobbies, etc.), so whatever area I chose to put my attention to, needs to get 100% of my effort."

Can you share any strategies or techniques you use to maintain focus and resilience during intense matches or challenging situations on the court?

IRINA TERESCHENKO: "The best strategy for me is to not get engaged, keep my head down, and focus on my effort and decision-making." 

ANDREA KOOP: "Pickleball is a game of mistakes. I just try to take make 1 or 2 less mistakes than my opponent(s)."

As a professional pickleball player sponsored by Paddletek, how does your paddle choice contribute to your mental game and overall performance?

IRINA TERESCHENKO: "I can always trust my paddle to be consistent and do it’s job!"

ANDREA KOOP: "Paddle choice makes a huge difference. I have complete confidence that skill set rather than deficiency in equipment is going to be the deciding factor in all of the matches I play. Ever since paddle testing came into the game, I have never had a Paddletek paddle fail at testing. Mentally that is just not something I need to worry about on game day. Additionally, my paddles feel the same whether it has just come out of the packaging or if I have been using them for 10 tournaments in a row. The consistency of a Paddletek paddle never fails me."

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What role does mindfulness play in your preparation and performance as a competitive pickleball player, and how do you integrate mental wellness practices into your training routine?


IRINA TERESCHENKO: "Hot yoga has been my go to for mindfulness and wellness." 

ANDREA KOOP: "When I am training, whether it be for PB or just my overall fitness, I try to challenge myself to make one more ball, or go 10 more seconds for whatever fitness exercise I am challenging myself with. I want my practices and training to be both physically and mentally harder, so that match day feels like a break and/or reward."

How do you handle setbacks or losses in your pickleball career, and what lessons have you learned about resilience and perseverance along the way?

IRINA TERESCHENKO: "My rule after a loss is that a “pity party” can last 15 min max. After that, it’s time to get back to work and enjoy the journey."

ANDREA KOOP: "Just like PB is a game of mistakes, its also a game of wins and losses. The losses teach me what I can improve on for next time and make it so there is always a new challenge ahead."

As we wrap up our exploration into the world of mental toughness with pickleball pros Andrea Koop and Irina Tereschenko, we're reminded of the power of resilience, focus, and self-awareness in achieving peak performance. Their insights serve as inspiration for players of all levels to cultivate their mental game and unlock their full potential on the pickleball court. 

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Be entered to win:

  • 2 Paddletek Paddles (winners choice)
  • 2 Paddletek Paddle Covers
  • 1 Paddletek Sport Backpack (winner choose color)
  • 1 Performance Icon Hat (winner choose color)

Court Connections in May sponsored by Paddletek Pickleball

Stay tuned for more stories and tips in our ongoing Court Connections series, where we continue to celebrate the connections that unite us through the game we love.