Who is Catherine Parenteau?
Ahead of some of the busiest months of the pickleball schedule, we reached out to PPA professional player Catherine Parenteau to talk pickleball. Below she tells us about her history with the sport, discusses her paddle of choice, and sheds some light on how she stays at the top of the game both mentally and physically. Check it out!
What is your story? How did you get into Pickleball?
I have always been an athletic person who loved playing sports. When I was young, I skied, played baseball, and played tennis until I realized in order to master one, I had to give up the others. Looking back at it now, it’s almost comical that it was a hard decision, but I know now why I chose tennis.
Not long after that decision, I was ranked top 10 in my age group in Canada and continued my career on a Division 1 college tennis team. My first year, I played at University of Arkansas, then left to find that Michigan State University would be a better fit (Go Spartans!). My coach at Michigan at the time, who was Simone Jardim, introduced me to the game in 2015.
Like most people, I quickly fell in love with Pickleball. Though I didn’t always know this would be my career. It started out as a hobby, until I played my first tournament and ended up winning gold! After that, I decided to dedicate more of my time to mastering the game.
Here we are, 8 years later, and I still love it as much as I did when I started. I feel very lucky that I get to make a career out of a sport I love so much.
What paddle do you play with and why?
I play with the Selkirk VANGUARD Power Air Invikta Paddle. It’s really important to find a paddle that fits you and your game. You want the right amount of power, spin, or control that works for you. I love how much power and spin my paddle gives me!
What are some of your short term and long term goals in this sport?
I think for the moment, my personal goals are focused on continuing to improve my game and play well at tournaments. Eventually, I would love to see Pickleball being played at the Olympics, and would love to be able to represent my home country, CANADA!
What are your favorite drills to train?
It depends on what I’m working on! In singles, I spend a lot of time on my serves and returns. These shots are definitely more important in singles. If I’m focusing on my doubles game, I definitely lean more towards kitchen and transition work!
What do you think is your secret sauce out there on the court?
The secret sauce is mental strength. Whatever the score board says or no matter the kind of day you’re having, it’s really important to stay focused and keep your head in the game.
What do you like to do other than pickleball?
Anything sport-related. I love going to hockey games (Go Habs!), I love watching (and playing) tennis still, and anything that requires any kind of athletic ability, count me in. I’m a very competitive person, so all sports that are fun and challenging are appealing to me! I also love spending time with my partner, Athena, and though we travel a lot of work, I cherish the time we get to spend with friends and family.
Learn more about the Selkirk Power Air Line of Pickleball Paddles