Meet the Pros – Julie Haney
Pickleball has really taken off in Sequim, Washington. I'm always looking for new folks to feature in our "Meet the Pros" series, and when the Sequim Pickler's Facebook page started bragging up Julie Haney, I had to ask. Enjoy a bit of her pickleball story!
Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?
I have a silver in women's doubles 19+ at Nationals and a bronze in singles at the Tournament of Champions. Since being bumped to 5.0 in January of 2014, I have been fortunate to medal 20 times.
What paddle do you play with and why?
I am playing with the Pro-Lite C-4 Black Diamond Titan and the Engage Encore pickleball paddle. Both give me power and "touch" and are the best paddles I have used.
What's your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?
My Dad, Bruce Oja, got me started playing in Oceanside, CA. He "bugged" me for about 6 months until I finally agreed to come out to the courts on a Sunday in April of 2013 and I was hooked from there. I even showed up to play with hiking shoes on, which shows how un-serious I was on that first day.
What's your preference - playing indoor or outdoor?
I prefer outdoor play due to the livelier play of the ball.
Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?
I prefer doubles play for the strategy and teamwork required.
What's your favorite place to play? Why?
I really like Bend, Oregon for the overall environment and the beautiful courts.
What's your "secret sauce"? Any tips for players?
I try to practice with close to as much intensity and focus as if I were playing a tournament and always be working on improving an aspect of my game. Watch 5.0 players who are better than you and do what they do.
What's your day job?
I have been a Private Investigator for about 4 years and for about 25 years before that, I was an NCIS Special Agent.
How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?
I typically play 3 times a week for 2 to 3 hours and I work on my fitness daily outside of pickleball.
Do you have any pickleball goals you'd like to share?
Of course, medaling at Nationals is a goal, and constantly improving both my shot making and my mental game.
Anything else you'd like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?
The tennis players coming over to pickleball are raising the level of play and I think that is really good for the sport.