Meet the Pros - Paul Olin
We love to hear about another tennis convert! Game On and Enjoy!!
Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?
2019 US Open - Silver Men's Sr Pro Singles
2019 The Lakes Spring Fling - Gold Men's Sr Pro Singles
2019 Southwest Regional - Gold Men's 5.0 50-54 Singles
2019 Southwest Regional - Silver Men's 5.0 50-54 Doubles
2018 US Open - Bronze Men's 5.0 Doubles
2018 US Open - Gold Men's 5.0 35+ Singles
2017 Atlantic Regional - Bronze 5.0 Doubles
2017 Atlantic Regional - Silver 5.0 Singles
2017 US Open - Gold Men's 4.5 Singles
2017 US Open - Silver Mixed 35+ Doubles
What paddle do you play with and why?
GAMMA RZR - soon switching to GAMMA Legend. Both paddles have really nice touch/feel, no dead spots and great power.
What is your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?
I was introduced to pickleball 3 years ago by my mother in-law Frann down at the East Naples Park, home of the US Open Pickleball Championships. Like everyone else, the addiction was immediate. I have a tennis background: High School National Champion and Division I in college. Haven't played much tennis since my college days; that's a really long time ago.
What is your preference – playing indoors or outdoors?
Outdoors. More things to look at outside and the Durafast 40 outdoor ball is much more fun to play with.
Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?
Doubles, by far. Doubles doesn't hurt like singles and the game is more interesting. I really like singles, but doubles is much more exciting.
What is your favorite place to play? Why?
USAPA Nationals at Indian Wells. First off, the setting with the beautiful mountains and weather cannot be beat. Second, I wasn't expecting much for a pickleball tournament in a tennis facility. I was completely wrong - USAPA went all out and nailed it. The courts were fantastic and the facilities were the best I have seen at a pickleball tournament. My results were not good, but the event itself made for a very favorable experience. I cannot wait until this November!
What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?
No secrets. I like to listen to everyone. Everyone has advice. Some of the advice will work for you and some of it will not. But when you find that golden nugget of advice, it helps a ton. My advice to anyone that will listen would be to work on your footwork and always get your paddle ready. Getting your paddle ready applies not only at the net, but also at the baseline and especially when on the run.
What is your day job?
I retired from the US Navy in 2011. I was a Naval Aviator and primarily flew the FA-18. My last job on active duty was the Commanding Officer of the US Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN). Currently, I work for Northrop Grumman.
How many hours a week do you play?
Not enough! It varies. Most of the people I play with have a full time job, so getting a 4-some together is difficult. It usually works out to 2-3 times per week. Most of my playing time is spent drilling with Josh J Pickleball,(children's book author extraordinaire.
How do you make time to play?
Plan ahead and hope for good weather. We will normally play before or after work.
Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?
Nothing specific. I try to get a good nights rest. But that is sometimes difficult. My biggest complaint with pickleball tournaments is that they do not release the draw until midnight. I'm not sure why - most other sports have the ability to do this. I have met some great tournament directors that release the draw early and they really do a great job of keeping the players informed. To all tournament directors - please release the draws at a reasonable hour! Rant complete : )
Do you have any pickleball goals you would like to share?
To win! I love competition, but winning is always my goal. I'm still learning this game, so I don't have specific goals. Just do my best and the results will come.
Anything else you would like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?
I'm very far from one of the best players in the world. I still have a ton to learn. But that's what I love about the game - there are many different ways to play and everyone in this game is super friendly and always willing to help out.