Meet The Pros - Scott Clayson
Scott Clayson has been described as an 'awesome partner and a class-act person' by one of his doubles partners. He's a humble guy who is totally addicted to this sport! ENJOY!
Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?
Silver in 2016 Fall Brawl Mixed Doubles age with Laura Fenton Kovanda
Gold in 2016 Tournament of Champions Legends Men's Doubles with Scott Moore
Silver in 2016 Tournament of Champions Legends Mixed Doubles with Alex Hamner
Gold in 2016 US Open Men's age 50-55 with Scott Moore
Silver in 2016 US Open Mixed age 45-50 with Stephanie Lane
Bronze in 2016 US Open Men's Senior Open 50+ with Michael Gates
Gold 2016 USAPA Western Regional Tournament Mixed 50+ with Gigi LeMaster
Gold in 2016 Grand Canyon State Games Men's age 50-60 with Michael Gates
Silver in 2016 Grand Canyon State Games Mixed age 50-55 with Alex Hamner
What paddle do you play with and why?
I play with the Paddletek Tempest Wave. Early on in my pickleball experience I tried a number of different paddles. I have now found a home with the Paddletek Tempest Wave. I think it strikes the right balance of touch for the soft game and pop for a deep return of serve. I also feel that it has durability so it lasts longer than some other paddles I've used in the past.
What’s your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?
Interestingly, I was introduced to pickleball in 1998 by a coworker. We only had four of us playing for about a year. At the end of the year, our most avid player died and our group ceased to play. I didn't play again for another 13 years, as there was no one to play with. Then a local tennis player, Kyle Klein, started a group in our local community of Brigham City, home of Tournament Of Champions, and my addiction grew from there. If anything, I've had to restrain myself from playing too much. I would strongly encourage others to cross train with other exercises as I have found injuries come from repetitive angles on my joints.
What’s your preference – playing indoor or outdoor?
I prefer outdoor play as I like the fresh air and the outdoor surface. We do play indoors for 2 or 3 months though and still have a great time.
Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?
I prefer doubles as I want to save my joints so I can play as long as possible!
What’s your favorite place to play? Why?
I really enjoy playing recreationally in Brigham City, Utah. We have a number of different levels of players in our local area. We have a great time playing competitive games plus a little trash talking to keep it interesting.
What’s your secret sauce? Any tips for players?
My background was in high school tennis and participating in local community racquetball tournaments, but my most dominant influence has been table tennis. My mindset for the game of pickleball is that it's like one large ping pong table. I grip high on the neck of the paddle handle and use the same grip I use on a ping pong paddle. I use a lot of wrist and particularly favor my backhand, which is unusual for a pickleball player.
What’s your day job?
I retired back in 2010 from working in the oil / gas industry as a CPA. I do a few hours of consulting each month plus some of my own investing activities. When I go out to play pickleball, I tell my wife I am headed to work. She caught on really quickly.
How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?
In past years I played 4 or 5 days per week, but I've cut that back to 3 days per week as I want to cross train with other exercise programs like biking, lifting weights, etc. In hours, I probably play 10 hours per week.
Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?
Eggs and whole grain cereal for breakfast. Playing warm up points or games help me greatly.
Do you have any pickleball goals you’d like to share?
My goal is to not take it so seriously. If it becomes too much like work, I won't enjoy it. It is just a game and I want to keep it that way. With that being said, it is more fun to win than to lose.
Anything else you’d like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?
First, I am not one of the best in world. I prove it by losing regularly! Second, I am excited to see the sport grow and positively affect the lives of people who may not have played a sport at their age or physical ability. I also think the social and emotional benefits are unique and are the greatest part of why the sport is so addictive. I do think there can be a 'dark side' to the pickleball addiction if people do not keep a proper perspective and life balance. I worry sometimes that people alter their family, religious or work life to accommodate an excessive amount of pickleball. That being said, the sport has far more positive benefits than negatives and I enjoy it very much!