Meet The Pros: Tyson McGuffin
I heard it through the grapevine that Tyson is one of the TOP 5 tennis players in Washington State. What better person is there to convert to the pickleball way of life! Tyson was featured on the local news, KIMAtv.com in July. Check out the video here. Thanks Tyson for giving our readers your enthusiastic story of how you became addicted to this wonderful pickleball community! Enjoy!
Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?
2016 USAPA Nationals – Men’s 19+, Singles - Silver, Men’s Open Singles - Silver
2016 Int’l Indoor Pickleball Championship – Men’s Singles Open - Gold
2016 So Cal Summer Classic - Men’s Singles Open – Gold
2016 Coeur D’Alene Classic Pickleball Tournament – 5.0 Men’s Singles – Gold,
5.0 Men’s Doubles - Bronze with Jay Rippel
What paddle do you play with and why?
I am sponsored by Selkirk Sports. I started playing with the Enrique Ruiz Signature 30P-XL Epic paddle. I also just started playing with the Maxima and love it. It totally suits my game. It is a good shape paddle for someone like me coming from playing tennis. It’s got that extra length going for it.
What’s your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?
I live in Yakima. I've been teaching tennis for a long time, and have competed extensively in tennis tournaments. I met this older guy, Bill Chotts, who used to play tennis but messed up his knee, and who had switched to pickleball. He kept bugging me to try it. One day he dragged me over to the YMCA to play. At first, I hated it. I couldn’t figure out how to score in doubles. I had trouble with being on a gym floor with thousands of lines. It was hard to adjust to the game and I couldn’t make sense of the dinking game. I love to smack the ball hard, so pickleball just didn’t seem to suit my competitive nature.
When I entered my first tournament, I found I could get a good cardio workout. My competitive nature was satisfied, and I got the extra added benefit of a big pickleball family: great people who will fight for the win on the court and then go out with you after for a beer or dinner. Everyone I’ve competed against is now a best friend. I love how the older, veteran players welcome newcomers. This is not how it is on the tennis circuit. You compete, and then you leave. You don’t stay to socialize.
What’s your preference – playing indoor or outdoor?
I love to play outdoors, especially when it is 95 degrees out, where I am at my best and can grind my opponent down. I fell in love with this game at the 2016 USAPA Nationals this year. I was there the whole 10 days and when I wasn’t competing, I was playing pickup games with some of the other players. I was a court rat, playing with 5.0 players all day, like Brian Ashworth, Chris “Mills” Miller, Dalton Vavra and Irina Tereschenko and loving it!
Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?
Singles play is my SPECIALTY! My tennis game gives me my advantage in Singles. I started learning with doubles, but struggled with the 30-40 ball dink. The singles game in pickleball is a better match for my tennis background. I also love the workout I get with the singles game.
What’s your favorite place to play? Why?
I love to play in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. I am sponsored by Selkirk Sports of Hayden, Idaho, and loved playing at the Coeur D'Alene Classic Pickleball Tournament. It is a dream area for the sport!
What’s your secret sauce? Any tips for players?
I come from a wrestling family. My dad and oldest brother were both wrestling coaches. I wrestled in college and love the individual and mental aspects of competition. Mentally, I am a warrior, and competing is all about survival of the fittest. My advice is, when the going gets tough, just hunker down. Stay tough and it will eventually turn around in your favor.
What’s your day job?
I am a full-time tennis instructor in Yakima, Washington.
How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?
I play 5-8 hours, whenever I can.
Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?
Not really. I’m not superstitious. With 2 cups of coffee, a good breakfast, plenty of electrolytes and bananas, I’m good to go.
Do you have any pickleball goals you’d like to share?
I want to start training to be a certified pickleball trainer. I want to win big in 2017: USAPA Nationals, Tournament Of Champions, the Canadian Nationals and the US OPEN tournament for the 1st time. In 2025, I want to win gold in Men’s Doubles with my son Ty!
Anything else you’d like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?
I’m engaged. I have a 3 year old son, Ty. He is my inspiration! I love pickleball, the whole scene. Pickleball totally sells itself. Pickleball is a game anyone can play. I am a full-blown pickleball addict. I can’t live without this game. I want to encourage people to play the fastest growing sport in the world. Pickleball has the best community of any sport I know; it is the best social scene anybody can find.