Tallahassee Pickleball Association

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June 2024 Member Spotlight: Sean Rady

Meet this month’s TPA Spotlight member, Sean Rady. Sean was recently elected as a new TPA Board member and is looking forward to serving on the Board. His father introduced him to pickleball in 2020 when COVID forced people to find outdoor activities. He originally did not gravitate to the sport but stuck with it to spend quality time with his family.

Playing pickleball “grew” on him and because he played varsity tennis at Lincoln High School and was an aficionado of ping pong in high school and on into college, there seemed to be a natural progression to playing pickleball. Sean said, “Growing up my brother and I would play ping pong to see who would do the dishes after dinner. Let’s just say I didn’t do a lot of dishes.” He said he largely translates his pickleball skills from ping pong more so than tennis. As examples, his backhand roll shot, and backhand slice drop shot come mostly from ping pong.

Sean is attracted to pickleball because of the camaraderie he experiences on and off the court. It’s also a great way to burn calories. Sean said, “I don’t care whether I win or lose, I just want to play well and have fun.” The pictures below show Sean with American Superstar/Pro, Ben Johns, after playing in a tournament, and with his doubles partner, Marina. He and Marina placed 6th out of 32 in a recent PPA tournament, playing mixed doubles in the 5.0 division. 

Speaking of tournaments, Sean is rated as a 5.0 and enjoys competing mainly in Moultrie, Thomasville, and Dixie, GA. Every now and then he will do a PPA tournament to see some different competition. One of his favorite things to experience is whenever he goes to different cities, he’ll bring his paddle and go to open play. So far, Sean has played in Asheville NC, Highlands NC, Brevard NC, Salt Lake City Utah, Atlanta GA, Gainesville FL, Big Canoe GA, Moultrie, Macon, Thomasville, and Dixie GA, and a small city in South Carolina.

Sean is well known for his “Nasty Nelsons.” He says he only does them on players he likes, as not all players truly appreciate the humor of the shot. A Nasty Nelson is a pickleball serve that intentionally hits the opposing player closest to the net with the ball. If the served ball hits the opposing player before it bounces, the receiving team commits a fault, and the serving team wins a point.  One shot that Sean has difficulty with is one that has so much back spin, it simply spins back into the net without a prayer of hitting it.

Sean states, “Pickleball is easy to learn, but it takes time, hard work, and dedication to get good at it. Beginners should consider taking lessons with one of the many fine coaches in Tallahassee. (he is one of them). Lessons are worth the investment!". Another point he makes for beginners, “Buy a good pair of pickleball shoes! I have seen too many players roll their ankle or get hurt by wearing the wrong shoes. I think good shoes should come first before deciding on which paddle suits you. Running shoes are meant for running, not pickleball!”. And lastly, "Before buying a $150+ dollar paddle, try out several paddles before purchasing. A paddle is like a car, you gotta test drive it first!”  

Newsletter Manager - Judy Howes

Tallahassee Pickleball Association, Inc. is a tax-exempt organization under 501(c)(3).
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