PicklePod Episode 39: Shots Fired in the Tour Wars w/ Ryan Trefry
Ryan Trefry is the Director of Pickleball at Bell Bank Park in Mesa, AZ. He runs the 41 court facility that has hosted tournaments for both the APP and PPA Tour. We talk about pro tour drama and what the next move is in the pickleball chess match. Ryan runs some of the biggest amateur tournaments in the country and knows what separates the pros from the pretenders. He is setting up Bell Bank Park to be a leader in youth pickleball with opportunities to compete and train.
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4:40 Tyson is the front runner on The Challenge USA on CBS
9:58 Family time has become pickleball time
14:43 JW Johnson joins the show
21:03 Who is number 1?
28:59 The singles landscape from JW’s perspective
32:04 Fastest hands in the game
42:42 Speedups off the bounce vs out of the air
51:37 The routine for improvement
57:19 High stakes and high emotions at MLP
Boom, and we're back.
Yeah, we are. Was that where I'm supposed to jump in? Do? Thomas how jealous were you that I was paired up with Alyssa last night?
That was Do you know I have a list right here. topics. First one is Alyssa Lopez? Yeah. made all when you I mean I'm sure you guys are like oh we did so good like look at us on TV. I'm sure she mentioned us like I can't Yeah, on Instagram.
Our guest before we get too far into this conversation is Ryan treffry, who is the director of pickleball at the new legacy bel Bank Park Complex in Mesa, Arizona. And I've become good friends with Ryan over the last couple of years, as we are from the same place and he humors me with some dial down pickleball from time to time, which I appreciate. And he is our guest today. Ryan What's up dude?
What's up Tyson is an avid pickleball player out here at Bell bay park. The crowds just follow wherever he goes court to he gets like, probably 50 to 60 people watching them. It's ridiculous. Yeah, celebrity celebrity
50 to 60. That's more than most pro pickleball matches.
Right. And but that's just the way it is dude A Day in the Life. So, Ryan, before we introduced you, Thomas was talking about the challenge USA which I'm currently on, I don't know if you've been watching it all.
Every night, I watch it every night, I read every single night, dinner and rewatch because like we just want to see you my wife is in love with you. And it's ridiculous.
I just pause, I just pause. If they ever do like a close up, I just pause and I leave it that way for until like the next week on me or on Alyssa Lopez just on your face. And then Alyssa like in the background. Okay, so
Alyssa is one of the friends I've made on the show. And she's very cute and very funny. And Thomas was inquiring as to her status last week. And then this week, I got paired with her in the challenge. And I just knew that Thomas would be so jealous again of me.
i The only thing I thought was oh, so they're actually pretty close. There's a better chance of having some merit to it and her actually taking your recommendation seriously. So now the ball is even more in your court. This happened for me.
But here's the thing, because my advice to her would be never date somebody who's gotten to know you on TV before they did in real life. And my advice to you Thomas would be don't date somebody you got to know on TV before you got to know him in real life.
Okay, that's interesting. Yeah.
So it's the same advice. It just works a little bit differently. And I haven't.
Yeah, wow. Wow, messenger. Yeah, yeah. While I appreciate your advice, pletely disregard it. And once again, I'm going to put the ball in your court to make this happen for me.
Okay. I've been getting text messages from her this morning. So, because I think her and I had the most hilarious exchange last night on the show.
Sure, it was really.
But enough about that. We're here to talk about pickleball not about Thomas's love life, not about me as a huge celebrity on TV right now. And we have a expert in the field of pickleball. Ryan, how long have you been playing pickleball? Because I know a little bit. But you've been playing a long time started in southern years there. What year is it is 2022 right now.
Okay, so we're looking at about six years, actually,
six years. So you're looking at 2016
Your math is very good. Southern California.
Southern California started in Simi Valley, California.
And who were you playing with at the time?
Jack wood row. Dane Gingrich was a legend. Yeah.
Okay. And I've heard stories about you playing with Riley Newman, back then in Southern California or Leon, Jesse Irvine now
for a little bit. Yeah. Jeff Warnecke. We had a big group out there. So it was a lot of good players.
And who would you say out of that group who was like the instigator who was like the person who introduced pickleball? Did they all discovered on their own? Were the was one or a couple of people bringing in tennis players? How was that happening?
I mean, I think no, I think everyone kind of came into their own like most Lattimore tennis players, a lot of them are just athletes and you know, when you're high level, you just find each other so you know, everyone was driving an hour, hour and a half To get games and you know, at that point, there wasn't a lot of pickleball players. So you had to drive far to get the high level games.
Oh, that's interesting. Because now if it's over 20 minutes for me, I'm like, I don't know if it's worth it did an hour and a half Thomas, have you ever driven an hour and a half for a pickleball game?
To? I won't go anywhere. I live next to like the hotbed of pickleball. It's a 20 minute drive, and I won't even go there.
Yeah, I'll go to
spend, you know, four hours in the car just to play an hour and a half of pickleball. So
wow, that's a that's a determination. And that's one of the stories like 10 years down the road when kids are, you know, saying how hard Pickleball is, the elders can come in and be like, you know, how far I used to have to travel each direction to play pickleball.
of snow driving around the country in a van to chase pickleball. So that you did, there's my badge, there's my badge of honor, traveling for your back still hurts from that now? I'm over it. Yeah.
So does. When you started playing back then in 2016, did you have the vision? That it would be what it is today? Were you like, I'm going to start playing pickleball right now that I'm going to be director of pickleball at one of the largest complexes in the world and see how it pans out from there.
No, I want to, I want to like rephrase the question. Okay. Don't don't think the like would have ever become this just like, what what what were you thinking in that moment in time, when you were just sort of playing this, like, quirky off the beaten path game that didn't have a ton of traction? Probably like, no online presence. But you know, you were driving to get a game and you were playing with probably some of the best talent in the world at that point.
I mean, I think, as you know, when everyone knows Pickleball is very compulsive, obsessive. So once you play you want to play tomorrow, you want to play tonight, you know, so I think for me, it was, you know, brought back a little bit like to tennis, you know, competitive, you know, when I was playing junior tennis or high school, tennis or college tennis, you know, it brought back that competitive fire, you know, and you just pick the balls where you're at, you just want to keep playing, and you can't stop, you can't stop. It's like one more game. One more game. You've heard that 1000 times. And just, let's play one more. So it's, you know, I think for me, it was just, you know, an obsessive, you know, fun thing to do, you know, outside of work.
Yeah. And you can play one more game. That's the thing. So yeah, people can play for hours, and then they can play for a couple more hours, and they can stay out there.
So you were playing professional tournaments back then? Were you traveling all over the country playing everything you could? How was that working? Because it's not like it is now where there was like, appearance for us to cover costs. And then there was a large enough prize pool that you could, you know, kind of make a living off of it. How were all these players doing it? Were they all just like out of pocket? Did some of them have sponsors that were footing some of these bills? How was it working?
The OG days, it was, you know, out of your pocket and the days we had nationals, you know, Simi Valley ran like a triple crown event that, you know, Ben and Kyle would play in, you know, the prize money was, you know, miniscule to what it is now. But, you know, you get all the pros out to California, you know, I think it was just, you know, there's limited events, so they play the majors and grab a few small ones. And, you know, just play and I played Riley Newman in a small tournament in Tustin one time, and there was no prize money. So like, back then I think a lot of those guys were just playing, you know, learning the game. And, you know, obviously, it's exploded, and the money's obviously found everyone. So, you know, it's just, it's but everyone loves the game. So,
you know? Yeah. And you said that, you know, there weren't a lot of games. I've heard you mentioned now. There's so many tournaments, that tournament numbers sometimes dwindling, because there's so many opportunities now to play. Is that something that we are going to see like an equilibrium on is stuff going to die down and find that balance? How do you first see the sport of pickleball moving forward right now? Like, has it like reached max capacity? Or are the players more players going to come into the sport and fill those empty spots? Or? Yeah, what's gonna happen?
I mean, what I see is, you know, there's so many tournaments, but there's also so many courts now. And for us, you know, Belle Bank Park, we have we have more people in the leagues, you know, than we have in some of the terms. So like, I think some players will still be diehard and traveling to tournaments every weekend, but a lot of players are funding alternates you know, they're running their own round robins. They're going to facilities like us and you know painted around Robins and You know, there's just, there's just so many opportunities, but, you know, the numbers are exploding. So I'm seeing each tournament IRA, and I'm seeing brand new players every single time. So, you know, at the end of the day, you know, some of these big tournaments like nationals could, you know, could explode where there's, you know, 510 1000 people versus, you know, two and 3000. But I think, you know, the day to day people are, you know, they're finding things to do, you know, they're picking where they want to spend their money. And, you know, some of them spend it on tournaments and some spend it on lessons or, you know, leagues
as long as the money is getting spent.
That is true.
we do have did you tell the crowd about your tournament? I mean, we have a Tyson apostle, who is the tournament at validate bar, right. You know, with pro exhibitions, everyone can see Tyson's unbelievable Ernie, I don't know if you've seen it live. I know, some things you can't some things you can't unsee and I think Ernie is one of those.
Yeah, it's pretty, it's pretty traumatizing.
Okay, thank you. Thomas hates when we break up the RNA, because I already did, but that he claims that he could see that Ernie coming a mile away. But then how did he get her need?
It's almost like a slow motion. Yeah. I don't know how you do it. Maybe you're longer than ever. People are really people. I don't know.
Yeah, it really is. Yeah, I am hosting a tournament at Bell Bank Park in October. And it will be a ton of fun. My face will be all over posters and everything. Thomas you pretty jealous.
Yeah, well, how come? I didn't know about this?
We're telling you about it right now. October Mesa, Arizona.
Is that okay? Is that Is this like, are we announcing this right now has been talked about before?
No, send new this is a new event. It's a gamma sponsored event. We're gonna have Gambit clinics we're gonna have we're gonna have actually some gamma paddles for all the medalists you know, Tyson is going to, you know, sign you know, women's chest. It's going to be unbelievable. You know, I'll
sign people's paddles. Okay, perfect.
Tyson's too much of a family man to go along with that joke. What I'm learning Tyson has an image to uphold. Do I?
Listen, I just feel more comfortable signing panels. Okay, Ryan pickleball in the Olympics. Realistically, are we 10 years
it's, it's exploding in America. But let's look at other countries. Let's look at Asia and let's look at you know, Europe, Asians. It's, well, let's look at areas in the continents. Okay. Pickleball. I think for us, it's huge, but I think for other areas is not as big so I think it's going to take a little bit longer than we think, you know, we can we can play each other. You know, we can play California versus Arizona. But you know, for us to go and play you know, Colombia, Peru. It's it's gonna take a little time, but I think it'll get there.
It was an exhibition sport at the Maccabi Games in Israel. I saw it can't
be McCabe. I mean, there's just no way that's how it's pronounced Maccabi
I don't know, Angie, do you? Do you have input on that is already
on them. I would probably go with Tyson because he's very, very, very astute and intelligent.
Wow, I may be wrong. Maybe wrong, but I've always heard it McCabe.
Yeah, well, I just made that up. It sounds cooler, doesn't it? In my mind. It's sort of like these exotic games. Like in another country. I think there was an Israel. Does it change locations?
No, it's always in Israel.
And how many people participated types of not a
lot of the pictures I saw it didn't look like it looked like 20 or 30.
That's not bad. Actually. 30 to 40 for the Olympics will be good.
Yeah, that's true. So, okay, 10 years out for the Olympics. Let's delve into PPA versus a PP versus MLP. Versus independence. Wherever you want
to talk, you want to talk about what what was announced yesterday. So that was yesterday. Let me pull this up. So for maybe you didn't see this. This was so majorly pick up on Newport is coming up right? August 5, to like seventh or eighth for 48 or something like that. But that weekend, and the PPA announced their own event. Just a little bit north of there in Los Angeles that same weekend. It is the Selkirk labs showdown. Why invite only so the PPA Selkirk labs and the prestige Just Braemar Country Club in Los Angeles are thrilled to announce the Selkirk lab showdown presented by invited me. I think that must be a typo. Yeah. So in terms of what it's going to be, so it's like thrilling, unconventional show featuring wild matchups. And unlikely partnerships match pickleball Yeah, right. And it's like a round robin format. There's, you know, one round robin each day and then eventually there's a points total. And then it culminates in a final on on Sunday. So, yeah, it's definitely like shot directly across the bow of Major League pickleball. And I think we're starting to see this kind of like tit for tat emerge, where it's like, one of them makes a move, and the other makes some sort of counter. And it's no longer like, yeah, no, we don't compete. It's like, No, we compete with them. And actively Yeah. And we actively try and, like, dominate viewership or detract from the other. Right, are you laughing at your own joke? I missed? I mean, no,
I'm just laughing at how insane This is that like, it's, it's true that you're saying, initially, they were like, Oh, we're all supportive of each other, that what's good for us is good for the sport. It's all good for the sport. And now they're like, let's take that formula and just like mimic it with our own people. And
yeah, the old you know, the old days, you would you'd avoid, you know, there's a tournament on Saturday, the fifth, you would, you know, August 5, you'd avoid that weekend. But I think now it's becoming where, you know, let's just do it. You know, they're competing against each other certain weekends, I think in the past, you know, they avoid each other, for tournaments and events, just because, you know, the player pool and the, you know, the spectators were, you know, going to one event, but I think there's so many more options now that I think they can coexist. You know, I don't know what you guys think.
Well, I think it's interesting here, and this is what I think is the most interesting about this is that we went to the last major league pickleball Thomas and I we did commentating there. There were some PPA players there. I don't think that by their contract with the PPA, they were necessarily supposed to initially be there, but they finagle the way. Weren't there.
Just keep rattling? Yeah. And stratmann
only stratmann. Okay. I was thinking there were a couple others, but maybe you would know better than me. So just stratmann. So now were to scrap and go on this weekend in California.
I think she'll keep showing up to PPAs I think she'll go to but she's going she's under contract with the PPA I think she'll keep going to PPAs. But yeah, for this major league pickleball event, she's going to be there and that's going to take priority for her. So it's it's interesting, like, does that open the floodgates? Are there other PPE players who are like I want to compete for the 25 brand. And they sort of follow suit because they see Oh, Lauren stratman walked away unscathed. I want to do that too. Because it seems like there's there's only upside unless there's some, you know, legal stuff happening behind the scenes that we're just not aware of. But even maybe she'll stratman on here. Yeah, we should get her on here and put her on the spot and
know for weeks. When should we call her right now? Let's not call her right now. We'll see if she wants to talk
Tyson Tyson, you act like you act like you haven't been in showbiz all your life. Ryan, call her.
Put her on FaceTime, right.
Let's get her on here. And don't tell her she's being recorded. Yeah, sure. But just to add to that, a thought I had just kind of looking at beer city, which is this weekend aipp in Grand Rapids, Michigan. And I'm seeing all the posts and stories in the clips. And like, I think mixed doubles starts today or is underway now. It's like there's this community of players emerging that are whole solely aligned with APB like the yellow go play PPAs. But in my mind there ABP players like the JW Johnson's the Paris TAs and like, there's this alternate community of good talent forming for the APA, aap taking on its own persona of grant. Yeah, and it's not like you need and like people want to tune into that I want to tune into that. And I also want to tune into the PPA and I want to go watch majorly pickleball like I don't think just hears signing players to contract like I just it's almost like you should just let these players go play where they want to play and try and focus on your product. What are you putting out there on the on the court that promotes viewership and makes people want to tune in. If you're
focused on if you're so dead set on getting the pros there, then just pay a larger appear In this view than any of the other tournaments, that's how you get them there, you don't contract them to years and years of servitude. But that's interesting with because for me like an I'm probably an ultra competitive spirit. If I didn't get a contract from the PPA initially, or didn't get what I wanted from them and became one of these a PP players. I'm doing everything in my power to prove the PPA wrong so that they come groveling at my feet begging me to play at which point I say thanks. but no thanks. You had your chance? No, I think attitude. Is that the attitude of a lot of these players? Do you think in their hearts like, we're going to prove the PPA room? We're gonna stomp on their events. And then when they ask us to come play, we're gonna say no.
Well, one of the interesting things too was that the PPA remember, they just posted this sort of vague post on on social media, just like of Paris, Todd saying stay tuned. And then we never found out anything. And I wonder if something? Yeah, I wonder if they were trying? And they thought they were gonna get her to sign and then she didn't or something like that?
What do you think about all that the players contracts and their loyalty to one Touro over the other? And at some, in some instances, have to play events and can't play others? Is that is that the future of pickleball? Is this something that's going to work itself out naturally? Is this like one of the growing pains and learning curve of the sport?
They will work itself out. But you're seeing it now in golf, too. So this is not, you know, this is not just pickleball you're seeing multi million dollar deals to play the new, you know, Li ve TOUR
LIVE, sign up for that immediately. Dude, if somebody was like, here's $20 trillion to play over there.
PGA and, you know, PGA is legendary. It's been around for hundreds of years. And you're, you know, they're stealing top pros with money. So, you know, this is something that may not go away. But I think, you know, some players are, you know, look, follow the money. So interesting, we're getting the money and you know, those $200,000 tournaments, when they come out, you know, they'll go there, and they're not gonna go to the smaller events. So it's alright, when you're providing
all this elite agency and pettiness is going to melt away pretty quickly when people just start putting money on the table. And yeah, the question is, Will Will that happen? And how many years out from that? Are we?
Yeah, I don't I don't think we're that far out. I think
I do. I think if you look at viewership numbers right now, they're not there. And the mentality is, if you build it, they will come and like the growth of participation, like eventually there's going to be some sort of, you know, trickle down effect where some percentage of people who are casual players will watch the pro tour assuming we can put on a good product, but I still think we're very far away from reaching critical mass to where we can justify in these tours, multiple tours, can justify these big sponsorship contracts that they need to bring in in order to make this a feasible business model. That's Yes, that's how I feel about and I hope I'm wrong. I really hope I'm wrong.
No, I agree with that. Me saying yes, I think that they, the tours are at that point now, where money is going to talk more and more to the players, they've already set the precedent. So now it's like, okay, I need more money than last year. Okay, now I need more money than last year. And if they don't have a product that can be sustainable, that's going to spell trouble for them, which is what you were alluding to there but I think they've already opened the floodgates they're trying to drown the other people out so now who can sustain being able to pay the players what they are accustomed to and what they feel they deserve is now going to be part of the game
the the sponsorships getting there where you know, I'm getting calls all the time people want to get into pickleball so like businesses are like we want to be involved somehow because they hear fastest growing sport and all you hear about you know just walking around you see Tyson you know, playing he's a celebrity obviously. But you know, everyone wants to either play it or you know, talk about it so,
but are they getting a return on their investment if they are sponsoring these big tournaments for a lot of money? Like I get like a sponsored player somebody with a following somewhere the smaller events where you can introduce product to newer well there's
yeah, there's there's a difference between like a brand wanting to do on site activation at a live event, versus paying it like a TV viewership sponsorship deal, right? Like a media rights deal. Like those are two different Thanks, I think we're definitely at a point where sponsoring an event Yeah, it's great for like a brand who's just trying to, like, get their product in the hands of new people. But we're not at the point where, you know, like, I don't want to name a specific name, but
a giant luxury watch company is willing to pay $30 million to have a year contract of advertising on the backgrounds of every single event
that came to mind is an active sponsor, so I didn't want to like throw the boss but yeah,
and it fell back Park, we just signed a 20 year deal with Talking Stick resort, which is a huge presence here in Phoenix. So, you know, and Bellevue Park is huge, we've got a ton of sports, and, you know, they're like, let's get our foot in the door with pickleball. So they're gonna basically sponsor our stadium. They're gonna wrap it with Talking Stick resort, and you know, they're in it for the long haul. So I think, you know, that's kind of a telling tale, where, you know, they're not going into soccer, they're not going to baseball or not going to basketball, hey, let's get that pickleball stadium and, you know, see where it goes from there. But you know, I think, just like that, it's, it's, you know, it's gonna start popping up everywhere.
Do you have stats on how many people are moving through biobank per week, per month? Is there like a metric that you can
I mean, off the top of my head, it's, you know, a busy weekend, we'll get, you know, 10 to 20,000 people through,
which is more than tune in to a professional match, like
through through the entire park or just in the pickleball space
through the entire park. I mean, today, we have a baseball event or a basketball event starting Oh, yeah, we're like, it's gonna be like Disneyland. So there's, but if I walk around the park, and I interview people, how many people know what Pickleball is? You know, that's, that's the question. You know, I think it's, you know, I think in our world, it's huge. And everyone watching these tournaments are players. Yeah. But we have to figure out a way to get those other people to watch this fork.
Right? Even though they don't necessarily play it regularly. They have to be able to enjoy watching it in some
I don't know some of these some of these points. Like I think it you need to get another it's like golf. You need to like play it a couple times to really understand what you're you're watching and appreciate it. But you know, some of these highlights are an incredible we just posted something because this guy commented on a. So it's it's been an Anna Lee verse, AJ Kohler and Callie Smith, in Phoenix, actually, at the beginning of the year, and it's this crazy, like hands battle, and Anneliese just ripping, backhands, and he is just like defending, and it looks sped up. So I get why this guy commented it, but he goes, it sped up again, the dink, please, you're doing the game a disservice by being the lowest common denominator with trying too hard to get clicks. Like we don't speed up our clips. It's just that fast. It's that insane. And I think it's just it's like funny, it's a testament to how crazy some of these points and how good some of these players actually are. That, you know, we're getting used to stuff like that, but it's like, how do you how do you communicate that to people who don't know what they're watching, or haven't seen the sport before?
I think they have to play at once. I mean, I play with Tyson, he'll come out and play and then I'll play with Riley three days later. And it's like, fast forward. It's the same game. But no offense to Tyson. It's just it's that high level is a different game. And you know, the balls coming off a Riley's paddle a lot faster than Tyson's slow motion attorneys. So you know, I think, you know, people have to experience it. And, you know,
well, and I I'm fortunate because I'm in a position where I'm in where people are much better than me are willing to play some pickleball with me, not everybody has that luxury, I understand. So I even get to see that too. And that's why I've like started adding more and more weight to my paddle trying to be able to hit the ball harder and trying to like also, like keep my shots extra low. Ryan notices that he's always like, get it over the net, bro. I'll hit the tape a million times because I'm like, I want it to just kiss the net every single time make a perfect shot. Because I play with these better players who take advantage of every single mistake I make. Yes, it helps.
Definitely. If you're not on TV, I'm pretty sure you'd be on the pro tour with just your skill set.
I was gonna I was gonna ask you a question. So how often do you get commenters on your posts saying hey, stop putting your clips in slow motion and you're like this is just normal speed.
Slow Mo they think it's dated giraffe? No, it's very cool because people are like wow, I like how you slow mode it right there right before you like moved across for your earnings. Like I didn't change any of the timing. It's just like me being like, whoa, Whoo. All right. So yeah, very cool. It was just a cool effect that I just built into the way I move. What do you got? Thomas? What do you got?
Well, I'm looking at this list here.
PS, I want to go back when you're looking at the list. Ryan was like, tournaments used to look at, at other tournaments, and purposely, like kinda like, avoid those weekends and stuff. And I'm going to the gamma classic on the first weekend of August. And that's in Pittsburgh. But that's also the same date as these events in California, and Major League pickleball wanted me to do, commentating but I can't, because I am going to the gamma classic. And they didn't even know that, you know, other tournaments. There's so many tournaments now that people don't even know that there's other tournaments going on some of the time. I mean, the PPA clearly knew Major League pickleball was happening at Newport. But that's not always the case. Like it's not always like, out of malice. Sometimes. It's just like, a lot of tournaments. Like, it's hard to, you know,
yeah, I think I mean, I think smart tournament directors, and obviously, the tourists will look at the calendar. But, you know, at some point, you just got to, you got to find the right date. So you're gonna see, you know, PPA tournaments on the same weekend as AVP tournaments, you're gonna see to add tournaments, the same weekend, which you've already had, so I think, you know, and, you know, we're still getting enough players playing them, so why not?
I think, if I'm gonna make a prediction, okay. Eventually, I think Major League Pickleball is wanted to work with the PPA. Now, actually, I think the PBA one, one to work with Major League pickleball, too, but they both want to be the top dog. And it's just not like you can't have to two alphas combine and take one and have one take the backseat, like, it's just not going to happen, given what they both want to achieve. I think we're gonna go get to a point where major league pickleball says, and, you know, it sounds like they have some alliance with the ABP they say, well, we need to compete, head to head, we need to start doing our own tour, not just a league, but our own tour. And either one create their own or to just invest in making the ABP a better a better product. And then it really becomes like two mega tours kind of competing, and majorly brick wall has the League of course, like, I think there's going to be more. Right now we just see sort of like the PPA going, putting its sights on MLP. I think that's going to shift I think it's going to go the other way too.
You think the MLP is going to put its sights on the PPA,
and try and yeah, just try and figure out you know, how do we
well, they're doing that amateur event in Newport. Right? I think. Yeah.
Whatever. Dude, running a waterfall first running
it in conjunction with Major League pickleball. Yes. For amateurs. So, you know, that's good news for amateurs who want to make some money.
I guess. Yeah. It's a step in that in that direction.
Yeah. So I'm interested to see how that turns out. Because with the duper, duper scale, it should be should be able to squash out a lot of the sandbagging. Or that is the hope, right.
That is definitely the hope. Yeah. And
in the duper. Yeah, the duper will bring you know, we're doing actually we do do readings at my facility. And it's a little higher than your normal rating. But I think at least it's a you know, closer to true value of what you're, you know, you can't just, you know, Tyson says he's a five oh, he shows up. And, you know, he was not a FIFO but he said he was so you can't go off of you know what people think they are,
you know, yeah, exactly.
We played we played we played on Sunday, and we did a duper we we played like a bunch of casual games. There's just been a group of guys here and we were over at Tim clutches. How's that? How's that like a bunch of people was playing Colin and Ben were playing right before us. So when we stepped on the court, the skill level plummeted pretty quickly. But we played a bunch of casual games, and then eventually someone's like, can we do like, Can we do some duper games now and we're like, okay, and then immediately, all like the laughing stopped and it just like, it got really competitive and everyone really wanted to win and improve their deeper so did you enjoy that
protective of this rating? You know, Tyson? Do you want to do a duper match over at Bell bank? I mean, are you willing to do that?
I can. I Oh, I'm willing to do it. Yeah, when I'm feeling good. Let's do it. Okay. But do Did you enjoy that? Thomas? Did you enjoy the how the serious aspect came in? It was more competitive or did you not like that?
I think so. I liked how we played some casual games before we did the competitive stuff. It gave a nice balance to the day, right? Sometimes you can go out there and you just kind of messing around. You don't really care. And then some sometimes you go out there, you're playing with good players. You're like, it's all competitive. It was it was nice to have the balance. And oh, no, it's fun. It's yeah, I like getting like actually competitive every every now and again. Right?
Okay. Yeah. Yeah, interesting. I honestly didn't know if I still don't know if I will enjoy that mindset. Because to me, I feel like I'll just kind of treat it the same, but maybe I won't. You know, you know, how protective I am. Oh, my Uber rating. So duper probably even more so.
Ryan, do you watch? Do you watch a lot of pro pick about like, when it's on? Are you tuning in, like when you get off your city?
Depends on where I'm at. I mean, if I'm, if we're Adele bank, and we're running stuff, and it's slow, we'll throw out you know, we've got a TV back in our pro shop, we'll throw pickleball on obviously, you know, if I'm home, you know, I'll throw it on. Just to be honest, you know, I watched it to just depending on what I'm doing, but I'll definitely turn on the beer city at least, you know, once a day to see what's going on with some of my friends or you know, some of the pros I like to watch. Right?
Is there when something you're when more hopeful. Sorry, Thomas.
Is there slot we're getting boring what you're kind of getting at in which these broadcasts,
like what could they do to improve these to improve your viewership experience? Is that what we're gonna say? Thomas?
then your questions next,
less less advertising, even though that's what's paying for the tournaments, but, and less repeat advertisements, you know, you just, you know, I want to watch pickleball so, you know, and it's high level pickleball. And I think I would like to watch people that, you know, bring excitement, you know, people I either people I know, are people that, you know, have some personality. So, you know, that's what we're looking for. Do you want to you know, the Cheerios is, you know, those are the fun masses to watch. You want personalities, you know, and I think, you know, some players are more boring than others. I'm not going to name names, but you know, but I think, you know, it's just like any other sport, you want excitement you want to, you know, the joke of inches. And, you know, curious is when, you know, when you don't know, what might happen next, you know, the McEnroe's. I think, you know, we need more Tyson's in this world of personality, you know, because he is the pickleball personality. I think.
I am. Thomas does, yet. Yeah,
he certainly says it a lot.
Well, Ryan said it too, bro. I'm not the only one over here saying it. Tom has a question for Ryan.
I just want to know, like, your personal opinion on all the tours, like, Do you have a preference to which one you like to watch, you're more excited to watch.
I watch them both. Like To be honest, it's whatever, you know, we're on a pickleball booziest. So I'll watch whatever, to be honest, I'll follow PPA and ABP, to be honest, and it's more about for me, it's more about the players, you know, I want to follow certain players and just watch pickleball you know, but you know, I'll obviously follow, you know, Riley and some of the local Phoenix guys, you know, Dana De La Rosa, you know, PESA tRNA you know, but you know, at the end of the day, it's it's pickleball you know, we all love it. I think everyone that is involved in pickleball plays pickleball so, you know, all the referees, all the tournament directors, all the operations, you know, they all play pickleball that's what's crazy about the sport is every one is playing, you know, Tyson, you, you know, everyone, you know, whoever's involved in pickleball you know, the guys that are behind the cameras, they play pickleball so I think, you know, we have this, you know, the shared love of the game, you know?
Do you have any, like, interesting fun players that are coming up to the ranks in the Phoenix area? I mean, you guys kind of just breed them over there. Like you mentioned, Tony, I always thought he has he I love watching him play. He doesn't play as much pro stuff as I wish he would. But like Are there any other any other players you're looking at?
I mean, he's, he's probably, you know, Phoenix, we have a ton of good players. But you know, we're actually losing some to a lot of guys are going out to Dallas and whatnot or Austin, but, you know, passes pretty much the one that comes to mind. You know, I haven't seen I seen a ton of like four or five guys trying to be five oh, pros, but, you know, there's not, you know, for me, it's, it's oftentimes it's hard to find a good game to be honest. So, you know,
how do you know how old Pat says
he's early 20s And he's like, 23. Okay, but what about he doesn't he needs to he needs to get into those games. If he was traveling around the world playing with the top 10 Pros he would be he would be there but you He's out here playing, you know, four Oh pickleball with, you know, dudes at the park. So, you know, sure though he plays, he plays three times a day. He plays us, but he'll play with, you know, to play with anyone. So, you know, for him to get to that next level, you know, you got to start drilling. You got to start playing with those six guys, you know?
Yeah, right. I love watching him and De La Rosa play together. I wish they would I wish they would play more
of that. For sure.
What about Kyle? That pickleball guy I saw him he posts a lot in in Phoenix houses game. You can heat I played him this year if
you need to. I played him in one tournament and we were we won the gold against them. But he's up and coming. You know, he's just like, you know, every other, you know, four or 550 guy you know, let's try to go pro you know, so yeah, he's getting he's getting better and better. But I am want to know against him as of today, but, you know, maybe a year from now he'll beat me with my old age. I don't know. You know, it's a pickleball thing. I don't think I've ever talked about this as like everyone says they're a pro. So yes, a pro, you know, is a pro someone that's, you know, sponsored as a pro someone that's caching at these tournaments, you know, what is a pro? That's kind of a vague term that you know, everyone uses and I forget to talk about that. But it's, it's, it's pretty funny. Just going around, I get a lot of, you know, my students a coffee, like, do you heard about this guy? John, he's so good. He's a pro. I'm like, you know, the dudes have for, like, crushed him or like 15 Zero. So like, you know, what is a pro? You know,
so I don't think I've talked about cycling for a while here, Thomas. So I'm probably at liberty to right now. So stop,
yeah, at this point,
you're probably a pro cyclist, right?
So mountain biking is like pickleball more in that, like, you sign up for a pro race you there's no restriction on what where you sign up or where you place yourself, you just do it. And then you can say you're a pro mountain biker. Professional road cycling, on the other hand, you have to have a professional contract with a team. And so that is the line and you're getting at that point getting a salary. Whereas mountain biking, we all three could sign up for a pro mountain bike race tomorrow. And so there's no like real level you have to reach before you can just like, sign yourself up. So my definition of a pro athlete is somebody who makes a living. Competing in that sport. Not
but that's that's tougher for pickleball because like, you know, no one's living
more than they make.
That's what I'm saying. So right now, there are five. Sure. Okay, then those are the five pros. Okay, there you go. All right. What do you got it I like I don't know. Like, that's, to me, you got to make maybe, maybe at this point will allow the bulk of your income or a portion of your income or something. But if like, if you're just signing up Pro, just so you can brag to your friends.
I think bro, I think you're I think you're kinda right. I think it's like if you're making money from Pro events like for for placements in those events, then yeah,
yeah, if you're making $12,000 a year, Tyson, you can be a pro football player, even though you're paying 50 grand to travel and like
that's not professional profession. No, it's this is not good ro fashion by definition.
The wrong make your living. No, it doesn't pro fashion means you get paid for whatever it is. If you lose money, if you net lose money, you're still a professional. Technically, you just run it.
Like you're working at McDonald's and paying McDonald's, you know, pay McDonald's to work.
Okay. Well, whatever my definition of professional sport is that you need to make your income and living off of it.
That's why they're all living in their cars, I guess. Sure.
Those are professionals, right? Their
profession is a paid occupation. So there you go. You can you can lose money in the long run, but as long as you're getting paid,
but getting paid and winning prize money are also different.
Depending on Yeah, they can be Yeah.
Yeah. So that's the thing. Like, I think if you're getting some money just to play, whether or not you're winning tournaments or not, and it's not all dependent on prize money that also goes into the equation. Whatever this is neither here nor there. I'm gonna get like a barrage of people being like I'm a pro. And it's like, well, maybe you are. Maybe you aren't. How much money do you make? Is that enough to live off of
that? I mean, like, there this is, it's a good it's a good conversation topic, because there are so many people saying, yeah, no, like, I'm, I'm a pro. And then every once in a while, I'll be in a public setting and someone will introduce me to somebody. And they'll be like, yeah, they're a pro pickleball player and I go, are they? And I just kind of given the look like, you're going by? You know, who you're who you're talking to? Like, I know, the pros are, yeah.
And people will tell me all the time, they'll be like, Oh, you're a pro pickleball player. That's so awesome. I was like, I am not a pro pickleball player.
But dude, by your own definition. I mean, you've got gamma and Philip paying you like,
No, I just love their product more than a lot. But here's the thing is that I, if I had less shame, and was like, would be like, yeah, no, I'm a pro. Like, if people are gonna, like, that's what the some of these, like anybody who gets introduced to you as a pro pickleball player that you've never heard of. That is someone who only just wants people to misunderstand them as a pro, professional athlete. And so by all accounts and measures, there's been so many times in the last couple of years, where people have either introduced me as a pro pickleball player, or on social media been like, Oh, it's so cool that you're a professional athlete again. And I'm like, I'm not. I'm a personality in the space. But I could easily like I think a younger me that was more prideful would have been like, Yeah, I'm a pro. Tell your friends. Tell everybody. Tell everybody. I'm a professional. But
So a longer overhang? I think that's
correct. But, yeah. So where do we go from here, guys?
Well, my last thought on that is, if you are a person of integrity, you it will be it will be in your gut to provide the caveat that even if you've played at the pro level, like you're not a pro, so every once awhile, like one of my maybe somebody in my family would be like Thomas, he plays probate? Well, I'm like, No, I've played pro pickleball. I've gotten two wins. And that doesn't mean anything in a sport. That's as young as it is. Right. So like that union, all I
did was sign up for Pro. And like, picked a good partner.
Yeah. Good. Pitch, a good partner had a good job.
But, but that's the that's the difference right now in this sport is, is I can go up to a registration table at a tournament, and they'll be like, What are you playing? I'm like, pro, here's 150 bucks. And they're like, Okay, stash the money in their pocket. I go in, get demolished by whoever, and leave. And people are like, How'd you do? I was like, not very good. But I'm pro I played pro. Get out of bad draw played the top guys in the world early on. That's the way it goes at the pro level me being a pro. And then that's just like the way it is. But
yeah, there are people who do that. 100% Yeah.
Dooper needs a specific, you need a check mark on duper. When you reach level
Pro, I like this. I like this duper needs to sell this to do for Yeah, I have verification status for pro badges gonna be some sort of, yeah, some sort of benchmark that you have to hit. And then you get sort of like this, you know, blue chalkboard, like
tennis, tennis, you have challenger tour, you know, you have to win tournaments to get into Yes, I think you're actually going to start seeing that this year, next year with some challenger events, and you need a qualified to play. Yeah. That's how you
that's how pro cycling on the road level is you have to tally enough points to even qualify to get picked up by a professional team, and then go from there. So part of it is that you have to have the experience because sometimes it takes years and years. And I think with experience in all sport pickleball included comes a higher level of professionalism and of gameplay as well. And so I think when we can somehow figure out that little kink, but like that's not the most pressing matter in the sport right now. So everybody put that on the backburner.
No, I want to out sandbaggers and I want to out want to be pros that are
the two extremes, whether you're playing way up in level or way down and level. The gotta figure it out, guys.
That's my personal mission.
Okay, good to know. And if there's any companies that would like to sponsor Thomas in his mission, His number is I won't give you give them your phone number. What else we got? Thomas? Is that a wrap?
That's it. That's all I got. Oka
y Ryan. Any
closing thoughts? What You got coming up at Belle bank, in the next coming weeks,
I think you should dedicate maybe a show to this, but we are focusing on Junior pickleball. I've got a junior pickleball Academy, we just announced coming out in September and, you know, we're going to basically create a spot where they can come and train. Because I don't think, you know, you've seen the next gen, which is unbelievable. But these kids have nowhere to train, they have nowhere to play, you know, no other kids to play with. So, you know, we're gonna focus on that we already have a huge performance training center that we can kind of piggyback off of, but I think, you know, I think that's, that's the future of Pickleball is, you know, the juniors and I think you're seeing that with, you know, with next gen you're seeing on the tour, you've got, you know, Anna Lee, you've got Hayden, you know, these kids can play, you know, so I think, you know, I think that's kind of where the future is. But you know, what I'm doing is, you know, a lot of junior stuff where you have events, obviously, every weekend, you know, we've got leagues that Tyson apostle has competed in, actually. And he's dominated some of these people. And they've left eligibility
his kids. Were still the topic of the kids leagues.
I have to steal some of that kids.
We have some kids in the league, and you know, Tyson will will hit them with the ball. He'll bodybag them. He has no shame. And kids will leave. Sometimes. Correct.
I've seen it too. I bet. Yeah. Yeah. Pretty horrifying. It is Tyson. Thanks for your valuable lessons you've ever played
at Tyson. He tries to hit you. I don't know what it is. Maybe you know, he's angry. But he tried to hit me every time and he'll make it purposeful. It was like, I'm going to hit you. I'm going to put it on the camera. I'm going to show it slow motion. And I think he's done it before. But yeah,
yeah. And then the and then his ultimate goal is you lose your cool. And then he sits there like, Dude, it's part of the game.
I mean, one game, I tried hitting Tyson every single time and ruin my game, you know, and I went home, you know, almost crying because I couldn't hit him.
No big deal was if you bodybag me five times in a game, I would do a compilation video of all the body bags.
And I couldn't get you. You're just you're sorry.
You couldn't get me? No, I could always get my paddle in front of it enough to negate the body bag. But the paddle. It didn't come off my paddle properly. I just blocked my body from getting hit.
So I'm sorry, why?
Okay, well, in two weeks from today, I'll be at the gamma classic in Pittsburgh. If anyone wants to come say hi, I'm just going to be playing like rec games all day long while the tournament is going on. So
live stream that if possible, so I can just you know, enjoy my Saturday. Yeah.
And I think I'm gonna be on the Johnny pickleball show as well. Oh, my God live stream some of it.
And that's similar to the Johnny Carson Tonight Show or what is that? I
think it's the same. Yeah, it's very similar. A desk I walk in. There's coffee mugs filled with water. It's all Yeah, exactly. To Johnny Carson. Also, Ryan, Johnny Carson reference really? Kind of puts an age on you.
Yeah, I'm old. I'm all ready for the senior. I'm ready for the senior tour. Actually. Are you? In four years? I'll be ready. Okay, you got some time. Like I can't compete with your 19 year old kids. Trust me.
Man. I've seen you you can do do okay. Thomas. What do you got coming up anything cool. You're going to be out in? You're going to be at major league pickleball in a couple weeks?
I don't know yet. I need to figure that out. Okay, I've got a I got a weird month ahead. I might be at a lot of pickleball events. I might not be we'll see.
Wow, I like it. The intrigue the mystery.
We're doing a glow in the dark event out here. If you are I'm gonna give you I'll give you an entry
is that in Pittsburgh, bro,
I know. Like I said you can't you gotta run these events for when they're scheduled. You can't i can't avoid the PPA or the EPP or Tyson. You know, I gotta do it. But yeah, we're gonna do a fun glow in the dark event. I think you're gonna miss out on a huge party.
While I'll be at a huge party of my own. Sure. So, okay, Thomas. Shut it down, bro. Later