The LIFEAID team sat down with Pro Pickleball player Tanner Wallace and got to know a little more about him and his love for Pickleball. 

When and why did you start playing Pickleball?

“I started playing pickleball in 2019. I was in Florida on my college spring break with my family. A guy named Adam or better known as Eddie in the pickleball community showed my family this sport at the place we were staying at. Since then I came back home to Michigan and did not pick the paddle back up for around 6 months. Then picked it back up after I finished my college soccer career as I needed to stay active. I then became hooked and traveled to tournaments around the country. This sport is great for anyone old or young, anyone can play with anyone.”

Advice for anyone who has never played pickleball?

“My advice for a new pickleball player is to have fun with it. Learn the rules and watch videos on the sport to get a better understanding. As a new player you do not need the best equipment to start off but as the addiction to pickleball begins you will want to obtain better equipment to keep up with the competition. Consistency is key for this sport as well as patience”

What makes pickleball such an exciting sport?

“I think what makes pickleball such an exciting sport is the way that anyone can pick up a paddle and keep a rally going. It is so easy to play and get better at. You have a great community of players as well, no one I have met is mean. When going to a tournament it is like a party and that is what makes it fun.”

Any advice for a young pickleball player looking to go pro?

“As someone who wants to go pro, you will need to know a few things upfront. One, there is a lot of practice and time that goes into learning the game and the correct shots to use at the right time. Another is the money. It is very expensive to become a pro as you will have to travel a lot. I believe a Pro right now spoke and said that it cost around $26,000 a year for him to play in all the tournaments. But with that being said sponsors like FitAid are coming into this sport and it may get better as more sponsors come into the sport. One thing I will recommend that I am doing myself is to start at your actual rating and move up as you win gold. I started at 3.5 and have moved up all the way to pro. Don’t Rush the process and it will help in the long run.”

Most memorable pickleball moment?

“My most memorable moment so far in my pickleball career is playing in a local tournament with my dad. We played in an advanced bracket tournament full of 4.0 and up. We got second but being able to play alongside my dad was great. Even though I have medaled at many great tournaments my favorite was still the one playing with my dad. Family is important to me and this was a memory I will cherish forever.”

Are there any pickleball players you look up to?

“When I first started playing pickleball Kyle Yates was the GUY! He was my Idol and it was cool to meet him as well at a tournament I went to in Punta Gorda Florida. I think that even though Kyle is no longer at the top I still think he is my favorite as I have tried to resemble my game to his just with a few more Ernie shots in my portfolio.”

Would you rather play inside or outside?

“I prefer to play outside at local parks and the reason for this is because I want to practice for tournaments. Most tournaments are outside but living in Michigan it is hard to play outside year-round.”

What is your go-to recovery after every Pickleball match?

“My favorite recovery drink is LifeAid. Now, why is that? It is because it is the best thing for you after a long day on the court. This drink not only helps my body feel better but also tastes great. My favorite flavor so far is strawberry lemonade. I make sure to have this in my bag after every pickleball match. Before this drink, I always felt tired the next day and not being able to perform at my best. Trust me at tournaments in pickleball you want to feel your best as you have a long 3 days ahead of you. Without LifeAid I don’t think that I could be at my best after my first day at the tournament.”