Pickleball superstar teaches in Havasu
Gravity seems to pull big sports icons to Lake Havasu City. Two weeks ago it was bass fishermen. Last weekend it was pickleball.
Scott Moore, unquestionably the number one senior male professional pickleball player in the world, slipped quietly into town Saturday. He was almost unnoticed except by an energetic and enthusiastic group of players who’ve crossed days off their calendars for weeks, impatiently waiting to play with and learn from him at Dick Samp Park. Invited by the Lake Havasu City Pickleball Association, Moore’s lightning-quick hands, his skating-like glide around the court, and easy smiles and jokes gave hope to a few dozen wanna-bes that he would help take their games to the next level.
The next level of play is Moore’s specialty. He’s captured the triple crown of pickleball six times.
Victories in three events during a week-long pickleball tournament is called a triple crown. Moore has won mixed doubles (a man and a woman team), men’s doubles, and singles competition, the triple crown, in each of six national tournaments: the US Nationals - twice, the Tournament of Champions three times, and the US Open once.
Six times? You gotta be kidding!
Asked why pickleball, and why Lake Havasu, Moore said, “I am so happy to have found pickleball because it is the best sport I know of involving social interaction, mental alertness, and physical ability.”
“I have a passion for teaching and for travel,” he said. “Pickleball has taken me to 60 countries and brought me to this wonderful city of Lake Havasu which I would never have seen if it weren’t for teaching pickleball here. I have made friends here,” said the 56-year-old Moore.
He enjoyed more of Havasu than pickleball during his stay here too. He took Sunday off to cruise on the lake with his friends.
On Saturday he taught 10 rules or techniques to help players win more games. Rules such as where to stand and move on the court, when and how to hit defensive vs. winning shots, and how to avoid making mistakes during play. His first rule for every game, however, was “have fun.”
Bob Holycross, a participant in the clinic from Grand Rapids, Minnesota, said of his two hours on court with Moore, “I liked his priorities, especially having fun. This game is great exercise, and no one gets hurt.”
He said Moore communicates very well with players. Holycross liked Moore’s 10 points of emphasis, but said, “The challenge is doing what we’re taught.”
David Rossing, president of the Lake Havasu City Pickleball Association, said the purpose of having Moore teach is to help players improve, of course, but then to give them a chance to pay it forward by helping each other and visitors enjoy the game of pickleball and to socialize.
“These are public courts,” Rossing said of Dick Samp Park, “so the challenge is to balance our organized activities like this with the needs of the general public without stepping on anyone’s toes.”
To illustrate, he had to cancel an organized training session at the park two days after Moore’s Saturday clinic to avoid monopolizing the courts.
“The solution to this problem is to get more courts built to allow more flexibility,” said Rossing.
Scott Moore agreed. He said, “The potential for pickleball here in Lake Havasu is great, but you need more courts.” Building them will bring more people to Lake Havasu, said Moore.