Pickleball Magazine 1-3 | Page 39

picked up a paddle in 25 years until he heard pickleball was being offered at a club near his hometown of Madison, CT. “I started playing from noon to 1:00pm every Friday against my soccer coach back in college,” Meredith said. He added, “It was frustrating because these 50- and 60-year-old guys would kick our butts every week.” Meredith, who earned his degree in physical education from SCSU, put down the paddle after college to focus on soccer. A competitive soccer player since age 6, Meredith competed on semi-professional soccer teams in Sweden and Costa Rica and coached youth soccer and played in an over-30 soccer league. But he retired from all his soccer commitments, including the league and coaching regional youth teams, this year to focus on pickleball. As he tells it, he got tired of walking around like a wounded warrior for several days after soccer tournaments. He said he enjoys pickleball because the people are more laid-back and he can have fun competing without taking a huge toll on his body. “Pickleball is something that I can play for the rest of my life,” he said. “I recently competed in a tournament in Florida and everyone I ran into, from the tournament directors to the other players, was an enjoyable experience. The quality of the match and the experience was fantastic. I get to play a sport I love and meet nice people.”  • JUNE 2016 | MAGAZINE 37