A "PNW" Pacific Northwest native from Whidbey Island and an all-time Pro Pickleball player, "Lindsey Newman" is recognized for playing mixed doubles with her brother Riley. The two are known for their defensive backhanded shots and Ernes.* Read the interview here.
• You grew up on Whidbey Island, a 30-minute ferry ride to Port Townsend, WA. What do you love most about PT when visiting? Do you have a favorite restaurant where you like to eat?
I love the small town feel of Port Townsend. It’s so quaint and quiet, which I love since it reminds me of home. I don’t have a favorite restaurant but there is a seafood place close to the ferry that I’ve passed a million times that I’ve always wanted to try but have never gotten a chance to eat at.
•What kind of workout regimen do you do to strengthen for pickleball?
I’ve always been a really active person, even as a kid growing up- nothing has changed. Very rarely am I ever just sitting around doing nothing - that drives me nuts. I love weight lifting, boxing and swimming - anything that will give my entire body a workout and leave me feeling sore afterwards. I also use a weighted jump rope and strengthening bands.
•What’s your food of choice before and during a pickleball tournament to sustain your energy?
Honestly, I hate when people ask me this question because my answer is terrible. Usually before a tournament, I’ll eat whatever the hotel has downstairs in the lobby or whatever is cheap on the McDonald’s app. During tournament play, I tend not to eat (I know, I know, it’s bad) but it’s how I’ve always been. If I do force anything down, it’s usually fresh fruit (which I absolutely love). I tend not to drink a lot of water either but I’m working on that too.
•With you and brother Riley being one of the best defensive teams in Pro Pickleball along with dinking, you yourself are known for your Ernes. We love your confidence. How does one set up for the execution of an Erne?
Ernes are so much fun and one of the most exciting shots in pickleball. Because of how Riley and I play, I get to have my forehand in the middle (very uncommon amongst mixed doubles teams) which makes attempting an Erne way easier. Either Riley or I will set up the shot by hitting dinks to the opponent’s right foot and then as soon as they put their head down, I’ll jump it. It’s all about timing.
•Out of all the tournaments you have played in, which one was most memorable and why?
There are a few that are etched into my mind and will be for a very long time. Obviously our very first tournament in Oregon was memorable. The US Open in 2019 was also very memorable because that was our first time getting onto the podium of a major. Most recently though, Nationals 2019 because we took silver in mixed doubles pro and got to play on center court in front of thousands of people watching both live and online. The crowd was electric and had our backs the entire time. I’ll never forget it. You can watch the Nationals 2019 game here.
•We heard you loved to go to Dairy Queen after your tournaments to get your favorite treat, a blizzard. Which one do you get?
Dairy Queen is a treat, so I only go after a successful tournament day. My go to meal is a $5 chicken strip basket with a $1 blizzard upgrade. The blizzard varies depending on my mood but heath and snickers tend to be the front runners most of the time.
•Congratulations to you and your husband on your first child. (Lindsey and her husband are now parents to an adorable baby girl name "Cora" born in October.)
Do you plan on getting right back into pickleball soon after giving birth? Or will you take a little maternal leave before returning?
I’ve continued to play and teach throughout my entire pregnancy and have done fairly well competing (I got silver in women’s pro doubles at the PPA tournament in Newport Beach, CA while 7.5 months pregnant before I had to stop playing competitively). While I’m excited to be a mom and spend as much time with my baby as I can, I’m also very eager to start competing again. As soon as I get the approval from my doctor to play competitively, I’ll be the first one on the court and she’ll be there watching as much as possible; she’ll have a lot to learn.
•A pickleball tip you would like to share?
I think the biggest mistake I see from beginner players or players who have plateaued in their play is that they make the wrong decisions. I think a lot of people just think that you go out onto the court and just hit balls. However, if you really want to move up and improve, you want to make sure that you are hitting every shot for a specific reason- not to just get the ball back over. Have a purpose for every shot you hit but do NOT overthink it.
•Do you have a favorite quote?
I recently watched a documentary about Doc Rivers- previous head coach of the Boston Celtics NBA team. He said, “Pressure is Privilege.” When I look back on my life and remember all of the times I’ve ever felt immense pressure, I recall how all of those times in some way shaped who and where I am today. So many times, people are under immense pressure (both on and off the court) and they don’t seize the opportunity. Be grateful that you get to be in that position.
•Thank you, Lindsey. We hope the next time you’re visiting back home from AZ you might have time to hop on the ferry and come play a few games with us here in Port Townsend.
After interviewing Lindsey, I took the time to watch the documentary on Doc Rivers. Glad I did - it was very inspiring. Worth the watch! The name of the documentary is "The Playbook"
If you’re interested, Lindsey has her "Mach6 Vanguard signature" paddle for purchase, clickhere. Also you can follow her on Facebook.
*What’s an Erne? The Erne is a shot where you hit the pickleball either (1) in the air as you are jumping around the Non-Volley Zone (also known as the Kitchen); or (2) after you run around or through the Kitchen and re-establish your feet out of bounds, just to the side of the Kitchen.
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