Minto US Open Pickleball Championship

by Karen Worthy

This will be my fifth year playing in the Minto US Open Pickleball Championship. This one is extra special because Covid forced the cancellation of last year’s tournament.

While I try to play my best in this tournament, it still gives me “butterflies” when taking part in such a grand event. The best-of-the-best pros will be there, but more important, I join my group of friends with whom we make this trek together each year.

We plan for the following year’s US Open the day this one is over. We have a great friend who hosts us all at their winter residence in Naples. It is a special time in so many ways.

The best things to do to get ready for this tournament include:

  • Know you are going to be playing against some tough competition, no matter what level of play you registered for.
  • Practice is so important weeks before you make the trip to the Open. 
  • You should include drills besides regular play.
  • Drink plenty of water days before the tournament.
  • Scope out the competition to learn about the players in your division. What are their strengths and weaknesses?

So many players have the advantage of playing outdoors year-round, but that is not the case for those of us from Michigan. It takes time to adjust to the heat in Florida.

I will only play a couple days out of the entire week; but watching others play is just as much fun. I will introduce Bend Your Knees, Louise! to as many players and spectators as possible. The goal in writing this book is to promote and grow the sport of pickleball, especially for our future generations.

While the Open will look a little different this year with Covid restrictions, it’s always an exciting venue. The pro players, vendors, volunteers, fans, and my very close friends always make this a memorable occasion. 

Well, off to packing and choosing an outfit to match my partner’s attire! I so look forward to this week of competition and fun at the Minto US Open Championships.

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