Place: Trussville Civic Center, First Baptist Church Trussville
First Played: 2014
HOST: Welcome to Trussville Pickleball. This is The Kitchen. Player profiles and interviews for Trussville Pickleballers. Today I'm here with Suzy Hammons, Membership Director at Trussville Civic Center. Welcome Suzy, how are you doing?
SUZY: Well, I'm fine. Thank you.
HOST: Well, we are excited to talk to you today to learn about how pickleball was started here at the Trussville Civic Center. And what you are doing to get people involved.
SUZY: Well, we started working on this program about three years ago. We heard about pickleball through tennis. The racket club. And it sounded like a fun, fun, fun sport. So we started working on it and located paddles and balls and everything and laid out courts and brought it to Trussville Civic Center.
HOST: So how long has it been here at the Civic Center?
SUZY: Probably about a couple of years.
HOST: What is your background in other sports that you played growing up?
SUZY: Well, I'm a runner and a tennis player and a swimmer.
HOST: What do you do to learn more about pickleball and to improve your game?
SUZY: A lot of times go to the websites and watch people play. And foot movement and how they play. I like to watch commentary. I like to read about it. Just, talk to other people. Talk to pickleballers. I thought I knew how to play until I played in the Senior Games.
HOST: Oh, how was that experience playing in the Senior Games?
SUZY: I thought I was a good pickleball player until I was playing against real pickleballers.
HOST: What do you find unique about pickleball versus other sports that you played, and in particular, how people treat you? The competitors.
SUZY: Well people, they, everyone is nice. They treat you nice but playing pickleball is not like playing tennis. Theres a lot of little nit picky catches that you need to learn. Footwork that you need to learn.
HOST: How often do you actually get to play pickleball?
SUZY: Well I play, I used to play about five days a week. Now, I play about three.
HOST: You mentioned the Senior Games. I know the Masters Games are coming up soon. Do you play in other tournaments and leagues?
SUZY: Well, I could play in the Masters Games but I have to work.
HOST: So what words of advice would you give to people that are interested in pickleball or coming in as members to the Civic Center?
SUZY: Well, when I get a member. I introduce them to pickleball and I tell them to go for it. To try before you buy it. You might like it and you might not but there's probably a 99.9% chance that you're going to love it.
HOST: How would you like to see pickleball grow in Trussville?
SUZY: Well, first of all I wish that we had a pickleball coach. We had pickleball clinics. I wish we had pickleball stations that we could go and play every night. Not just one night a week but every single night. That is located in Trussville that we can play. We can all get together and just smack that yellow ball. It's good for frustrations.
HOST: It definitely relievs frustrations. I guarantee that. So, what other things are you able to do to give back to the pickleball community? Do you help teach people to play being the Membership Director?
SUZY: Well if someone asks me questions, I will help them. So, if someone new is coming in, I'm going to introduce them to the game. I'm going to tell them the rules as much as I know. I'm still learning. And, I would tell a little techniques that I learned from Jarick. I'm going to work with them. I think everybody needs a little help everyone now and then.
HOST: So, what other things would you like to tell the pickleball community? About families coming in and playing. Is this something that they need to get a group of people to come in and play? Can they come in and play by themselves? What is the format of being albe to come in and play?
SUZY: Well, you don't need, you don't need to have someone, a doubles partner. You can come in as a single player and be picked up because there's a lot of people out there. Families come in all the time.
HOST: So, is there any last words you would like to say to the pickleball community in general to encourage them to have more people come out to participate?
SUZY: Yes, I think that everyone should try it. You'll love it. There's no way around it.
HOST: Thank you for your time today, Suzy. We will see you on the courts soon!