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Professional Pickleball Player | 11 x PPA Tour Champion | EleVen by Venus Williams Ambassador
We are SO excited to have you as part of the EleVen family, what does the pursuit of best self and being an 11/10 mean to you?
The pursuit of one’s best self and being an 11/10 means you’re always looking to improve, and content, but never satisfied with the result. There’s always room to improve in every aspect of sports, and life, and I think it’s important to continually strive to become your best self, which, every day, as you work hard and stay motivated and disciplined, will be better than the day before.
How would your family describe you in 3 words?
Driven, selfless, fierce
You come from a tennis background, even achieving state champion level, when did you start playing Pickleball and how did you get into it?
I was asked about 5 years ago (2019) to play in a round robin pickleball tournament with my grandfather-in-law, George Snell. At the time, I was pregnant with my second child, and 100 percent against the “sport.” In fact, I had even vowed that I would never be caught dead with a picklebal paddle in my hand. Well, little did I know that I would soon fall in love with pickleball, meet my best friends, and play this amazing sport as a profession. It’s changed my life in positive ways, and I have grown to love it!
What was your biggest misconception about Pickleball before you started playing it?
One of the biggest misconceptions I had about pickleball was that it was easy (especially since I had played tennis at a high level). As soon as my husband and I had a pretty good beat down by people twice our age, we realized it wasn’t as easy as we’d originally thought. It took longer than we thought it would to learn the rules and to acquire various pickleball shots and strategies.
You share daily Pickleball tips on your Instagram @calliejosmith_pickleball, but what would be your number 1 tip for Pickleball Players?
My number one tip for pickleball players would be to have your paddle up (at least above your wrist) when you’re in your ready position, or getting ready to hit a ball.
Do you have a role model or mentor you look up to, who and why?
My grandpa, Wayne Pearce, has always been one of my role models and someone I’ve looked up to because he had a passion for tennis, the sport he loved, and shared his passion and knowledge freely with everyone around him. Not only was he an amazing athlete, player, and coach, but he was also an amazing person, who treated others with kindness and respect. He emanated a love for others, worked hard, and loved his family and those around him. I’ve always wanted to grow up to be just like him.
What do you love most about playing Pickleball?
I love a million things about the game, but I really enjoy the quick changes in pace that can happen mid-point. For example, you’ll have soft shots and finesse in one moment, and then in the next, it becomes a game of quick, explosive power and pace, only to be re-set again to slow and methodical. It’s awesome!