It was March – time to flip the calendar page of the shortest (but seemingly, longest) month of the year — and once again visit the in-laws. With the in-laws now residing in sunny, Florida, the visit no longer requires such excessive arm-twisting — just a bit more patience for a longer ride down I-75. Luckily, that car ride is now south!
Mom, Dad, and Last Minute Planning
We always enjoy visiting Florida this time of year and this year was no different. This was the first year in many that my own parents were not planning to sojourn south for part of the winter/spring. However, with absolute last-minute planning – and an assist from airbnb.com – it was arranged that they, too, could get an approximate 10-day reprieve from the cold that is Michigan.
So on a cold Wednesday afternoon, they made the approximate 5-hour trek to our house – and two days later we were all piling in their car for the 14-hour drive south on I-75. Because of imminent weather concerns, we delayed our trip one day. That, however, ended up being a blessing as my Dad and I were able to play pickleball at our local community center where I work — and get in a bit of practice before we had to step up our game in Florida.
My parents stayed at two different places in The Villages during the trip — while the wife and I stayed with her parents. With such last-minute planning, finding appropriate accommodations for Mom and Dad was challenging. But we did it! And they were just a short, 15-minute drive from where we were staying. On one of the mornings, I went over to play pickleball with Dad in The Villages. With Dad and I (and Mom soaking up the rays) lined up outside the court (because that is what you do in The Villages), we patiently waited our turn (about 10-15 minutes of waiting). When it was our turn to play, we partnered together. It was so much fun. Dad and I dominated! 😉
Coach Matty and Mei Shen — Great Friends
In our previous visit to the in-laws, we made new friends – Coach Matty and Mei Shen. During our first couple of days, we met up with them several times — for dinner on Friday as well as a competitive session of men’s doubles with Coach Matty on Saturday and mixed doubles with Mei Shen on Sunday. It was tons of fun! What a great couple! And they can play a mean game of pickleball as well!
A Coach Mo and Coach Matty Clinic — So Fun!
On Monday, I was graciously invited to attend a Coach Mo and Coach Matty Pickleball Clinic they host at one of the Recreation Centers in The Villages. It was so much fun and incredibly valuable. Both Coach Mo and Coach Matty were so generous with their time — even pulling me aside for about 30-minutes to give me some private tutelage. What great instructors! And better people!
IPTPA Certification — I Passed!
On Tuesday, I was scheduled for my IPTPA certification with Robert Elliott. Using one of the two pickleball courts at his house, I took the skills test and had my lesson observed. With 80%+ proficiency executing all the required shots and with the wife being an excellent subject for the pickleball lesson, I passed and am now IPTPA certified. Yay!
Del Webb, Rekindling Old Rivalries, Dominating with Dad and More
During the final week of our visit, I played lots of pickleball at Del Webb. It’s really a great group! One of my very first pickleball friends from Michigan recently moved there and it was a blast rekindling our old “rivalry.” I was also able to play once again with a good friend, Jeremy, whom I met last year — and a couple of hot shots from Ocala.
My dad and I were also able to join forces on our final morning there. With his sweet, well-practiced serve we dominated here as well. Well, maybe not dominated! 😉 I also played with and against the person who reintroduced me to pickleball — my mother-in-law. And, of course, the wife was able to play a bit as well. She has a mean dinking game!
Pickleball in Florida in March. I love it. See you on the courts!
Todd is the talent behind PickleballMAX. He knows pickleball and demonstrates it on the court as a 4.5 – 5.0 player. In addition to creating content and running the PickleballMAX business, Todd is IPTPA Level II certified. As an instructor at the Ohio Pickleball Academy, he instructs students and runs adult and youth clinics. He also manages tournament desks throughout the tri state for tournaments ranging from 100-500 participants.