Menu
Log in


BPC & IU Pickleball: The Journey Towards Building a Championship Team

November 03, 2023 10:29 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

We're delighted to present to you two insightful interviews from the Bloomington Pickleball Club (BPC). These interviews offer a unique perspective on the sport of Pickleball and its growing prominence at the collegiate level.

Our first interview is with Carter Wittendorf, a nationally-ranked pickleball player and a major contributor to the team's success. Carter shares his thoughts on the National Championship, balancing academics with pickleball, and the vital role of team chemistry.

Our second interview is with Timber Tucker, the chair of the competition and training committee at BPC. Timber's involvement with IU's Pickleball team began due to a conflict around public court usage. He discusses the current team's dynamics, his contribution to the team's preparation for the National Championship, and the future of Pickleball at IU with the establishment of a development team next semester. He also shares his thoughts on the challenges and plans in getting pickleball recognized as an official club sport at IU.

We hope these interviews provide you with a deeper understanding of the sport and the dedication, hard work, and camaraderie that goes into building a successful team.

Enjoy reading!

Best,

Dave Martin


The team will play in the DUPR Collegiate National Championship in Peachtree Corners, Georgia from Nov. 17-19.

The team will play in the DUPR Collegiate National Championship in Peachtree Corners, Georgia from Nov. 17-19.

BPC Interview Questions For Carter Wittendorf

As a nationally-ranked pickleball player at such a young age, what are your expectations going into the National Championship?

Things like rankings and ratings can really only tell you so much about players and I would never create expectations solely off those. At the regional event that our team went to, we saw plenty of players with no ratings whatsoever that were fantastic! The collegiate league is filled with a lot of talent and tough competition. Even so, our team has been putting in a lot of work that I believe is paying off and is setting us up to make some waves at nationals!

How do you manage your time between your academic responsibilities and your commitment to the team?

For me, it really comes down to creating chunks of time each day for both school and the team. Typically, I try to complete most of my work during the day so that my nights are free for practice. Currently, we have team practices on Monday and Wednesday nights that are mostly dedicated to drilling, working on technique, and employing new strategies, but we also play other nights of the week just to make sure we’re getting a good amount of actual play-time in. 

Can you share your thoughts on how the team's chemistry has contributed to its success?

Good chemistry amongst the team is essential to success. Having positive relationships not only lightens the mood and makes the play more fun during practices and recreational play, but also makes it easier for the team to dig itself out of tough spots during real matches. Sometimes all it takes to come back from a deficit during a game is a little encouragement and I think that we’ve created a fun and supportive environment that does this well.

BPC Interview Questions For Timber Tucker

As the chair of the competition and training committee at the Bloomington Pickleball Club, how did your involvement with IU's Pickleball team begin?

There was a little bit of conflict around public court usage at RCA park. Bloomington and IU have the same problem with lack of court space. On weekends the IU students often come to RCA to play, putting more pressure on the courts. I was asked to work with them to find ways we could all live together

What are your thoughts on the current team's dynamics and their performance so far?

Well we are undefeated in seven matches so it’s hard to complain about our start! We’ve had the good fortune to have a few really good players, but not its about building depth in the program. That work starts in the spring semester with the beginning of our developmental program

Given your experience, how are you contributing to the team's preparation for the National Championship?

They are very nice to me and call me “coach” but that's not really accurate. I’m really contributing by helping with organization. There are lots of moving parts and my job is to help guide them through that. Mostly I make sure they have clean uniforms and stay hydrated  

How do you see the future of Pickleball at IU, especially with the establishment of a development team next semester?

We are trying to do something special here and dream big. There are over 600 students in the club right now, the vast majority of them won’t play in the developmental program. They just want to go out and have some fun. Pickleball is mostly about an opportunity to be social. That’s the main reason it has exploded post pandemic. I think it can be a key to helping students manage stress. Getting some exercise and meeting friends is a great combo to help with your mental health!

At the same time the travel teams will bring a lot of attention to our sport on campus. My dream is to be the leader in the Big 10 and beyond  in building a winning program and having lots of fun along the way.

What challenges do you foresee in getting pickleball recognized as an official club sport at IU, and how are you planning to overcome them?

IU has been great with helping us navigate the process. It wont be long before we are a full club sport  That comes with some nice perks, but really we will just keep doing what we are doing to grow the sport on campus  

Anything else you want me to include?

We are still raising $ for nationals and spring events. Please donate using the button below!


Send the Pickleball Club at IU-Bloomington to the National Championships!


Author
Comment
 

Upcoming events

Use code CRBLOOM when you order at PickleballCentral.com


BPC Members receive a 5% discount on purchases from PickleballCentral.com. An additional 5% of your purchase prices goes back to BPC so we can continue to support our members. Thank you for supporting Bloomington Pickleball Club!

Bloomington Pickleball Club
PO Box 291
Ellettsville, IN 47429-9998

bloomingtonpickleballclub@gmail.com

We promote the growth of Pickleball in the Bloomington, Indiana area by developing and enhancing recreational and competitive play at our public courts. We aim to provide a positive and accessible experience to our entire community!

Bloomington Pickleball Club is a 501(c)7 non-profit organization.

USA Pickleball

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software