APTA Clinic Brings Bozeman Out of the Jungle

OCTOBER 13, 2010

Bozeman, MT Clinic & ExhibitionWhen paddle came to Bozeman, Montana three years ago very few had even heard of the sport. Despite this, a small group of tennis players, as well as people who had played paddle back east as kids, were pumped up to play a winter racquet sport. This was mainly due to the fact that it is winter for almost seven months a year in Big Sky country.

We figured that slamming the ball was the key ingredient to success. We slugged it out three times a week, in all weather conditions, and in total isolation from any instruction for two years (it almost sounds like some crazy 1960's scientific experiment). In fact, we almost traveled to a paddle tournament in Denver, because we were "just that good." Then Todd Ward accepted the racquets pro position at Riverside Country Club and our style of play was soon classified as "jungle ball." Todd quickly and effectively educated us on the finer aspects and general strategies of paddle, which was timely, because I'm not sure how much longer our arms would have stayed attached to our shoulders. Our macho pride was a bit deflated as Todd broke us down, but once we played with him it was very apparent he was preaching the truth. We would have been crushed in Denver!

This past September the APTA sent out Mark Parsons, Anton Mavrin and Mark Fischl to combine with Todd for an exhibition and clinic. Watching the pros play the game was a thing of beauty, plus it gave "the jungle crew" time to listen up! All of us are much better off from this experience, have reformed from our dark past and are enjoying the game on a much higher level. Thanks to Todd and the APTA for opening our eyes to the real game of paddle!

2010 Bozeman, MT APTA Clinic & Exhibition Slide Show - Photos courtesy of Ian Bliss

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