When were you introduced to pickleball?
A supplier at work asked me about 7 years ago if I wanted to play Pickleball with him and at the time I had never even heard of the sport. I was spending time with my family, playing basketball and softball and so I didn’t take him up on the offer right away. But when I finally did, I was hooked and haven’t stopped playing since. Years later, I’m still loving the game, and have tried to introduce as many people as possible to this awesome sport!
You were one of the first players to represent TMPR and you used the Tantrum GXT. What did you like about that paddle?
The Tantrum GXT was my first paddle I loved that it gave me so much control. As a beginner I think everyone should focus on control over power and this is the perfect paddle to do this.
You moved on to the Oculus LX which has an oval shape. How does that compare to the Tantrum GXT?
The Oculus LX shape is more like a tennis racket and a ping pong paddle. I love the balance of the paddle and the power it gives to be able to put the ball away. So on a windy day I don’t feel like I’m fighting against the wind and can swing more easily through the wind. The fiberglass face also helps to drive the ball deeper which allows me to keep my opponent back.
When did you decide to start the INDY Pickleball Club and why?
In 2019, while driving back from Kalamazoo’s regional tournament, which is 4 hours away, Sarah Oblon ( who has ended up as Indy pickleball club’s vice president) and I recognized that Indy needed a local organization to support the growing pickleball community with not just more places to play, but also events promote the sport, opportunities to create lasting friendships, and the ability to host local tournaments in order to raise money for this non-profit organization that will be able to achieve and fund these initial goals for years to come.
You run a lot of tournaments in the Indianapolis area. What can players expect?
First of all, it is not just myself but also 5 other board members as well as 50+ amazing volunteers at the last tournament that ensure a successful experience for anyone that participates in our tournaments. Along with all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to prepare, we also have some awesome sponsors that donate time and money which allow us to secure great venues, and provide all the swag and cool prizes that people have come to expect from an IPC tournament.
It takes a lot of hands to make a tournament work. Who is on your leadership team?
We couldn’t run tournaments and all the other events without our board members and all the volunteers. President Marcus Woodhouse, Vice President Sarah Oblon, Treasurer Mike Hay, Director of competition Tom Conlin, Director of Court Development Steve Farley, and Director of Fundraising Dan Hollis.
The goal of the INDY Pickleball Club is to eventually have a dedicated indoor facility. How far are you away from making that a reality?
We have already applied for 501 C3 status, which will give us the ability to raise more money to eventually meet that goal. We are always looking for donors and supporters to make this dream happen as soon as possible.
If others want to get involved, how do they contact you?
They can contact us on our Website IndyPickleballClub.com
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook: Indy Pickleball Club
You continue to be on the medal stands despite discovering that you have Parkinson’s. How does managing the diagnosis affect your game?
I believe with everything in life, its all about your perspective and attitude. While its unfortunate that one of my symptoms is tremors in my paddle hand, I try to manage my symptoms with both the timing of my medications as well as an increased focus on my overall health and fitness. I have recently discovered a cardio/boxing facility called Rock Steady Boxing that is specifically for people with Parkinson’s and both the workouts and community have really helped my attitude and positivity towards living a full and happy life with this diagnosis. That includes playing pickleball at the top of my game for hopefully years to come. No matter what life throws at you, I think focusing on the positive and all the blessings in your life is the very best medicine.
What can we expect from Marcus Woodhouse over the next couple of years?
With my girls in college, I am ready for the next adventure! Pickleball will always be a huge part of my life, and I will continue to focus on growing the sport and being a good ambassador. I hope to play in some Senior Pro events now that I’m 50 in Pickleball years. The support of the TMPR family throughout my pickleball career has been amazing and I am grateful that this family run company has shown me time and again that they care for me as a person and not just as an athlete. I am also hoping to travel more for both tournaments as well as exploration. I have recently discovered disc golf, one wheeling and a love for travel. We never know how much time we have on this earth, so I am hoping to make the most of it.