Player Spotlight - Chris Howell
Name: Chris Howell
Home Club: Mt Lebanon
What is your paddle of choice?
Viking O-zone Lite (The Diven Special - 002/333)
How long have you been playing paddle?
What is your favorite part of playing paddle?
Trick question, everything!! Plus, on occasion, hitting people (the few know who they are in particular)
Your greatest paddle strength?
Some would say the "howellitzer" of a backhand, others say forehand. I would say I don't have a strength, I hit a lot of lucky shots. And always have a partner who can volley!!
What is your best paddle memory?
If I had any paddle memories, that would be great; however, my pre-match ritual usually gets in the way. Others quite often remind me of my four finals appearances in the B-Tournament and four finals losses... now as I think about this, these aren't the best memories!!!
What do you enjoy when you’re not playing paddle?
My family, although they may disagree. Along with what my kids say I do most often: sitting around, watch tv, eat Doritos, and drinking beer.
Do you have any pre-match rituals?
Absolutely. Always drink before a match to calm the nerves. For each person, it may be different, but my routine this year has been a good IPA (7-8%) about 2 hours before the match, another beer about 20 minutes before the match starts, and ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS, bring at least 2-3 beers on the court (in Red Solo Cups) during the match. I will warn you, once the match starts, pace yourself drinking, there is a fine line between good and bad, find it carefully.
What advice would you give to beginners?
1.) Enjoy it. When starting off, just work on keeping the ball in play. As you keep improving, you can work on hitting different shots, including hitting harder, but to start off, just keep it in play.
2.) Get a ride to away matches when possible... it makes the pre-match ritual much easier.
3.) AND finally, wear flannel, it's a game-changer!!!