Fueling a Passion
Why longtime customer Andy Carlson keeps coming back to Michael Lynne’s Tennis Shop
Nearly 25 years ago, Andy Carlson started asking his friends about the best place to buy a tennis racquet. They all had the same answer: Michael Lynne’s Tennis Shop.
Conveniently located just two miles from his house, Carlson stopped by the shop on Miracle Mile and was impressed by the selection and service. He’s been a loyal customer ever since and often relies on the knowledgeable staff at Michael Lynne’s Tennis Shop for advice and expertise.
When Carlson picked up a pickleball paddle a few years ago, he knew precisely where to fuel his newfound passion.
Tell us more about how you got started playing pickleball.
I've always played sports. Growing up, I played baseball, basketball, and football. I played college football at what was then known as College of St. Thomas, and that's also when I started playing racquetball. I always just kept with racquet sports right out of college through the late 1990s, then I flipped over to tennis. I attended a pickleball program and I got hooked about two years ago. I play tennis maybe a couple of times a year, and I play pickleball three times a week.
What do you love about playing pickleball?
For us aging baby boomers, tennis is not as hard on your body as tennis. Pickleball also combines elements of ping pong, squash, badminton and tennis, which is very intriguing to me.
What type of paddle and racket do you play with?
For pickleball, I have a Gearbox GX 6 and a Gearbox CX 14. For tennis, I use a Volkl V Feel 9 or a Volkl 4 Super G.
How important is it to find the right gear to keep your game sharp?
To me, it's critical. The staff at Michael Lynne’s knows that this paddle is more of a power paddle, or that paddle is more designed for spin. It's very important to get their expertise. They do a great job of putting out loaner rackets and paddles so you can try them out for a few days before you buy.
Who is your favorite pickleball or tennis player?
Rafael Nadal is my all-time favorite professional player across any sport. He's just a classy guy. He's under control at all times on the court and he's humble.
How do you prepare for a match?
I do a lot of stretching. I stretch for at least 15 or 20 minutes before I play. I also use a sports drink and hydrator called Nuun.
Do you have a favorite after-match snack?
I’m a big fan of energy bars, specifically Larabars. I've been on the energy bar kick for a long time.
What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
I did martial arts for eight years, so I actually was able to get to a second-degree black belt.
Any advice for someone who wants to get more involved with tennis or pickleball, or even try it out for the first time?
There are some great online resources out there. So I would suggest some of the online collateral that's available. I’d also suggest stopping into Michael’s Lynne’s Tennis Shop and being candid with them. Let them know you’re just getting started and get their opinion on a great starter racket or a paddle. They’re always willing to help.