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The Pickler I Met: YoYo Monroe – The Devoted Pickler

Strategy & Technique Stacie Townsend 05-21-2018

One of the best parts about pickleball tournaments is meeting amazing new people. You might have seen from our social media posts this week that Pickler ventured to Atlanta, Georgia for the Atlanta Open. Good thing we did, as we may not have met and befriended the incredible YoYo Monroe (pictured in the middle of Daniella “Block Niss Monster” Niss (left) and me (right)). Now, I would not be surprised if many, most, or all of you already knew our new friend, YoYo. She is charismatic, outgoing, fun, energetic, and a darn good pickleball player—YoYo picked up two medals in Atlanta this weekend! What you may not know, however, is just how devoted to her craft YoYo really is.

YoYo first started playing pickleball in Nebraska, where her husband, Kevin Monroe, who serves in the United States Air Force, was stationed at the time. YoYo and Kevin were at first self-taught pickleball players before a stranger stopped them on the tennis court one day and told them that were playing pickleball incorrectly—YoYo and Kevin were playing pickleball at the tennis net without a kitchen! This stranger then invited them to the senior center to watch how pickleball was really played. YoYo, who I have learned craves to be a participant rather than a spectator, quickly found herself out on the senior center pickleball courts playing. As YoYo puts it, the seniors wiped her up and down the pickleball courts. YoYo, a former handball World Champion and true competitor, was not going to accept losing at pickleball. YoYo and Kevin went home and practiced dinking for up to four hours straight! Later that week, YoYo and Kevin were the ones doing the wiping up and down the pickleball courts.

YoYo’s devotion to developing her pickleball craft continues from her first outing to today and was on full display at the Atlanta Open this past weekend. YoYo signed up for three events—singles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles. She played in each event all day in the hot Georgia heat, and, as mentioned above, found success in each event. A challenging day and a medal was not enough for YoYo, as she then went on to play pick-up games until literally being kicked out of The Lifetime Fitness complex (where the Atlanta Open was held) as late as midnight every day! That means YoYo played about twelve hours of pickleball every day! Talk about dedication!

Not only does YoYo love the sport of pickleball, but she is also a great ambassador for growing the sport. YoYo’s husband, Kevin, is now deployed in the Middle East. However, Pickler YoYo and Kevin did not think his deployment should stop Kevin from playing pickleball. In fact, Pickler YoYo recently sent Kevin pickleball paddles, pickleballs, and a pickleball net, so that Kevin could play and teach pickleball to others on the base. As Pickler YoYo put it to her husband, Kevin, “Teach Peace and Pickleball, Not War!”

In honor of YoYo’s husband, Kevin, and all of his fellow military Picklers, we created a discount code for our military—enter “MILITARYPICKLER” upon checkout to receive 15% off. Please share this discount code with any and all military Picklers and give a shout out below to any active or retired military Picklers in the comments below! Thank you for service!


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