Pickleball Singles with Hilary Marold

Are you still thinking about this past Nationals VII? Did you play singles? If yes, then I say good job to you! Pickleball singles is a challenge in so many ways (as I have shared in past posts). I asked my good friend Hilary Marold if she would share her experience playing pickleball singles at Nationals VII. And she said YES!

First, let her motivate you and second, check out how great of an all-around athlete she is:  Hilary shares that she has competed in almost every racquet/paddle sport out there: badminton, racquetball, table tennis, paddle tennis, platform tennis, tennis and now, pickleball. I have many years to my credit, so here goes: 9 National USTA gold balls (tennis), 11 National APTA championships (platform tennis)-Hall of Fame inductee 1998, 15 National USPTA championships (paddle tennis )-Hall of Fame inductee 2012. I have won 14 National USAPA gold medals.  


The National Senior Women’s Singles is for female Pickleball players 50 years and over. Female and over 50. Those are just about the only two requirements, I believe, so why aren’t our draws bigger? What is holding back all those players I see who enter doubles??! There is so much self satisfaction to be earned, such unbelievable exercise to be had, and the singular intense challenge of coming to terms with one’s own mental toughness (no partner to blame:) ). All the pickleball players I know work really hard at their game, practice a lot, and try to the nth degree to improve, so listen up. Singles is the greatest way to improve your doubles! To play great doubles, you need to be good under pressure, to enjoy the battle, know how to lead when necessary, be adept with your footwork, and have honed strokes that can thread a needle. Not so simple, you say? To have all the pressure on YOU in singles, to have to cover twice the amount of court in singles as in doubles, and to hit most likely twice as many balls in any given singles point will definitely strengthen your shot making prowess in doubles as well as that of your conditioning.  More important, however, will be the total self satisfaction (the “high”) one feels after “putting all you’ve got” on the line, win or lose, against another hearty, just as vulnerable female singles competitor as yourself. We are all in this game together! Singles players, above all others, know this and respect the guts it takes to “warrior it out” each match, regardless of the outcome. It is the entire process we all love. Guess what? Singles players aren’t too bad at doubles.

This girl ROCKS the pickleball senior world! Thanks for the inspiration Hilary.

3 comments on “Pickleball Singles with Hilary Marold”

  1. First, I am a fan of Hilary Harold. She has incredible court sense and velvet touch on the ball. As for singles, here is the problem: three courts, limited playing time, and upwards of twenty-five pickleballers wanting to play. If anyone tried to play singles with nine or ten paddles on the waiting line, he or she would be booed out of the building!

  2. It’s incredibly difficult to get anyone to play singles in my area. I have set goals for myself in the singles game but can’t play alone! Frustrating…..

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