Interview with Professional PickleBall Player Megan Charity
Q: Hi Megan! Thanks for chatting with us. Tell us a bit about your background and how you got into the game of PickleBall.
A: I came to the U.S. from South Africa in 2013 on a college tennis scholarship. After graduating, I spent a few years coaching tennis at country clubs on the East coast and then spent a year working with the D1 Women’s Tennis team at Boise State. That’s actually where I first discovered pickleball! A friend of mine who was a high-level racquetball player invited me to try pickleball at our local rec center. And – like so many others – we got our butts kicked by a bunch of 60-year-olds. They were not impressed by us “playing tennis” on the pickleball court. I’ve been playing for about 4 years now, but really only started playing more seriously on the pro tour when Covid started.
Q: Talk a bit about balancing fun with competitiveness.
A: I’ve always been incredibly competitive when it comes to sports. I’m motivated by a desire to compete and win and improve, but sports are also meant to be fun! And that’s always fueled me much more than anything else. When you devote so much time and energy to something, you have to love it for it to all to be worth it. Training and drilling are important to compete at your best level, but I always look for small ways to incorporate some fun and silliness into our practice sessions just to remind us that we’re there because we want to be there. You can’t take yourself too seriously or you’ll burn out! And let’s be real, who’s not having fun when they’re playing PickleBall?
Q: What else do you do besides compete on the Pro Tour?
I’m the co-founder of Rally, a tech-enhanced pickleball entertainment venture that’s launching in Charlotte, NC next year and then expanding into other major markets shortly thereafter. My wife and I founded the business in 2019 and have been working relentlessly to bring our vision to life these past few years. We’ve built the business alongside the brightest minds in hospitality, technology, and sports and I’m super excited to release it into the world next year!
Q: When do you get the chance to relax? What is your favorite hobby outside of PickleBall?
A: Most of my off-court time is spent working on Rally. But on weekends when I’m not traveling, I enjoy playing the guitar, going camping/hiking, editing videos, or reading.
Q: What’s your advice for someone who would want to get involved in PickleBall?
A: The first thing I did early on was reach out to my local ambassador. Each city has one and it’s their mission to provide pickleball resources to their community. You could also visit a public park with pickleball courts and ask the players for guidance on where to find a group relevant to your level. They’ll probably invite you to play with them! That’s what I love so much about this sport. Everyone is so welcoming.
Q: What does your training/diet consist of?
A: Balance is important. I try to eat generally healthy foods most of the time, without depriving myself of a dessert or a nice cocktail (a Volley) when I want one. I feel best when I start my day off with a morning run or a Peloton, and then in the evenings after work I’ll play pickleball for 2 hours with my doubles partner and our training partner. I also love going on daily walks.
Q: How do you find yourself staying healthy when eating and drinking?
A: I try to cook most of my meals at home, and always look for fresh/organic ingredients.
Q: What’s your favorite Volley tequila seltzer flavor/have you tried Volley?
A: The lime flavor is my favorite. It reminds me of a margarita and it’s delicious!