January 23, 2024
Jaume Martinez Vich
By Alice Tym
Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii
Education: MBA in Marketing from the University of Hawaii
Nationality: Born in Mallorca, Spain, and now holds a U.S. Green Card (permanent resident card)
DUPR: 6.9 singles and 6.58 doubles
Favorite Tournament: Biofreeze USA Pickleball National Championships
What is your favorite shot?
I like my two-handed backhand crosscourt angle.
What is the secret of practice?
Short and intense. I do backhand rolls for 20 minutes. I work on one specific thing at a time.
You were a tennis player. What do you see as your carryover from tennis?
I wasn’t a big guy in tennis so I had to be smarter and exploitative as a way to win. This has helped me in pickleball. I grew up improvising. I place the ball and know how to follow up.
What do you see as the attraction of pickleball?
It is so reachable. Players have quick improvement. The PPA is doing a good job of marketing. There are so many opportunities for everybody.
Why did you move from Mallorca to Hawaii?
I thought my only shot was college and I chose a place as far away from home as possible. I’m very grateful for my entire career. I fell in love with the team format in college. I enjoy crowds. I enjoyed performing for the crowd in Dallas. The team concept is important in American sports. I like the MLP structure in pickleball.
Where do you play in Hawaii?
I play at the Pacific Club.
What is your preferred scoring system?
I don’t have a preference. Rally scoring in singles has to have a freeze. In doubles, rally scoring is good because it goes faster.
What are your pickleball goals?
2023 was my first year; I had fun and practiced little. In 2024, I want to commit to practice. I really perform way better when I am doing things in a balanced way. I need space and time for myself and friends.
What is your favorite quote?
“Never give up.” I have it tattooed on my leg. When I was 14 I got the tattoo and had it put on my leg so my parents would not see it.
What is your favorite book?
“Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” because I come from a humble background growing up. I didn’t understand why I didn’t have things. Now I understand that both can be successful. I am happy all the time. When I was young I blamed myself for problems that were not on me. My parents divorced. Now I know that some things are not in my control and I enjoy life. Be happy.
What is your favorite type of music?
I like romantic Spanish music. I like Spanish hot-blood singers like Maluma.
Who influenced you the most?
My dad. He was tough on me. He was so tough I learned to joke around and learned how to be a clown.
What movies do you like?
I like horror movies. They stimulate my brain. I can’t sit still trying to figure it out. “Money Heist” is a good series on Netflix.
What is your favorite food?
I am a foodie. I can’t stop. I change my favorite food every week. I love Asian food. I have always lived near the ocean. I cook paella for my clients.
Are you interested in politics? Should Catalonia be independent?
Not at all interested. I stay away. I follow the rules. I have my own opinions but I am not opinionated. Everybody should go be happy.
Are you an environmentalist?
Yes. I love animals. I have a tattoo sleeve of animals on my left arm. I did my part growing up. I adopted every animal that came near me. I am a water animal. I am depressed without water. I am an island boy all the way. •