Father and Son Epitomize Family Fervor for Pickleball
For father-and-son pickleball players Daniel and Scott Moore, pickleball has become a family affair.
“A good friend named John Foss asked me the fateful question, ‘Do you want to play pickleball with me?’” Scott, 53, says. “I tried it and loved it.”
Daniel, 26, got involved with the game after his dad invited him to play. “My dad was playing, so when I was home, he got me out on the court,” he says.
While the Moores have been playing for a few years, it didn’t take long for each of them to excel at the sport.
In 2014, in their first match together, they beat the defending national champions at the Tournament of Champions. They played well together, but decided that in 2015 they should split up to play with others their own age.
“He [Scott] will say that I fired him after nationals, but really we mutually agreed that it would be better to play with other people,” says Daniel, who works as a tour leader for a guiding company called Walk Japan.
By splitting up, the two found even more tournament success. Scott accomplished a trifecta at the two premier tournaments, first sweeping the Legends doubles, mixed doubles and singles at the Tournament of Champions, and then repeating the feat at the USAPA Nationals VII, held in Casa Grande, Arizona, in November. By the end of the year, he had earned 20 gold and five silver medals, including several in the open singles and doubles categories.
Daniel won both the 19+ age and open singles divisions at the 2014 USAPA nationals. In 2015, he double dipped at the Tournament of Champions, winning the masters singles and also teaming with Matt Staub to win doubles as well. Then, at the USAPA Nationals Tournament, he won gold in the men’s 19+ singles division and men’s open doubles, partnering with Matthew Blom, and earned silver in the open singles, establishing him as the top overall player in the game.
Both men say they appreciate the mental and physical aspects of the game.
“It is a general equalizer. Speed and power is not as big of a factor as most sports, and therefore a person in his or her 50s can potentially compete with those in their 20s,” says Scott, who also enjoys golf, snowboarding, and tennis. “It can be physically challenging, but it is also extremely intellectually engaging, as you have to be very patient and calculating, almost like a chess game, to think ahead and set up your points in order to gain the advantage.”
Daniel, who was once an avid tennis player, agrees. “When you get to the higher levels, it requires so much patience and thinking,” he says. “You can’t just attack. You have to bide your time, set up the point and pounce when the time is right.”
Scott, a self-described “serial entrepreneur” who resides in Colorado Springs, is a sponsored professional for Paddletek paddles and Babolat shoes, as well as an exclusive master distributor for Paddletek. Daniel is an international distributor for Paddletek.
Both father and son are world travelers; Scott has traveled to more than 60 countries and is fluent in Japanese, and conversant in Spanish.
Daniel was born in Atlanta and moved to Japan with his family when he was 7. He has lived in Colorado Springs, Los Angeles, and Nairobi, Kenya. He is now living once again in Ueda, Japan, where he is trying to grow the country’s interest in pickleball.
“It’s a great sport and you meet people you never would have otherwise,” says Daniel. “It’s a great way to get back into competition without all of the training and intensity that a sport like tennis requires. It’s an easy, fun way to get exercise and meet people.”
The Moores have played all over the world and have presented clinics in half of the states in the U.S. as well as Spain, Portugal, Japan and Mexico.
“It is easy to find someone to play with, is extremely inexpensive, and can be played in almost any city you visit,” says Scott. “We are traveling the world playing pickleball, making new friends, and are attempting to make pickleball not only the fastest-growing sport in America, but also in the world.”