PRO PLAYER CHRISTINE
MCGRATH OFFERS HER
FROM HEAD TO TOE
Find out her favorite off-court exercises and competition strategy
The competitive thrill of pickleball hooked this former college tennis player, and has driven her to win gold medals in multiple major pickleball tournaments since going pro in 2015. Here, the mother of three shares how her background, which includes two master’s degrees in health education, betters her game.
ANY TIPS FOR TENNIS BUFFS TURNED PICKLEBALL PLAYERS?
Learn how to dink. That isn’t something you do in tennis. Adding in that soft game is important. And figure out when to attack and when to slow the game down if you’re in a bad position.
YOUR FAVORITE OFF-COURT EXERCISES?
Agility workouts that help with footwork—quick movement and small steps, sprinting, plus any drills that give me more explosive power.
YOU STUDIED PODIATRY—ANY ADVICE FOR CHOOSING SNEAKERS?
Arch support is really important. Insoles can help. There are shoes made for wider and narrower feet—that’s also important because you don’t want to be uncomfortable. I’ve been there, with a shoe rubbing on my ankle, or too much sliding inside. I have a fairly narrow foot with a normal arch, so the Babolat tennis shoes are my favorite
WHAT ABOUT GAME-DAY SUSTENANCE?
I try to have a larger breakfast—I find the first meal is crucial, so I’ll go for a breakfast sandwich or yogurt, sometimes a smoothie. Throughout the day I’ll have protein bars, fruit, nuts, and plenty of electrolytes—I really like coconut water.
YOUR COMPETITION STRATEGY?
I have an app called I Am that’s connected to my Apple Watch and it has really nice quotes—for example: “You’re strong.” I like to read a quote before going on court—it helps me to be positive.