How much does Stephanie Lane love Pickleball? This much:
“I once had three part-time jobs on top of a full-time teaching career in order to finance the travel to play the best competition,” says the 48-year-old Nashville resident. “Until recently, most of the best players were out West, so I had to go Arizona, California, Utah, Seattle.”
Lane now has only two part-time jobs. Her Uber-driving days are over — at least for now.
Currently a Top 5 woman Pickleball player, Stephanie is thrilled at the sport’s eastward surge, and she’s especially excited that the inaugural U.S. Open is being held in Naples. It’s where she played in her first national tournament in 2012. Plus, “It’s nice to see the Westerners have to pay the big bucks and come east for a change,” she says with a chuckle.
A friend and teammate on the tennis team at Lipscomb University in Nashville introduced Stephanie to Pickleball. After landing a job as a P.E. teacher, she added the sport to her curriculum.
“I taught it to middle- and high-schoolers, and it was their favorite unit,” Stehanie says. “But at the time I wasn’t aware that adults were playing it at a high level.”