NEW BRAUNFELS – Pickleball is the nation’s fastest growing sport and a New Braunfels' 15-year-old, Wyatt Stone, is determined to be at the forefront of increasing its popularity among youth players. Wyatt, who was first introduced to pickleball just over two years ago in August 2018, has since amassed 32 medals.
“The goal was to maybe play a tournament – get good enough to play in a tournament – and in my first tournament, I took three gold medals,” Wyatt said of his performance in the 2019 State Games of Oklahoma. “Since then it’s just gone way up in my interest in what I’ve wanted to do for pickleball.”
Later that same year in November, Wyatt became the USA Pickleball junior singles National Champion for his age division.
“It was kinda like a moment of happiness because I was playing all day. It was a really hard bracket – there was a lot of good juniors singles players. It was definitely very exciting.”
Training approximately 30 hours per week, Wyatt’s professional goals include becoming one of the best professionals in the world. He works with coach, Matt Laz, an International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association (IPTPA) Director and master teaching professional.
“He’s accomplished more in the last two years than a lot of people would be happy with in their entire run at this thing,” said Laz. “He’s a national champion. He’s an international sensation. He’s one of the youngest teaching pros in the country all in a very short time.”
Wyatt’s involvement in the sport also includes roles advocating on behalf of junior players, such as running the USA Pickleball social media channels and serving as the USA Pickleball Association National Junior Coordinator. He also became an IPTPA Level II certified pickleball teaching professional last summer wanting to grow the love of the sport in others.
“That’s one of the main goals, just to teach kids how to play – anyone really,” he said. “It’s such an amazing sport and has done so many things in my life that is good.”