When Parris was just five years old, she asked her parents for a tennis racket. Surprised at the request, her parents wondered where they could even purchase tennis equipment since they knew nothing of the sport. Not long after, the journey began, one training session after another, revealing a talent and passion for the game that triggered more hours on the court to develop her gift.
At age eight, her father took her to the renowned Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida, where a new level of play was discovered that activated a desire from within to compete with the best in the World. Parris began to set goals leading to numerous titles and trophies. Blossoming into a top junior player, she advanced into USTA girls 10’s and 12’s age group, ranked #1 both regionally and nationally and advanced into the top 14’s, 16’s, and 18’s (at only age 13!). Parris was the youngest player to take 3 Women’s Open Titles, being named Champion of the Roy Emerson’s Adoption Guild in June of 2012. On her 14th birthday, Parris was asked to become an alternate for the Professional World Team Tennis League (WTT) Orange County Breakers, whose league record advanced the team into the playoffs. Parris began to play the PRO ITF tour at age fourteen, traveling throughout the US and to numerous countries to gain experience. In 2017, her journey garnered her champion of the Newport Beach Queen of Hearts Charity Open, champion of the Mercedes Benz of Scottsdale Southwest Open, and in 2018 champion of the Match Point Tennis Academy. To date, Parris holds over 85+ tennis titles.
While building her tennis ranking, Parris received an opportunity she could not pass up to pursue her fashion career with one of the biggest retailers in the US and launched her company and brand Waisted, USA. A different kind of challenge sprang forth as a businesswoman to run a fashion company and continually stay on top of trends to design contemporary sportswear and streetwear for young women her age. As the pandemic slowed down the globe, Pickleball emerged and summoned her to the courts.
It wasn’t long before her tennis talents crossed over and her peers confirmed the calling. Since then, Parris has enjoyed herself more than ever on the courts, and viola… the rest is history. Her ultimate dedication, determination, and championship spirit are quickly advancing her both on the court and in life. While on her journey, Parris desires to be an example for kids and adults worldwide, believing that if you cultivate your talents through faith, diligence, always being grateful for every opportunity, and having a good attitude, nothing can stop you from achieving your dreams.
It’s no doubt that Parris Todd is quickly becoming a pickleball household name all around the country. With her being a Newport Beach native, USA Pickleball sat down with the pro before the Consumer Cellular USA Pickleball National Championships to hear just how much the sport of pickleball means to her.
Q&A with Parris
How long have you been playing pickleball?
Since around Sept. or Oct of 2021. My first pro tournament was the end of January 2022, playing mixed doubles.
What drew you to the sport of pickleball? How did you get involved in the sport?<
The community and people that played, the fun, and the fact that everyone wants to have good time is what drew me to the sport. I was playing at the tennis club at Sean Bollettieri Abdali’s Newport Beach Country Club when some friends asked me to join them in a game. I was reluctant at first because I was a tennis player not a pickleball player (my grandparents played pickleball so at the time it definitely wasn’t my thing), but they were having so much fun I joined in on game and instantly fell in love.
Where do you play locally in Newport Beach?
TTC Newport Beach https://thetennisclubnb.com/
Which courts would you recommend to players who are visiting Newport Beach? TTC
Newport Beach, which has new courts and more new courts are being built. It’s the pickleball hub of OC.
What are some must-sees in the area for those players visiting Newport Beach?
Laguna Beach and Fashion Island for shopping and dining.
Why did you decide to move from pro tennis to pro pickleball?
I had no intentions of playing pro pickleball, it was time and chance. It just happened.
How does your tennis game help you in your singles game?
All of the fundamentals of playing tennis are easily translated into playing the pickle singles game. The years of experience having the pressure of competition.
You recently had a huge win against Anna Leigh Waters at the recent PPA tournament. What went through your head as you won that match?
A lot of things. #1, personally believing I was able to win and come out on top, and maintaining my confidence.
How do you continually work on your game each week to prepare for tournaments?
After my tournaments, I have my take-aways that I need to work on. The key is finding top players to practice with.
What are some of your aspirations for your future pickleball career? <
To bring more awareness and financial stability, especially for sponsors so that the players can thrive making the sport their career. This will require major sponsors and major networks to get involved.
How has pickleball impacted your brand, WAISTEDUSA?
It’s brought more exposure to the brand, and I get asked every week what I’m wearing and where people can buy it. I’m currently excited about some collabs in the works of brining some fun activewear designs to the pickleball world.
What tournaments are you looking forward to as we’re halfway through 2022?
Definitely MLP Newport Beach, CA (August 5-7) and Columbus, OH (October 14-16)
What are you looking forward to in 2023 in the world of pickleball?
Growth of the sport and seeing the players being more of a priority in the leagues. And all the opportunities.
Where do you see the sport going in 5 years? In 10 years?
For Pickleball to become a Worldwide sport and having it become an official sport for and having it become an official sport for the Olympic games. In 10 years, pickleball on Mars as SpaceX as our sponsor!