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Chad Edwards, a name synonymous with the sport of pickleball, has carved a niche for himself as a player, coach, commentator, and ambassador of the sport. His journey from a Division I baseball player to a pickleball maestro is a story of passion, resilience, and an unyielding love for the game. This article provides an in-depth look into Chad’s life, his contributions to the sport, and his vision for the future of pickleball.
Chad Edwards pickleball Journey
Chad Edwards, originally from Australia, was a seasoned baseball player who was once recruited by the Seattle Mariners at the tender age of 16. However, he chose to focus on his education before a shoulder injury prematurely ended his baseball career. This setback, however, opened a new door for Edwards, leading him to the world of coaching.
Edwards ran a successful baseball academy, providing video analysis for his team and coaching young baseball players aged 16 to 20. But in 2015, he discovered pickleball, sparking a major career shift. Along with his wife, Simone, Edwards transitioned from baseball coaching to pickleball coaching, opening the Peak Performance Pickleball Academy in South Florida.
Peak Performance Pickleball Academy
Chad and Simone established the Peak Performance Pickleball Academy in Bonita Springs, Florida. Initially met with skepticism, the academy quickly gained traction, growing from four to thousands of clients in a short span. Today, they have seven instructors, and Chad serves as a sports director at 55+ communities in Southwest Florida. The academy specializes in teaching all levels of players, with Chad bringing his 10+ years of experience as a private baseball instructor to the table.
Chad Edwards Impact on Pickleball
Playing Style and Signature Shots
Edwards is known for his effective hitting and return of lobs in pickleball, emphasizing the importance of correct body movement. He warns against backpedaling, a common mistake that often leads to injuries. Instead, players should open their hips to the ball and then pivot, moving their hips towards the ball, which allows for a more effective and safe movement.
Beyond coaching, Chad has also established himself in the world of pickleball commentary. He’s been actively involved in broadcasting and plans to focus more on this aspect, providing insightful analysis based on his unique understanding of the game. His commentary is not just about the game’s technical aspects but also about the players, their strategies, and the sport’s future.
The YouTube Channel
Chad, in his mission to expand the visibility of pickleball, started the Peak Performance YouTube channel. The channel posts coaching tips, match analyses, and interviews with top pickleball players. It has received wide acclaim for its in-depth content and has been instrumental in introducing the sport to countless individuals across the globe. Currently, the channel has over half a million subscribers, attesting to the growing interest in pickleball.
Chad Edwards Family
Edwards lives in Naples, Florida, with his wife, Simone Jardim, and their two children. Simone is also a pickleball enthusiast and often collaborates with Edwards in coaching sessions and tutorials.
Chad Edwards on the Future of Pickleball
Despite the growing popularity of the sport, Edwards acknowledges that pickleball faces challenges. Many people still don’t know what pickleball is, and the sport is often compared to tennis or badminton, overshadowing its unique aspects. To address this, Edwards, along with the rest of the Peak Performance team, is working on several outreach programs to bring pickleball to schools, universities, and community centers. They believe that the key to the sport’s future lies in fostering a love for the game in younger generations.
Edwards also sees potential for growth in the professional side of pickleball. With more athletes considering pickleball as a viable career path, he predicts an increase in competitive, high-stakes games in the future. For this reason, he advocates for more investment in pickleball from both the private sector and governmental bodies.
Chad Edwards is not just a pickleball player or a coach; he is a true ambassador for the sport. His journey from a baseball player to a pickleball maestro is a testament to his passion and dedication. Through his academy, his commentary, and his YouTube channel, he is making significant strides in popularizing pickleball and ensuring its bright future. As he continues to advance his multi-faceted career in pickleball, we can’t wait to see what he does next.