How to level up your pickleball game... with Loryn Hansbrough
DALLAS, TX – After catching the pickleball bug, influencer Loryn Hansbrough quickly made the jump from newbie to fanatic - and even earned a couple of medals to her name.
Coming from a recreational tennis background, Hansbrough and her husband, former professional basketball player, Ben Hansbrough, didn't exactly understand all the hype surrounding pickleball as it gained more and more traction across the country.
“The very first time Ben and I played pickleball, we liked tennis more because it was more active and had more movement. We just had no clue at all how to really play pickleball,” said Hansbrough.
Sparked by Loryn's sister, Brooke Bush, the whole family decided to start playing on a more consistent basis. Some friendly competition and team rivalries emerged and kept them coming back again and again.
“We got into this rhythm and started playing every day,” explained Hansbrough. “And it was this family rivalry against each other and all of our family joined in, and we’ve played ever since.”
It wasn't long before the siblings and in-laws wanted to level up their respective pickleball games, and it started for the Hansbroughs with a Nike Pickleball Camp hosted in Naples, FL.
“It was actually an anniversary trip for Ben and I,” said Hansbrough. “We wanted to go somewhere warm, but also where we can do pickleball. We went to the camp and met Jenna Hessert there, and we just hit it off with her.”
Hansbrough gained lots of insight from the APP Tour pro.
“Jenna taught us that if you want to get better, you have to drill. You can’t play every day and expect to get better. You’re gonna have to drill,” said Hansbrough.
Following the camp, they competed in their first tournament.
“We’d been drilling and we thought we’d learned everything – and we didn’t even get to the medal rounds,” confessed Hansbrough. “We realized that if we wanted to get better, we needed to do something. I called Jenna and asked her to come in for a weekend and coach us, especially in mixed doubles, because that’s a whole different game. That was huge, having someone who knows the game who is playing at a high level or coaching at a high level.”
Hansbrough credited the camp and constant drilling for helping her level up.
With that in mind, here are a few of the drills the Hansbroughs use daily.
“We have a routine. We do the same thing every time and it takes about an hour-and-a-half. First, we do all facets of dinking like straight on cross court, forehand, backhand, and we’ll do that to 100. Then, we do the same thing with drops. We drop every single facet like forehand, backhand, mid-court, deep court, and we go to 100,” revealed Hansbrough.
“And after that, we’ll mix in some fun stuff we’ve seen from the pro’s Instagrams and play dinking and dropping games for points,” she added.
7-11 is one of their favorite games to play.
Given how much pickleball Hansbrough plays, recovery is a necessity.
And her wellness routine is just as vital as her daily drills.
“My go-to is fascial stretch therapy,” said Hansbrough. “It’s not your stretch lab stretching. They don’t just go in and stretch your big muscles to help you get more flexible. Fascial stretching therapy is all about your whole entire body. It surrounds your organs, if affects your immunity, metabolism, the way you sleep, and it prevents injury.”
“In the beginning, we weren’t even warming up with stretching or cooling down with stretching, and that’s huge when you’re going out to play for hours. Recovery and having something like a deep tissue massage or fascia stretch therapy is really big in preventing injury. It’s just so good in helping your body recover. And sauna and cold plunge, those things are huge, too, for recovery and getting your body ready and preventing injury,” she continued.
These tips and tricks have truly helped elevate Hansbrough’s play.
Not only does Loryn prioritize feeling her best on the court, though, she also makes every effort to look her best.
She often sports adorable tennis dresses that color coordinate with her doubles partners.
“Parris Todd is a big inspiration for me,” shared Hansbrough. “When I started following Parris on Instagram and following her matches, I thought she had the coolest outfits. I copied one of her red outfits for a tournament we did in Louisville. I just love the way she dresses.”
Her husband, however, doesn’t share the same priorities fashion-wise.
“When I get a matching thing for my husband, he’ll wear it for the picture and then change into something else to play. All he cares about is comfort and how he feels when he’s playing. He doesn’t care about style,” said Hansbrough with a laugh. “So I’ve been slowly trying to find at least like a white or black because I know he has stuff that he loves in those colors. But, if I want to do a fun color, he’ll put the outfit on for the picture and then he’ll wear whatever he wants for our game.”
Fashion aside, the Hansbroughs are hungry for pickleball success.
The goal this year: medal at a 5.0 level.
And given their incredible dedication, it could happen soon enough.
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