Magnolia ISD coach finds new passion as professional pickleball player

ByBob Slovak Localish logo
Wednesday, March 20, 2024
Magnolia ISD coach finds new passion as professional pickleball player
Tatiana Ruhl grew up on a tennis court and didn't know pickleball was a sport. The high school teacher quickly learned the game and is now a top-ranked player, traveling the country and playing tournaments on most weekends.

Magnolia, Texas -- Magnolia West High School assistant tennis coach Tatiana Ruhl grew up loving tennis. She was a district champ in high school and played collegiate tennis at Prairie View A&M.

Three years ago she was introduced by a friend to her new passion. Tatiana never saw it coming, "Pickleball was a funny word to me when I first heard it, I didn't know it was a sport or there was a pro circuit attached to it."

Tatiana started playing just about everyday at parks and courts. She made new friends and started to learn the game but she knew she wanted more. "In the summer of 2021 I thought I wanted to learn pickleball properly. I got online and found this guy you may have heard of him Ben Johns, he had a camp in Colorado. Who doesn't want to learn from the game's number one player."

Ruhl learned quickly and Johns saw potential telling Tatiana she could go pro if she wanted to, Tatiana was shocked. She started entering tournaments and started winning.

Tatiana's confidence was growing, "I think the competitor side of me is different on the court than off of it. I like to be very intense and very focused."

Tatiana now travels the country playing tournaments just about every weekend. She spreads her love of pickleball with kids and adult clinics.

Tatiana has a message for anyone interested in the fast growing sport. "Anyone thinking about trying pickleball or you're on the fence or if you're one of those tennis players thinking it's not for me, you're missing out. I promise you won't have any regrets."