David Redding: Meet the Pro Pickleball Player

David Redding, an alumnus of Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, is currently serving as the head coach for the men’s and women’s tennis teams. In recognition of his outstanding performance in academics, leadership, and playing record during his time as a student-athlete at Harding, he was awarded the National Arthur Ashe Award in the early 1980s.

Before returning to Harding as a tennis coach in 2016, Redding spent nearly three decades as the Director of Tennis at the Northwood Club in Dallas, Texas. With over 35 years of tennis teaching experience and over five years of teaching pickleball, Redding has established himself as an accomplished instructor.

Despite his limited playing schedule, Redding has won numerous accolades in pickleball. He is a two-time USAPA National Pickleball Champion in Men’s 50+ Doubles, most recently in 2018 with Dave Fleming of Dallas.

Additionally, he has won gold medals in Men’s 55+ singles and doubles at the US Open, 50+ singles and doubles at the Huntsman World Sr. Games, and 50+ singles, doubles, and mixed doubles at the National Sr. Games. Redding pickleball has also secured silver medals at the Tournament of Champions, US Open, and USAPA Nationals.


As a USAPA Elite Tennis Professional for over 30 years, and now as a seasoned pickleball instructor, Redding has taught in Texas, Arkansas, and Colorado. He was a part of the teaching staff at the Pickleball Central Level Up Camp at Horseshoe Bay Resort in the recent past and is also an adjunct teaching professional for the Vulcan Pickleball IQ Game Development System.

Redding is a strong advocate of pickleball as a lifetime sport, whether played recreationally or competitively. He is grateful for the opportunity to play, teach, and share his passion for the game with others.

Know David’s Background

Redding was a talented member of the Harding tennis team from 1979 to 1983, earning various accolades such as multiple all-district and all-conference honors, two-time NAIA All-Academic, and the 1983 NAIA Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship. As a result, he was inducted into the Harding Athletics Hall of Fame in 1990.

After graduating magna cum laude in 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in physical education, Redding married Kay Wilson, a 1981 Harding graduate from San Diego, California. They have three daughters named Regan, Madison, and Cameron.

Redding pickleball first encountered pickleball during a visit to his parents in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, in the spring of 2013. A member of the Northwood Club in Dallas, where he served as the Tennis Director, had asked him if he knew about pickleball a few weeks earlier. However, he was unaware of the sport at that time. While visiting Hot Springs Village, he was informed that a group was playing pickleball in a church family life center, and he decided to observe for a brief time.

However, he became completely infatuated and ended up playing for about four hours, leaving the court drenched in sweat. When he returned to Hot Springs Village during the week of July 4th that same year, he played pickleball every day, sometimes twice a day, and neglected his tennis racquet and golf clubs, leaving them untouched in his car’s trunk.

Upon returning to Dallas, he was introduced to a pickleball group within 48 hours and has not played golf, basketball, baseball, bowling, or cards since. Notably, he has never played javelin, even before discovering pickleball.

Career Progress of David

In 2015, in the Men’s 50-54 Doubles category at the USAPA Nationals VII, Ron Chang and the speaker won the gold medal. The speaker also won gold in Men’s 50 Singles at the 2015 Huntsman World Sr. Games and silver in Men’s 5.0 Doubles with Ron Chang. At the 2015 National Sr. Games, the speaker won gold in Men’s 50-54 Doubles with Ron Chang, Mixed 50-54 with Kay Redding, and Men’s 50-54 Singles.

They also won gold in Men’s 50-54 Doubles with David Tappe and Men’s 50-54 singles at the 2015 MidSouth Regional. At the 2015 Texas State Sr. Games, the speaker won gold in Men’s 50-54 Doubles with Ron Chang, Mixed 50-54 with Kay Redding, and Men’s 50-54 Singles. They also won gold in Men’s 50-54 Doubles with Craig Bell, Mixed 50-54 with Kay Redding, and Men’s 50-59 Singles at the 2015 Sooner State Games.

In 2014, at the USAPA Nationals VI, the speaker won silver in Men’s Sr. Open Doubles with Scott Lennan and Men’s 50-54 Singles. At the Huntsman World Sr. Games, they won silver in Men’s 5.0 Doubles with Scott Lennan and gold in Men’s 50-54 Singles. They also won silver in Men’s Legends Doubles with Ron Chang at the 2014 Tournament of Champions.


At the 2014 Arkansas Sr. Games, the speaker won gold in Men’s 50-54 Doubles with Kent Kuch and Men’s 50-54 Singles, and silver in Mixed 50-54 with Kay Redding. They also won gold in Men’s 50-54 Singles and silver in Men’s Open Doubles with Dom Greco and Mixed with Angela Luhman at the 2014 MidSouth Regional.

Tips by David

David Redding believes that he doesn’t possess a unique skill set, but he believes that he has developed excellent touch and feel. He recommends that others should focus on developing soft hands, akin to having “Palmolive hands,” to execute shots like drop volleys, drop shots, and to take pace off a hard hit ball. It’s essential to note that softening your hands is different from loosening your wrist, and both require different techniques.

To improve this, he suggests a drill in which a ball is thrown or hit a few feet up in the air, and the player attempts to catch it on the paddle face without it bouncing. With practice, players can increase the height of the ball while trying to catch it on the paddle on its descent. It’s a challenging drill, but it significantly improves Palmolive hands and paddle control.

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Question: Do they prefer singles or doubles in pickleball? Why?

They enjoys playing singles in pickleball due to the exercise and the similarity to tennis. However, they have also grown to appreciate the strategic elements of doubles play.

Question: What is their profession?

For the past 27 years, they have served as the Director of Tennis at Northwood Club in Dallas, Texas. They will be starting a new job in January as the Head Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, which is their Alma Mater.

Question: How many hours do they play pickleball per week? How do they find time to play?

They only get to play a few hours of social pickleball and a couple of competitive games each month due to their busy schedule as a tennis professional. They express envy towards those who have more free time to play pickleball.


David Redding is a well-known figure in the pickleball community, having won multiple national and international titles over the course of his more than ten-year career. He has consistently demonstrated his exceptional skills on the court, securing gold medals in numerous tournaments, including the highly competitive US Open Pickleball Championships and the Tournament of Champions.

Redding pickleball has also made noteworthy contributions to the sport of pickleball beyond his impressive performance as a player. As a certified pickleball instructor, he has shared his knowledge and expertise with players of all levels, from novices to seasoned professionals. He has also played a significant role in the development and promotion of the sport, collaborating with organizations such as the USA Pickleball Association.

In summary, David Redding is a highly respected and accomplished individual in the world of pickleball. His outstanding abilities, extensive experience, and unwavering dedication to the sport have rightfully earned him a place among the most exceptional pickleball players globally.

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