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Dylan Frazier Is The Next Big Thing in Pro Pickleball

Dylan Frazier is The Next Big Thing: At just 22 years old, Dylan Frazier stands as a veteran in the rapidly evolving world of pickleball. He has quickly made a name for himself in the competitive world of pickleball since turning pro in 2021. Standing tall at 5′ 11″ and flaunting a Selkirk Project 002 paddle with flair, Frazier’s right-handed play style has attracted both fans and fellow players. Having started at the age of 13, he has climbed the ranks with a blend of tenacity, skill, and an unyielding commitment to the sport. His recent win at the PPA Orange County Cup, alongside JW Johnson, led him to the top of the PPA Tour’s men’s doubles rankings, unseating the legendary Ben Johns.

Small Town Roots and a Family Affair

Dylan’s journey began in Ashland, Missouri, a quaint suburb of Columbia. Growing up in a bustling household with his parents, Cindy and Shawn, and three adopted siblings, Dylan’s early years were filled with baseball, basketball, and football. A family trip to Florida in 2016 marked a turning point. Seeking a fun activity, the Fraziers stumbled upon pickleball at a local rec center. Cindy, having dabbled in the sport during her college years at Mizzou, introduced the family to the game. Dylan was instantly hooked.

Dylan and his mother joined the local pickleball scene through a Facebook group called Show-Me Pickleball. Regular play sessions led to their first tournament, where Dylan earned a silver medal in singles at the 3.5 level. Despite not medaling in mixed doubles with his mother, the experience ignited a competitive spark.

Climbing the Ranks: From 3.5 to Pro

Dylan’s ascent from a 3.5 to a 5.0 player was marked by relentless practice and a willingness to learn. He sought out opportunities to play and drill with better players in the Columbia area. A crucial moment came in 2019 when Dylan traveled to Wichita, Kansas, to train with some of the sport’s best, including Pat Smith, Jay Devilliers, and Chris Heck. The experience was transformative. Despite initial nerves and feeling out of his depth, the encouragement and mentorship from top players like Matt Wright and Lucy Kovalova helped Dylan hone his skills and build confidence.

Dylan Frazier is The Next Big Thing

Transitioning from a 5.0 player to a pro is often considered the biggest leap in pickleball. For Dylan, this journey took about a year and a half. During this time, the landscape of professional pickleball was evolving, with more tournaments and a higher level of competition. Dylan’s hard work paid off, and by 2021, he was competing at the pro level, a testament to his dedication and the support he received from his training partners and family.

Partnering for Success

Early in his pro career, Frazier found success alongside Lauren Stratman on both the APP and PPA Tours, laying the foundation for his competitive journey. It was through connections with Stratman and Lea Jansen that Frazier crossed paths with JW Johnson, now his trusted men’s doubles partner. Their partnership, cultivated over rigorous training sessions and a shared commitment to excellence, has flourished over the past three years.

Frazier’s dedication to honing his skills has seen him frequently travel to Florida, where he trains intensively with Johnson and other top professionals. These efforts have been pivotal in his development as a formidable force in the competitive pickleball circuit.

Dylan Frazier Shines at APP Miami Pickleball Open

Besides his recent performance at the PPA Tour, Dylan Frazier showcased his skills at the earlier APP Miami Pickleball Open, securing gold medals in both men’s doubles and mixed doubles events. Teaming up with JW Johnson, Frazier secures the men’s doubles title, displaying flawless teamwork and skill throughout the tournament. Their partnership proved incredible, delivering Frazier’s first gold medals on the APP Tour since 2022.

In mixed doubles, Frazier paired with Hurricane Tyra Black, dominating their competition without dropping a single game on their way to claiming the crown. This impressive achievement highlighted Frazier’s versatility and strategic judgment on the court.

Frazier’s performance in singles events at the APP Miami Open was equally noteworthy. Despite some top seeds like JW Johnson, Chris Haworth, and Yates Johnson falling short of the finals, Frazier excelled. His fellow No. 1 seeds, Hunter Johnson and Megan Fudge mirrored his success by securing the men’s and women’s singles titles respectively, highlighting a strong showing for rising stars in the pickleball community.

Navigating Sponsorships and Equipment Excellence

Frazier’s journey to the top has been bolstered by key sponsorships from Selkirk and Chicken N Pickle, providing him with the tools and support needed to excel in the fast-paced sport. His partnership with Selkirk, known for its innovative paddle designs, underscores Frazier’s commitment to leveraging top-notch equipment on the court.

Fast Hands and Tactical Play

Known for his lightning-fast hands, Dylan attributes his quick reflexes to anticipation and understanding of opponents’ tendencies. “A lot of people associate hand speed with reflexes, but it’s actually about preparation and knowing what’s coming,” he explains. This insight underscores the strategic depth of his game, where mental preparation is as vital as physical skill.

Dylan remains focused on two key areas of his game: perfecting his two-handed backhand and enhancing consistency. He believes the two-handed backhand will become essential in the pro circuit, offering versatility and power. Consistency, he asserts, is the ultimate differentiator at all levels of play.

Balancing his burgeoning pickleball career with full-time studies in Business Administration at the University of Missouri, Dylan exemplifies dedication. With just one semester left, he plans to complete his courses online, allowing more time for his professional pursuits.

Dylan’s advice for aspiring players is simple yet profound: “Drill with a purpose and play with players who are slightly better than you.” His rise through the ranks, fueled by consistent practice and strategic gameplay, serves as a blueprint for success in pickleball.

As the sport continues to grow, Dylan Frazier stands out not only for his remarkable achievements but also as a young ambassador for pickleball. His journey from a small town in Missouri to the pinnacle of the PPA Tour is a testament to hard work, family support, and a passion for the game.

Dylan Frazier is The Next Big Thing

News in Brief: Dylan Frazier is The Next Big Thing

At 22, Dylan Frazier is a veteran in pickleball, starting at 13 and climbing the ranks through sheer determination. His win at the PPA Orange County Cup with JW Johnson propelled him to the top of the PPA Tour’s men’s doubles rankings. Growing up in Ashland, Missouri, Dylan’s passion ignited after a family trip to Florida introduced him to pickleball. From 3.5 to pro, his journey was marked by relentless practice and mentorship from top players. Known for his fast hands and strategic play, Dylan balances his rising career with business studies.

Also read: Fontainebleau Las Vegas’ First PPA Tour Pickleball Cup

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