with Mihir Khandelwal
DOB: 23rd January 1981
Club: Khar Gymkhana
For Mihir Khandelwal Pickleball is an opportunity to play competitive sport post 35; its also a chance to get away from a lethargic life on weekends; to him Pickleball is the cause to hit the gym and remain fit.
“Watching the idiot box on weekends was a habit for me and it was definitely making me sloth and lazy in my off days. It was at this time that I got a message in one of the groups of Jamnabai Narsee School that there is a game being played in the school on Fridays which is somewhat similar to Tennis. I went to try it and got hooked onto the game after playing for the first time. I am a die-hard fan of Tennis and Roger Federer. The similarity between Tennis and Pickleball was enough for me to get involved in this sport.”
There are some similarities between Tennis and Pickleball but the easy-to-go nature of Pickleball helped Mihir Khandelwal to play this sport at the highest level.
“It is competitive, yet easy on body unlike high-intensity sport like Tennis or Badminton. And especially it is fun. Pickleball has given me a whole new set of friends.”
Mihir has some winning medals like gold at Club MK invitational JNS Open and bronze at Parle Mahotsav, but he does not want to call that as an achievement. He feels that he will be successful only when he can keep a date with some of the best players of Indian and international Pickleball.
“Real achievement would be to play better, somewhere close to how Nikhil Singh Rajput or Manish Rao play in India. And someone like Daniel Moore on the international front. He is the only US player that I have seen play in person. But currently I am quite far away from them. I have to keep working harder to get there.”
To reach at the top Mihir Khandelwal is intensely working on his fitness level. He is a businessman by profession working on recycling of plastics. It takes away his time. Bt Pickleball has really given him a reason for hitting the gym.
“I have very poor fitness level and think if I need to reach higher levels, I would need to strengthen my muscles. So one immediate plan is hitting the gym. I need to be more bent while at net and for that need to strengthen legs and knee muscles. I have to improve defence technowue and need to add the no-look shot to me game.”