Richard Canelas, a former professional tennis player and Xavier University alumnus, transitioned from an accomplished tennis career, including winning the 20k Queen City Pro Classic Doubles twice, to becoming a renowned pickleball instructor.
As the Director of Pickleball At The Pickle Lodge, he enjoys coaching while emphasizing the sport’s family-friendly and inclusive nature.
Born in the vibrant city of Miami, Florida, Richard Canelas’ childhood was marked by a move to the serene Fort Thomas, Kentucky. This shift brought with it a passion for sports, starting with soccer at the tender age of four. His athletic journey continued with tennis from age 10, showcasing a natural talent that later earned him a scholarship to Xavier University. Richard’s academic and athletic endeavors culminated in two significant milestones: a graduation in 2012 and an MBA in 2015. His time at Xavier was also marked by remarkable achievements in tennis, including two conference titles.
A Professional Tennis Career
The competitive spirit in Richard led him to pursue professional tennis, a journey studded with accolades, including back-to-back victories in the 20k Queen City Pro Classic Doubles in 2013 and 2014. This phase of his career, which lasted until he was 25, was a testament to his dedication and skill in the sport.
Pickleball: A New Passion
The year 2019 marked a new chapter in Richard’s sporting life when his parents introduced him to pickleball. This sport quickly became more than a pastime, leading him to compete in professional PPA and APP events. His prowess was evident in his two Monster Smash Singles Championships and a Monster Smash Doubles Championship. His DUPR ratings in singles and doubles reflect his high skill level in the sport. Richard finds immense joy in teaching pickleball, particularly because it brings families together and offers a lifelong sporting experience for all ages.
Certifications & Teaching Philosophy
Richard is a PPR Certified Professional, a testament to his commitment to excellence in coaching. His approach to teaching is centered around the belief that sports can be a unifying and lifelong activity, offering both physical and social benefits.
Apart from his athletic and coaching career, Richard is a successful entrepreneur, having started his own mattress store and a doggy daycare. These ventures exemplify his versatility and entrepreneurial spirit. Richard’s life outside of sports and business is equally interesting. He nearly defeated the number 1 player in college tennis on his birthday, showcasing his competitive nature. Additionally, his skill set extends to golf, where he achieved a rare feat: a hole in one.
Click here to take a lesson with Richard.