Lessons from the Highest PTI Guy
We all love paddle for different reasons – for some it is a place to continue competing after we’ve aged out of more intense sports, for others it’s social exercise during the long, gray Delaware Valley winters, and for still others it’s just a chance to share a drink with friends.
Every so often the Prog staff looks over the PTI charts for outlier performances. During that research, we came across Doug Tynan (Greenville Country Club), who has the honor of carrying the highest PTI in our almost 1,500 player league (at 84.2), and a 1-24 record since 2021…including 2-73 in sets.
We had to meet this guy and see what made him tick and keep coming back for more. We weren’t disappointed. Yes, this started off as a “Dude, how are you coping with this tough performance” angle, but instead we got an important reminder: you never know who you are standing across the net from in our little league. There are some fascinating, accomplished people out there (like Doug) and given the sometimes-obsessive fixation on PTI, we wanted to bring his refreshing “health over results” attitude to light. So we sat down at the Prog's private club (it's the Eyes Wide Shut house - but we only go there in the daytime when those psychos aren't around) for a quick chat about paddle and life:
The Prog: Doug – tell us a little bit about yourself
Doug Tynan (DT): Well, I’m not from the area. I grew up in Connecticut, went to BU for undergrad and grad school in Binghamton. Work brought me here. I have two (grown) kids) and am in my 70s.
Prog: What do you do when you aren’t playing paddle?
DT: I’m a Health Psychologist, President of the Delaware Psychological Association, and have spent a good part of my career helping people cope with chronic illnesses (including diabetes), which plays into my feelings about staying active. I spent part of my career as the Program Director at Nemours Health & Prevention Services, developing programs to get kids active early in life. I see a lot of people who aren’t in superb condition out playing things like paddle, and I think “Good! Every little bit helps and getting out is half the battle.” There are about 4 or 5 behaviors that account for ½ of our healthcare costs. Anything you can do to be active is good…even if you don’t always win.
Prog: What other organizations do you work with?
DT: I’m pretty actively involved at Kennett YMCA where I swim. I’m also on the board of the Urban Bike Project and have done work with the American Diabetes Association for several years.
Prog: How’d you get into paddle – are you an athlete in general?
DT: I’ve been active in sports all my life. Played hockey when I was younger. I have always ridden my bike a lot since I was in middle school. These days I swim laps a couple of days a week, am an avid tennis and pickleball player with a regular group, and ride over 4,000 miles a year on my bike. I'm captain of one of the largest Bike to the Bay teams (Delaware Cycology). I joined Greenville CC about 3 years ago, and Brad Moore got me out to play – started off filling in when they needed players and I’ve played ever since.
Prog: Good lord. 4,000 miles? So why paddle, and what keeps you coming back despite the rough 1-24 record?
DT: For me it’s about staying active and the social aspect of paddle. When I play tennis, the guys are great, but we often leave right after playing. The smaller size of the paddle court and fact that the matches move more quickly is what makes paddle fun. And yes – the social aspect more than outweighs the frustration of losing a lot. It’s like any other sport – there’s a big disadvantage to being older (less so in paddle though), and those who routinely play with the same partner (which I don’t) tend to perform better. But it’s a great time.
Keep an eye out for Doug if you happen to be at a D15 Match that has Greenville playing in it. He’s a great person, and he’ll remind you of why the most important thing about your Wednesday or Thursday night out playing paddle probably has little to do with anything that ends up on your scorecard.
Good luck the rest of the way, Doug!
P.S. The Prog likes meeting interesting players. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org