In the podcast episode “Blood, Sweat & Balance Sheets,” Mike is joined by Zane Navratil, the renowned top-ranked Pickleball player worldwide, who also has a background in Accounting and Taxes. He earned his CPA license and a former Deloitte auditor. Zane shares his remarkable journey of discovering pickleball while pursuing a career in audit, his contributions to the sport’s expansion, and the challenges of maintaining a harmonious balance between his athletic pursuits, professional endeavors, and his role as a passionate ambassador for the fastest-growing sport in the world.
Invented in 1965 by three middle-aged fathers in Washington state, pickleball is a quirky cross among tennis, Ping-Pong and badminton, played with a paddle and a perforated plastic ball. The founders [Barney McCallum] are said to have named the game after a family dog called Pickles. With 4.8 million people now playing — almost double the number from just five years ago, according to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association — some of the sport’s devotees are capitalizing on pickleball’s spike in popularity.