Mitch Goldberg by Mike Melendez & Dave Siegel
He’s a Master Chef, a gardener, a softball player, a bowler, a magician, a PFA youth program volunteer, an actor and, oh yes, he plays paddleball. It’s amazing that with all these activities, Mitch Goldberg is not only able to play 3 to 4 times a week, but is one of the top players on the circuit today. He is a rare player with many tools at his disposal, fierce and focused, excelling in tough competition.
Mitch started playing the game over 30 years ago at O’Connor Park in West Orange NJ, which is still his home park. He learned from his father, who was also a very good player during the 60’s/70’s era. His love of paddleball started the very first time he picked up a paddle and it has never waned.
Mitch’s game is comprised of awesome physical and mental skills. On the physical side, he can hurt you with formidable power, blending it with finesse, using his patented change-of-pace drop-shot killer, which is his favorite shot. He also has excellent foot speed and quickness, which is surprising for the big man that he is. Mitch is one of the few top players to use his backhand and it is very effective. He is also extremely accurate, rarely making unforced errors.
On the mental side, Mitch is very smart with his shot selection and plays like a chess player, always thinking 2-3 shots ahead. He understands the nuances of positioning and invariably is in prime position for a good shot. Plus, he has nerves of steel, always rising to the occasion under pressure.
“Rising to the occasion under pressure” applies not only to paddleball, but also to real life. Last year, in perhaps the greatest pressure situation anyone will ever encounter, Mitch, along with Keith Jackson and Mitch Resnick, heroically saved the life of fellow paddleball player Tony Cascella, employing CPR in conjunction with a defibrillator (AED).
Mitch is one of the major proponents of the PFA (he is the Vice President) and its major mission: injecting youth into the game. He backs it up by giving much of his free time to the cause. He would love to see all of paddleball under one organization, flourishing with the support of corporate sponsorship. In order to achieve this, Mitch feels that the overall level of sportsmanship needs to improve and all of the players should “just get along in peace and harmony!” His advice to his peers: “Play hard, try your best; winning every game is impossible.”
You may be wondering about Mitch Goldberg, the actor. Mitch has two feature length movies to his credit. “Zombie Honeymoon” (2004), in which he plays a Zombie (really!) and “The Homeboy” (2001), where he is a cook by the name of Mitch Goldberg who gets into a fist fight! You can watch the latter on YouTube. Search for more on Google. Enjoy!