How do you store your pickleball “stuff” courtside?

This is a question we hear often:  what kind of a box do you use to store pickleball equipment near the court?  We have a couple of answers.  We’d also like to hear from you, the reader, about how you store your pickleball equipment.

Our first suggestion comes from Maureen Groth, in Gackle, North Dakota.  We shared Maureen’s story on May 12th, about the project she took on to renovate a run-down tennis court into 2 pickleball courts. She shared: “[ I ] obtained wood paddles from the local school and put them in rubber totes with lids in storage benches next to the court.  Anyone in the community can drop by and use the equipment provided.  In 1 year, the equipment is still there, and is still being used by anyone in the community who wants to play pickleball.”

Storage benchShe shared:” The storage benches that I use at the courts keep the paddles and balls and also fit a couple of basketballs. They are made by Rubbermaid and are nice to sit on. I bought them online from Walmart. I think the portable [net systems] might fit!!”

When we asked Tom Widden from Lake Oswego, Oregon about how his pickleball group solved the equipment storage problem, he shared the following solution:

“We bought JOBOX Brand construction boxes from Home Depot for about $400 st time..too small for more than 4 nets/few paddles/ get lost and found, left chairs,1st aid kits,etc so outgrow pretty fast…at Wilsonville we bought much bigger box 6′ long/3’deep and wide..much happier and has breathing room so nets don’t rust after play in rain or just condensation in boxes. Now, at Hillendale Park we went online and bought a huge RIGID jobsite box and can store tables/chairs/netsets/training aids, and fencing since we’ve learned how to “quad” a single tennis court into 4 Pickleball courts. A little effort really pays off in capacity, allowing us to take typical double tennis court into 8 active courts. It has proven effective and helps set the stage for conversion to a permanent picklepark!”

Storage boxOn of the greatest things I have grown to appreciate about the pickleball community is that they are always willing to share lessons learned.  So, do you have solutions you want to share on how your solved the pickleball equipment storage problem?  We look forward to hearing your wonderful ideas!

Local Pickleball Guide – Lower East “Mitten”, Michigan

We love to hear about Pickleball Clubs that dig in and have fun, no matter what the weather!  Here’s the latest “Scoop” on the Detroit Suburbs, otherwise known as SE “Mitten”, Michigan. 


Sue Donlin at Whittier Park, Royal Oak, Michigan

The Michigan list of USAPA Pickleball Ambassadors includes:
SE Michigan — Gary Bejin 248-770-7589 Waterford MI
SE Michigan — Chuck Dominick 248-224-5188 Rochester Hills MI
SE Michigan — Peggy Murphy Kurza 586-779-7660 Grosse Pointe Woods MI
SE Michigan — Pam Mackowski 248-828-7395 Troy MI
SE Michigan — Ray Snay 586-322-6142 Shelby Township MI
All of these folks are willing to help in the promotion of the sport of pickleball in their community.  They know everything about the game and can lend a hand if you want to get a new group of “picklers” off the ground.

You can find information about building new pickleball courts by contacting the company listed below:
Sport Court, Michigan

Pickleball Clubs and YMCAs are the best place to go to find pickleball aficionados!  Check out the following in your area:

Royal Oaks Pickleball
Carl’s Family YMCA

Check out the list of tournaments in Michigan.  Take your pick:
Royal Oak MIchigan Tournament
State Games of Michigan, Grand Rapids, MI
Madness in Mentor, Ohio (oops, how did that get in there?)
Annual Pickleball Fun Tournament
Meijer State Games of Michigan
Toledo PIckleball Glass City Tournament
Michigan Senior Olympics, Summer Games

Live Long, Live Well in Michigan has created a great video on how to play pickleball.  Check it out!

Where there are 5.0 Pickleball players there are opportunities to learn new skills!

Bremnath (Prem) Carnot, Empire, MI
Bart C Ford, Cedar, MI
James K Hackenberg, Kalamazoo, MI
Paul D Sprainitis, Canton, MI
Carolyn A Ebbinghaus, Traverse City, MI
Wendy W Garrido, Empire, MI
Yvonne M Hackenberg, Kalamazoo, MI

There are a couple of regularly scheduled places to take lessons:

Pickleball Guru Clinic

Rochester, MI – Free 50+ Beginner Pickleball Lessons-Wednesdays 09:30am–10:30am  Rochester Older Persons’ Commission, 650 Letica Drive, Rochester, MI 48307
There is no need for a partner and OPC provides all equipment. FREE for anyone 50 or older. You do not need to be a member of OPC for these lessons. Upon the completion of the beginner lessons you are invited to stay for Beginner/Mentor Games from 10:30am-11:30am. For more information, contact OPC at (248) 608-0295.

Royal Oak, MI – Free Lessons Tuesday evenings 06:30pm beginning Jun2–Jun 30
Whittier Park Pickleball Complex, E. Farnum Ave (North of 11 Mile and east of Main), Royal Oak MI

Don’t overlook any opportunity to learn from the “Pickleball Guru” Prem Carnot!

Take a look at this article posted by


© MI Pickleball

See the “mitten”?

So if you are looking for places to play in lower east “mitten” Michigan, check out the links below, and have fun:

Birmingham, Michigan
Farmington Hills 
Royal Oak

Local Pickleball Guide – Las Vegas, Nevada

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, right? Wrong. Pickleball players in Las Vegas, Nevada certainly have caught the pickleball bug and love to share the love for the game. In fact, Mario Najera and his partner Geri brought pickleball out of Vegas across the world to Maidstone, Kent, England! Pickleball is definitely not staying in Vegas.

10538561_693253347389954_4355985329244515767_nHowever, if you do happen to find yourself in or near Las Vegas, there are lots of opportunities to keep your pickleball addiction alive.

Some individuals love to share their passion for the sport by working to build membership and teach new players to play, as well as assist anyone who may have any local pickleball questions. There are several in the Las Vegas area who would love to help you out:

  • Henderson – Geri Grodzinsky  702-616-0374  Surprise, Arizona
  • Henderson – Ron Latorra  702-956-1947  Henderson, Nevada
  • Henderson – Mario Najera  702-675-2957  Surprise, Arizona
  • Las Vegas/Summerlin – John Sloan  702-953-6018  Las Vegas, Nevada

You can also try checking out some local pickleball clubs!

  • Pickleball Las Vegas keeps locals up-to-date on pickleball news in the area. It also looks like they play on some gorgeous courts – check out that mountain backdrop!


  • Sun City Summerlin Pickleball Club is a great resource for residents in the area. It has a roster as well as an overview of places and times to play.
  • Sun City Aliante Pickleball Club is perfect for those residents or visitors to Southern Nevada.

If you really catch the pickleball bug, you can also build you own court with the help of Flex Court Athletics or Sport Court Las Vegas!

During certain times of the year, Las Vegas pickleball players can catch players of all levels having a blast at both the Nevada Senior Games and the Las Vegas West Regional Pickleball Tournament! It looks like this year’s 2015 Regional Tournament was a blast.

Las Vegas pickleball-ers have also made waves in local headlines! Check these out:

There are also several videos which capture the pickleball fun in the Las Vegas area!

Las Vegas Pickleball Tournament – DULA Gymnasium – April 13, 2013

A quick hello from Las Vegas on a pickleball roadtrip

2014 Nevada Senior Games – Sun City Aliante – October 6, 2014

It certainly looks like pickleball has a great grasp on Las Vegas!

For the Love of the Sport, Meet Pickleball Gems Ray and Renee Padilla

Ray Padilla 1

Ray and Renee Padilla

Sheer dedication! That’s how I describe Ray and Renee Padilla and their Pickleball Training program. Ray and Renee offer free instruction to folks from age 4 to 94 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As I listen to Ray’s account of how he got into teaching the sport of pickleball, I hear his dedication to all athletic programs that help a student to learn to do their best, no matter what.

Retired from the Department of Defense after 41 years, Ray has been certified to coach soccer for Olympic level players.  In all sports, Coach Ray likes to teach in the dynamic, progressive style. He is not a fan of classroom lectures. He believes in getting out there and practicing as soon as possible: “Less talk, more doing!” He teaches the “why”, the “what” and the “pros and cons” of technique. Then he encourages his students to make what they do the best, even better. He has lots of paddles, so he shows folks the nuances of paddle grips and paddle sizes.

Ray Padilla 2

Ray Teaching a Summer Rec Program

Ray and Renee’s motto is “Doing our best to Give Back and Pay It Forward, to develop, promote, grow and share the dynamic fitness exercise Pickleball experience to all ages.

Ray loves to coach with three things in mind:

It’s a labor of love for Ray and Renee. They do their training workshops on a volunteer basis. They reach out to school P. E. programs. They work with veterans. They teach at a Senior Center and they work with special needs students at a local high school. They set up at locations that don’t have enough space with a mini court. It’s an easy way to teach the basics of the game of pickleball. They offer training mostly indoors. Albuquerque weather can be daunting at times: 100 degrees, a mile up in altitude, can cause fatigue and heat-related health problems.

Ray Padilla 4

Pickleball Training Class

There’s a growing contingency of tourists interested in pickleball. People traveling through Albuquerque from places like California, Idaho, New York and Chicago find out about Ray’s Training Program and stop in to learn more about the game. Information about Ray’s Pickleball Training program is posted on the USAPA website, .

See the link below for an article in the Albuquerque Journal that highlights Ray’s Pickleball Training:

Thanks Ray and Renee for sharing your love of pickleball with the wonderful folks in Albuquerque!

Pickleball: Mix it up with your Spouse


                                                                                    Glen and Paula Peterson

Recently a top player approached my wife and suggested she find a mixed doubles partner for tournaments other than her ball-hogging husband and more suited to her level of play. For some uniquely competitive couples, this may be good advice. But for many, including my wife and me, playing doubles together is great fun and adds to the list of shared experiences we get to cherish for years. Even some of our losses provide humorous memories. The pickleball court is simply another venue to enjoy my best friend. This is not to say that we have never had conflict on court. My wife has reminded me several times that a ‘look’ I give her occasionally when she miss-hits a ball is unhelpful; so I am learning how to be an encouraging partner and notch down my competitiveness when we play doubles. Losing, in my case, can be winning. Most marriages will not only survive pickleball court conflict but will benefit.  And working together to formulate an effective strategy may even generate a few medals! In tournament play, teams are relentless in hitting nearly every ball to the weaker of the two opponents. This pickleball ‘bullying’ shakes the confidence of weaker players. When things are going poorly for my wife in these situations, I have found that pointing out the flaws in her play and suggesting she become more focused dramatically improves her play. Well, not quite!  It is best if I avoid even the the most subtle indications of frustration and simply enjoy being on the court with her and express appreciation that she is willing to partner with me and is trying so hard; after all, the only reason she is playing the sport in the first place is to be with me! Here are five guidelines we find helpful in playing doubles together.

  1. It is all good…even losing.  For most of us, life — including marriage — transcends pickleball.  It is possible to retain perspective while playing pickleball.
  2. Have a strategy and talk, talk, talk.  Singles can be a lonely sport; doubles ought to be a social sport where partners communicate. I was once reprimanded by the opposing team for hogging so many balls in a match that my wife and I won; Paula responded for me by saying she expected me to take those balls. We were on the same page.
  3. Encourage each other in your own unique way … no chest pumps. Find reasons to celebrate one another’s accomplishments: a good shot, an extraordinary effort, winning a point or a game. The best partners acknowledge one another with a paddle touch or some other gesture after every point. Consider developing your own unique method of encouraging one another on court. Hey, you’re married; show some affection!
  4. Never admonish your partner in either verbal or nonverbal ways.  Lessons are for drills and preparation, not for tourneys or games. Leave your losses on the court, and certainly don’t take them home with you!
  5. Set expectations. We recently played a better mixed doubles team, and I began by telling my wife we would not win, but that we would try to get a few points.  We won the first game 11-1 and my wife played wonderfully. The other team made a needed adjustment and eventually won the match. But we enjoyed shaking them up a bit.

Jim and Yvonne Hackenberg from Michigan may be the most accomplished mixed doubles couple in the senior tourney circuit.  Even much younger teams fear them. Their communication on court is admirable and often humorous to spectators. They sure appear to be having fun; and their play is remarkable. I asked Jim for the keys to their success. Whenever he and Yvonne step on the court, they have the below goals in mind:

  1. Let’s try to win
  2. Let’s support one another
  3. Let’s try to model good teamwork and sportsmanship
  4. Let’s have fun
  5. Let’s learn something from this.  What can we do better next time?

Jim says “Yvonne is the perfect partner.  She is always positive and supportive.  I’m just lucky to be married to someone who can play at a high level and keep me under control, most of the time.  If you ever see us play you’ll know there are times when she says ‘do we need a time-out?’.  That’s her gentle way of saying, ‘Jim, you better start behaving or I’ll walk off the court.’.  Fortunately, it’s a message that usually brings me back to reality. The reality being pickleball is just a game and we’re fortunate to be able to play it together.” Despite the humility in Jim’s comments, he and Yvonne are models on court for sportsmanship, teamwork and extraordinary pickleball.  Many of us hope to emulate them. Finally, to those spouses who feel they can never achieve parity with their already accomplished mate, recognize that the barriers to succeed in this sport are far less than other sports such as tennis. And, if the rumored proposal that player ratings be averaged for partners in tournament play is ever adopted, this will make it even easier for many couples to compete. Pickleball, like golf, can be enjoyed for an entire morning or afternoon. We often play for 3-4 hours.  My marriage definitely benefits from spending this time together.

– Glen Peterson

Local Pickleball Guide- Kailua Kona and Kauai, Hawaii

ALOHA to all of the pickleball players in the gorgeous state of Hawaii!

523155_318002521634373_905656316_nKauai PB

While pickleball is brand new to this state (it was brought to Kauai in 2011 by Jack Hodges) it is growing leaps and bounds. So far, it seems like the two “hotspots” are Kailua Kona on the Big Island and Kauai.

Each of these places have a dedicated pickleball club. Check out Kona Pickleball Hui, based in Kailua Kona, and Kauai Pickleball. Both clubs have that awesome Hawaiian spirit and welcome visitors with open arms… have paddle, will travel! They both often hold regular clinics, and post information on those on their Facebook pages.

kauaipb groupKauai Pickleball Players

There are several places to play in the surrounding areas:old kona airport state rec area

If you’re looking to increase the number of places to play in Hawaii, these local court construction companies would be happy to help you out:

These are several locals who are always willing to lend a hand in the growing of the sport in Hawaii:

  • Jacqueline Frame – 808-895-8973 – Kailua Kona, HI
  • Annette Cottle – 801-643-6603 – Honolulu, HI
  • Jack Hodges – 808-634-4049 – Koloa, HI (Island of Kauai)
  • Bob and Javon Courtney – 818-708-1770 – Kailua Kona, HI
  • Kevin and Teresa Kimball – 808-392-9304 – Laie, HI

0b06e34d617a0f732ef0387f129c4bc8Check out these articles and videos that have featured pickleball in Hawaii:

Pickleball Waikiki

Pickleball – Kauai, HI

Kona Pickleball Hui

Arlie Johnson, Pickleball Ambassador – Growing Pickleball in Wyoming


There is a growing interest in pickleball that is sweeping the nation.  Anna interviewed Arlie Johnson at the USAPA Nationals about pickleball in Wyoming.  Enjoy!


Arlie:  My name is Arlie Johnson. I live in Sheridan, Wyoming and I’m a District Manager there in Wyoming.

Anna:  Great, so a District Ambassador or Manager for the USA Pickleball Association?

Arlie:  I’m a District Ambassador. Right, right.

Anna:  Great. And what’s your, what is a District Ambassador, what is that?

Arlie:  We try to promote pickleball wherever people are playing. Go give clinics, teach pickleball at the YMCA in Sheridan and we’re getting up to about 60 members there in Sheridan right now.

Anna:  Great, and how long have you been an ambassador?

Arlie:  For a year.

Anna:  Great, so when you started, how many members did you have?

Arlie:  We had, like 15.

Anna:  That’s very impressive.

Arlie:  We’ve been doubling every year there, which is really neat. We’re getting more courts outside and we’re getting a dome built on a couple tennis courts so we could put eight pickleball courts on also, so.


Thank you, Arlie Johnson, for sharing with our readers that pickleball is growing in Sheridan, Wyoming.