Mark Escandon and his 11-year-old son Mitch play a mean game of pickleball. Of course, Dad is always “teaching” Mitch better ways to play, but you can tell when they play that both are out to win! Mitch hasn’t won a game against his dad yet, but he is working his way up the ranks. His favorite opponent is Jeff, who is 19 years old and who is a good challenge for Mitch on the court. Jeff has been playing for 2 years and Mitch has been playing since he was 6 years old.
Tenth Anniversary Escandon Pickleball Invitational Tournament
Mark has been holding an annual tournament in his neighborhood for ten years. The court is set up in the cul-de-sac where he lives. They usually play doubles and 8-11 teams usually sign up. Neighbors, long-time friends from Everett and even an Escandon brother from Boise come to play. “The funnest part of the tournament”, Mark says, “is playing pickleball and drinking beer!” This year, some of the guys (yep, the wives don’t take part yet) who have played in all 10 tournaments received a special award: a PVC Pickleball “Player” trophy with paddle “faces”.
Mark started playing pickleball before High School. In high school he got serious about playing in his P.E. Classes. Mark has worked as an athletic trainer and has always been very competitive. He played in the local SeaTac Tournament 2 years ago and took 2nd Place! Mark enjoys teaching people how to play pickleball. He loves the small court and how anybody can play the game. He likes the social aspect of the sport and how it is a good activity for kids. Mark provides neighbors with paddles and setting up the net only takes 5 minutes! He makes the trophies for his tournament and this year he included pickleball T-shirts with the Escandon Invitational logo!
A Little Advice…
When asked what advice he would give to someone getting started in pickleball, Mark suggests: Find a place to play and just start hitting balls with people. To develop a technique, start at the no-volley line and play close to the net.