Chris “Mills” Miller is a Pacific Northwest original – a pickleball pro who takes this game to a whole new level. Chris is a 6X USAPA Nationals Champion, 3X Canadian Nationals Champion and 6X Grand Canyon State Games Champion. You can see that he is well known in the pickleball community because of his SERIOUS list of wins. Enjoy!
Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?
2010 Men’s Open Singles USA National Champion
2017 Lakes Spring Fling, Men’s Open Doubles with Tyler Loong – Bronze
2017 Brigham City Memorial, Men’s Open Doubles with Tyler Loong – Bronze
2017 Bend Oregon, Men’s Open Doubles with Tyler Loong – Bronze
2017 Spanish Open, Madrid, Men’s Open Doubles with Tyler Wren – Bronze
2017 President’s Cup, Simi Valley, Men’s Open Doubles with Callan Dawson – Silver
2017 ATLPBA, Atlanta, Men’s Open Doubles with Henry Winarto – Bronze
2017 Intl Indoor Championship, Chehalis, WA, Men’s Open Doubles with Rob Cassidy – Gold
2017 Champion Fall Brawl Men’s Open Doubles with Tyler Loong – Silver
2017 Champion Fall Brawl Mixed Open Doubles with Cammy MacGregor
2016 Fall Brawl, Men’s Doubles OPEN with Morgan Evans
Open Men’s Doubles Skill Groups 5.0: Doubles Partner: Medal:
2014 Nationals Open: Matt Staub SILVER
2014 Nationals 35+ Matthew Blom SILVER
2014 Grand Canyon State Games: Steve Wong GOLD
2014 (May) SeaTac: Lavon Major GOLD
2014 Southern Utah Pickleball Shootout: Randy (Bubba) Zbinden GOLD
2014 Brigham City Memorial Tournament: Wesley Gabrielsen GOLD
2014 SoCal Summer Classic Melba Bishop: Wesley Gabrielsen GOLD
2014 SoCal Summer Classic Melba Bishop 19+ Brian Ashworth GOLD
2014 State Games of Oregon: Glenn Griffin GOLD
2014 Tournament of Champions: Lavon Major BRONZE
2014 Pickle Barrel Classic: Brian Ashworth GOLD
2013 Pickle Barrel Classic: Billy Jacobsen GOLD
2013 (May) SeaTac: Lavon Major GOLD
2013 & 2012 Nationals Mixed 35+ Jenifer Lucore GOLD
2012, 2013, 2014, Grand Canyon State Games: Steve Wong GOLD
2013 & 2015 Grand Canyon State Games Mixed: Jenifer Lucore GOLD
2011 Singles USA Nationals Open Mills SILVER
2009 Singles USA Nationals Open Mills SILVER
What paddle do you play with and why?
I Play with mostly with the old style Paddletek TEMPEST paddle. I like the newer Paddletek Tempest Wave, but I have more soft control for the dinking when I need it with the original Tempest, especially in the mornings with chillier weather!
When I need more pop, I like the Paddletek Bantam TS-5. I also like the Paddletek Bantam EX-L for the control it gives me. It has good pop and pace. Sometimes I use all 3 paddles in a match.
These paddles have the right combination of touch and power that I need, and they feel good in my hand.
What’s your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?
I learned to play indoors with the outdoor ball in High School, and then got really serious about playing pickleball at Green River Community College in Auburn, WA. I would skip classes and play for hours! Then I started playing in USAPA tournaments. I was introduced to playing with the Cosom ball and re-trained my game for more touch!
What’s your preference – playing indoor or outdoor?
I prefer Outdoors first, and with no wind…………………. Oh wait, I love indoors!
Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?
I really like playing singles the best……with the “Two men enter, One man leaves” mentality. There’s something about hitting passing shots for the win that is second to nothing. But playing doubles now has become more my passion! The best thing about doubles is getting to share a tournament gold with my partner! Priceless!
What’s your favorite place to play? Why?
My favorite place to play might have to be the new Pickleball Station in Kent, WA. They have 4 new indoor courts on an outdoor surface. It’s an amazing place to play. Scootie Brown Park outdoor court here in Auburn, WA is great for outdoors play. I would usually meet up with Billy Jacobsen there, practicing singles and drilling. Out of state, Utah has some nice courts and of course, I love playing over in Kyle Kline’s back yard! There are not many courts to choose from in Washington State. Such a shame, considering it was folks in Washington State who invented the game!
What’s your ”secret sauce”? Any tips for players?
Secret Sauce?? Scream!! My tips?? PUSH YOURSELF & DTRT (Do The Right Thing)
What’s your day job?
I am a High School PE Teacher.
How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?
Right now I’m playing about 10 hours a week….. I want to play more and take advantage of this great weather we’ve been having. I just try to make time whenever I can…..sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t.
Do you have any pickleball goals you’d like to share?
I would like to just keep improving my game, just keep my body healthy!
Anything else you’d like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?
Being involved with pickleball for me has been some of my best life experiences.
My favorite part of playing pickleball would be the traveling for tournaments and experiencing new places, new players and new friends! Going to Madrid Spain this year was so much fun, helping showcase pickleball over there with great players and friends. Being sponsored by Paddletek helped me make that happen. It was such a great experience! My advice would be to anyone who was thinking about playing pickleball, you should definitely start now.
Thank you, Chris, for sharing some of your pickleball story with our readers! You are one of our favorite pickleball pros!