Bob Atherton, Courier Columnist

Courier Columnist Bob Atherton is a pickleball coach and the Northern Arizona District Ambassador for the United States Pickleball Association. He can be reached at or 928-499-2498.

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Atherton: How muscle memory makes a difference in pickleball

Paddle Up

Unlike many sports, people come to pickleball with very little sports background; and a lot of background, particularly in tennis.

Atherton: Youth pickleball tournament in July

Column: Paddle Up

The first-ever Free Prescott Youth Pickleball clinic and tournament for ages 10-17 will be held Mondays, July 9, 16, 23, and Wednesdays, July 11, 18, and 25 — weather permitting. This will include a free Round Robin Tournament from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 28. 

Atherton: Pickleball celebrates 53rd year of existence this April

Column: Paddle Up

April is National Pickleball Month. This marks the 53rd year since it was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island a short ferry ride from Seattle by Joel Pritchard and his friends, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum, the latter I had the pleasure to meet several years ago.

Atherton: A pickleball partner with nothing to do? Listen up

Column: Paddle Up

In doubles pickleball, the server in the game must serve the ball over the net crosscourt to the receiver and not the person’s partner or it is a fault by the rules. It looks a lot like tennis.

Column: Rules of pickleball can often confuse new players

'Paddle Up'

A pickleball in the air after it is hit is always good until it hits something or somebody. What matters is  how it is stuck and where it goes and what it strikes.

Column: Add pickleball to your list of New Year’s resolutions in 2018

'Paddle Up'

Since many people make a New Year’s resolution to lose some kind of weight, or at least begin exercising, pickleball may be a great way to jump start your year.

Column: Getting your legs out of first gear

'Paddle Up'

When I was a kid I had a 1936 Ford with a manual transmission. It had a really low first gear.

Column: The unsung heroes of pickleball

'Paddle Up'

There were about 250 pickleball players in the Prescott Quad City area in 2011 and by early 2017 some 2,500 players by my estimates.

Column: What’s the most embarrassing shot in pickleball?

'Paddle Up'

I’m willing to bet you may think the most embarrassing missed shot in pickleball is missing the serve.

Column: How to succeed against the banger ball

'Paddle Up'

I first heard the term “Banger Ball” from coach Prem Carnot, the pickleball Guru.

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