Senior pickleball players teach the game to beginners

Karrigan Monk
Black Mountain News
Bill and Doris Abramson enjoy playing pickleball and and teaching beginners at Creekside Racquet Club in Black Mountain.

A pair of pickleball players at Creekside Racquet Club have impressed coach Russell Elefterion. 

Doris and Bill Abramson, aged 78 and 86, respectively, have been playing pickleball for less than five years, but they have already moved on to teaching beginners at the club. 

Doris said she and Bill were introduced to the sport by their friends while in Florida. 

"It's the first sport that I've ever been able to participate in where I can play well enough so that somebody else is willing to play with me," Doris said. "I've always been a klutz, the last one to be picked for any team in school."

Elefterion has been the pro at Creekside Racquet Club for the last four and a half years and said the Abramsons are a great asset to the club. 

The club has eight indoor courts and more than 100 members. Beginners are taught every Tuesday and Thursday mornings for free and can play at the club for free five days a week for a month. 

"They're not only playing, but they're teaching now," Elefterion said of the Abramsons. "Bill and Doris are there in the morning, helping them out and teaching them the rules."

Pickleball is a sport that is a crossover between tennis, badminton and ping pong, according to Doris. It is played on a smaller court than tennis with a smaller racquet and a wiffle ball. 

"So you don't get hurt if you get hit with it," Doris said. 

Doris said she likes teaching because it is important for everyone to know all players started out where they are now. 

"I like playing with the beginners because I like being supportive," Doris said. "It's a less intense game, and I try to be encouraging. I make sure each time we play that they remember that this is a game and they're supposed to be having fun and that every single one of the players that they see, no matter how advanced they are, all started as a beginner just like them, so they should not feel disadvantaged."

While she said she may not be the best at the sport, she still enjoys herself. 

"I'm not Serena Williams, don't get me wrong," Doris said. "But I can play well enough to have fun."

Elefterion said the couple are a joy to have around. 

"They're just sweet and happy people," Elefterion said. "They just love to have fun and they're living life to the fullest."