Are you a beginner looking to improve your pickleball game with lessons? Or are you an intermediate playing looking to drill with a pro to get to the next level?
This post will give you the details you need to find the lessons you need near you.
- 1. Ask your local pickleball Facebook group(s)
- 2. Ask local pickleball players
- 3. Research facilities in your area that have pickleball
- 4. Look up USAPA Ambassadors in your area
- 5. Make friends with an advanced player who could coach you
- Why take pickleball lessons?
- What type of lessons should you take?
1. Ask your local pickleball Facebook group(s)
This is the method I recommend the most for a number of reasons.
- Pickleball players tend to be very active in Facebook groups
- There’s likely a Facebook group for your local area (city, region, or both) with knowledgeable players in it
- Pickleball coaches who are looking to provide lessons tend to be active in local Facebook groups
- You can easily organize players in local Facebook groups that want to do group lessons with a coach
Local FB groups might be the one stop shop you need to find local lessons near you. Check there first!
2. Ask local pickleball players
If you play with recreational groups in your area, try asking participants if they know of any coaches who are offering lessons.
Many local players will be getting lessons themselves.
I’ve connected a ton of players in my area with coaches this way.
It’s also a great way to get to know other rec players and isolate out the ones who are also dedicated to developing their pickleball skills.
I have 6 players locally that all started playing near the same time, met each other at a local rec game, signed up for lessons together, and now play tournaments together.
3. Research facilities in your area that have pickleball
Pickleball is exploding in popularity and new facilities are opening popping up everywhere to offer pickleball play and lessons. Many existing facilities are adopting pickleball as well.
Check out your local YMCA, community centers, tennis centers, and county recreation department to see if they’re hosting lessons with local coaches.
After a few quick calls you might have all the information you need to set up lessons for yourself.
4. Look up USAPA Ambassadors in your area
Pickleball ambassadors are dedicated representatives that make themselves available to help players learn the game of pickleball.
These ambassadors are well versed in all aspects of the game and many have coached and given lessons before. They also tend to be very knowledgeable about workshops, clinics, and coaches in their local area.
If you want to see if there are ambassadors near you in your region, you can search here on USA Pickleball for pickleball ambassadors.
5. Make friends with an advanced player who could coach you
When playing recreational or competitive pickleball you’ll often run into players who are more advanced than you.
You don’t need to have a superstar coach to improve. If you’re a beginner, you can find a 4.0+ player in your group that can give you lessons for $20-$30/hr.
If you find a player that you click with and you’re confident that they know the game inside and out, consider asking them if they’d be available to give you lessons.
Why take pickleball lessons?
Any player looking to improve their game fast and efficiently should consider taking at least a few lessons.
Lessons help you:
- Learn the rules quicker
- Learn game strategy quicker
- Help you avoid developing bad habits
- Help you learn subtleties like the proper way to grip a paddle
- Discover your level of play and learn what is needed to improve and move up
You’ll improve much faster if you take one or more lessons a month. You’ll learn specifically what to work on and how to improve it on your own.
You can of course learn pickleball without lessons. Watching good YouTube tutorial videos and practicing them with a drilling partner is good enough for some people.
But it’s possible to learn some bad habits without realizing it when you only watch YouTube.
Direct feedback from a certified instructor is hard to match. A person that can watch your mechanics and physically move your arm to where it should be provides direct feedback and guidance that’s impossible to beat.
What type of lessons should you take?
Generally, you’ll find small group, clinic, and private lesson types available.
Each of them provide unique advantages.
My perfect mix is one group lesson a week, one private lesson a week and then 4-5 days of high-level rec play.
Private lessons typically provide the most targeted and beneficial support for improving your pickleball game.
With a private lesson, you have a coach that’s focused on you and tailoring their advice directly to where you need it most in your own development.
While private lessons will get you where you want to be quicker, they’re also the most expensive option.
If you want a bit more inexpensive option, you can do semi-private lessons with one or two other participants. This is cheaper than one-on-one lessons, but still gives you the benefit of having a coach focused on you with a lot of attention to detail.
Group coaching usually involves 7-9 players under the direction of one coach.
You won’t get as much focused attention from a coach with you do group lessons. But you will be getting the best value possible.
Group lessons tend to be much cheaper than private lessons due to everyone paying into the pool for the coaches time.
With a really good coach, small group lessons provide the perfect sweet spot in terms of focused attention, customized guidance, and price.
It’s important to note that group lessons are most effective when every participant is relatively aligned in their skill level. Things start to get a bit wonky when skill levels are too varied. And, unfortunately, some coaches will allow beginners to join into intermediate classes.
Pickleball clinics and camps provide large groups with structured, curated coaching.
Clinics usually have a pre-arranged agenda and provide less individual attention than private or group coaching.
This can work for some players, but for others, too much is thrown at you at once to absorb it all. I’ve talked to a number of players who expressed that they felt little improvement in their game after attending a clinic due to this.
Regardless, some clinics and camps are downright fun and totally worth it even if they don’t help your skill as much as a private or small-group lesson would.
If you love the idea of attending a big, well-produced pickleball clinic, and are willing to spend a bit more for it, then go for it!
I hope this post helps you find some quality pickleball lessons that will improve your game.
I’ve personally found that a mix between clinics and private lessons provides me with the perfect blend of enjoyment and improvement.
Be absolutely sure that the teacher you hire for lessons understands the game. It’s ideal for them to have an official rating so you can cross-reference their skill and not just take them on their word.
If they’re not competing in any tournaments and have no rating, you can’t be sure they know what they’re talking about. Playing with players that give bad advice and don’t really know what they’re doing at any level will bring down your game.
If you’ve taken pickleball lessons are are an instructor that gives lessons, please comment your experiences below! What’s your opinion on lesson format (i.e private lessons, small groups, large groups, clinics) and the effectiveness of each?
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