Rachel Simon, a New York Times writer, pickleball enthusiast and author of the new book “Pickleball For All,” offers her thoughts on what clubs can do to introduce pickleball to its members.
Clubs that want to introduce pickleball to their members can do so in a number of ways. One popular option is to bring in a pickleball coach who can teach members the rules of the game and even set up simple tournaments for players to compete against each other once they’ve mastered the basics. Club officials can find coaches by looking at sites like PickleballTeachers.com or PickleballCentral.com, where tons of coaches list their locations, rates, and availability. Many of these coaches offer both individual and group training programs, ideal for clubs with numerous members who may be interested in picking up the sport.
Clubs can also introduce pickleball by having members watch online tutorials, many of which are available to all (sometimes with a fee) through programs like CoachME Pickleball, The Pickleball Guru, and LevelUp Pickleball. Club members can watch these tutorials together and then start practicing, either in dedicated pickleball courts or, if those aren’t available, in tennis courts altered to fit the pickleball dimensions.
Equipment ideal for beginners (and fairly inexpensive) can be purchased online from numerous shops, ranging from major retailers like Amazon and Target to pickleball-centric shops like Pickleball Galaxy and Pickleball Central. Once club members have gained a basic understanding of the game and have equipment in hand, they can have a great time playing games and getting into the hang of things. Any club members who’ve had previous pickleball experience will be especially helpful to have on hand, of course, so that they can provide advice to beginner players and help correct form. But even if everyone in the club is a newcomer to pickleball, they all can have a blast regardless and take to the game quickly, because pickleball is quite easy to pick up regardless of previous experience, sports background, age, or athletic ability.