Ideas, resources, and a demo for getting started with teaching pickleball at your elementary, middle, or high school (even without a pickleball court)
Table of Contents
USA Pickleball – Youth Provider Program website
- $35 year
- Youth Pickleball Playbook and Activity Cards
- Twenty Activity Plans for ages 8 to 18
- Access to Discounted, Multi-Player Equipment Packs
- Free Access to Youth Pickleball Video Series
Teachers Pay Teachers website
- free to $25
- 160+ offerings [search for “pickleball”]
- 5 Fresh Ideas to Bring on Spring (Hint- One is Pickleball!) | Teaching Channel
- Back to School- The Push for Pickleball in P.E. | TrackitHub Blog
- Pickleball in Elementary School for Physical and Social Well-Being | Edutopia
- Pickleball Teaching Tips and Strategies | Gopher PE Blog
Pickleball began in 1965 (i.e., 58 years ago)
Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) Topline Participation Report– February 2023
- Pickleball participation almost doubled in 2022, increasing by 85.7 percent year-over-year and by an astonishing 158.6 percent over three years.
- Total pickleball participants were 8.95 million, below tennis, at 23.6 million, in the racquet sports category, and table tennis, 15.6 million. Tennis was a winner stemming from the pandemic, adding another 4.3 percent in participants in 2022, and has expanded participation by 33.4 percent since 2019.
Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP) Pickleball Participation Report– January 2023
- 36.5 million accounts for players that have played at least once between August 2021 and August 2022 (14% of Americans 18+)
- 8.5 million of those players hit the court more than eight times in that same period
- 45% of the 36.5 million total players saying they plan to play pickleball more often in the next six months than the previous six-month period.
Major League Pickleball 40 by 30 Project – October 2022
- Announced goal: 40 Million People Playing Pickleball by 2030
- 40 million seemed far-fetched when announced. However, by August 2022, 36.5 million Americans had already played pickleball at least once, 17.3 million intended to play more often than previously, and at least 8.5 million were core players.
Easy to learn
- Familiar rules: get the ball over the net, serve cross-court, zero or one bounce allowed.
- Simple scoring: 1, 2, 3, …, 11, win by 2
- Pickleball court (44’x22′) | Tennis court (78’27’) | Basketball court (94’x50′)
- OK: Roughly 1/4 the size of a tennis court, so four pickleball courts can fit on one tennis court
- Better: 6 pickleball courts on two tennis courts
- [Note: Well-selected shadow lines are crucial for court sharing!]
- serve, return, rally
- ground stroke, volley
- underhand, overhead
Wide age range and multi-gender friendly
- upper elementary through 80+ year-olds
- three generations on one court (children, parents, grandparents)
- lifetime sport (not just during one’s prime)
- Bill Gates has been playing for over 50 years.
- Alice “Jo” Hancock is USA Pickleball member 001 (of 71+K members).
- multi skill-level friendly
- (Note: Players 18-34 comprise the largest percentage of pickleball players – 29% nationwide.)
- Net: $150 – $175
- Paddle: $50 – $150
- Ball: $2
Total body workout
- High-Intensity Interval Training
- Especially: agility, balance, and coordination
Seems to bring out the best in people
- close physical proximity, call your own lines
- lots of mixing with others in successive games (i.e., less Us vs. Them)
- strategic play can counter more athletic challengers
- social interaction leads to camaraderie & friendship
Since 14% of Americans 18+ have played pickleball in 2022, it follows that 86% have not.
Shortage of courts
Not an olympic sport (yet)
Not an intercollegiate sport
- No college tuition waivers (unlike tennis, track, football, baseball, et al)
- Little college fan history (unlike tennis, track, football, baseball, et al)
Injuries of people long not active
Incumbents vs. upstarts
- Pickleball vs. racketball (Forbes), yada, yada
- Pickleball Sound Mitigation (FaceBook)
- Ironically the loudest sound is from people’s voices, not paddles/balls