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What to look for in a pickleball coach  — the top 7 traits

April 24th, 2024 | 2 min. read

By Jen Azevedo

Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the US — and for good reason. It is fun, easy to learn, and accessible to people of all ages and abilities. 

Although you can pick up the game by playing with friends, training with a coach will help you develop safe technique, improve your skills faster, and learn the rules of pickleball.

Like any new hip activity, people are coming out of the woodwork, calling themselves professionals. Hiring a coach is not a cheap endeavor, and you deserve the best. That means finding someone knowledgeable and experienced in the game and teaching.

The Paseo Club is a social club in the Santa Clarita Valley with a comprehensive pickleball program. We consulted with Pickleball Director Tyler Shaffer so we can help you find a great coach for you.

comp_IMG_3819-minThe Top 7 traits to look for in a pickleball coach

1. Certified

Several organizations provide certification for becoming a pickleball coach certification, including the Professional Pickleball Registry (PPR), Pickleball Coaching International (PCI), The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA), Inc., and the International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association (IPTPA). These training programs often cover in-person training, a written exam, and mentorship by a certified coach. They also offer more advanced training, so when you inquire about certification, ask what level of training your coach completed. 

2. Personable

A pickleball coach should be warm, friendly, and a pleasure to be around. While they instruct and correct your form, you should enjoy their company and have a great lesson. 

comp_IMG_3857-min3. Affordable fees 

Hiring a personal instructor is not free. Pricing varies according to the instructor, their experience, how long the private lesson is, and if you buy the lessons individually or as a package. Shop around and inquire about pricing to see what coach's fees are within your budget. Pro tip — a more expensive coach is not always a better coach. 

4. Results Oriented

A good pickleball coach will build each lesson on the ones prior so you have a consistent progression of skill development. This will help you become a stronger player faster than practicing solo or with friends. It can also prepare you for competitive play if you want to sign up for tournaments.

pickleball_classic_IMG-70435. Available schedule

There is nothing more frustrating than finding a coach you love and discovering they are never available. Some coaches may be worth getting on a waitlist for, but generally, you want to find a coach with consistent teaching slots during the times of the week you are free. If your coach is in high demand, you may want to book a few sessions at a time to make sure you can receive lessons consistently.

6. Experienced instructor

Finding a certified instructor ensures you work with someone who has completed a training program. But it does not indicate how many years of playing and teaching pickleball they have under their belt. Look for someone who has played the game and taught for many years. Remember, just because a person plays (or played) competitively does not mean they are a good instructor. An experienced instructor will possess a thorough understanding of anatomy, physiology, and exercise science and apply this knowledge to develop safe and effective training programs for students of all levels.  

7. Good communication skills

Communication skills are the foundation for creating rapport with clients and developing a sense of connection. This may seem like an obvious attribute, but not all coaches communicate well. Select a coach who can articulate instructions, explain exercises, and give constructive feedback clearly.  

comp_Colton in the kitchen (2)-minFinding the right pickleball coach for you

Once you have decided to hire a pickleball coach, meet with more than one teacher.  You can attend their drills, semi-private classes, or private lessons to learn more about their teaching style. This experience allows you to compare approaches, which is a good place to start. 

The Paseo Club has eight acres of fitness and social facilities. From pickleball to weightlifting and swimming to lounging at the cafe, there is something for everyone at the Paseo Club.

If you'd like to learn more about our pickleball program, then you can go ahead and schedule a tour of the club. You can see the courts and meet instructors and members. We have drills, private lessons, tournaments, and social events to enjoy. The Paseo Club is the place in the Santa Clarita Valley for you and your family to exercise, socialize, and relax. 

Schedule a Tour

Jen Azevedo

Jen Azevedo is a tennis professional, pickleball professional, personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and the general manager of the Paseo Club. She loves the community at the Paseo Club and that it is also a safe and fun place for her daughter. Jen’s favorite activities are joining her tribe for trail races or her partners for tennis matches. Occasionally Jen slows down to relax with a book — she reads over 100 a year!