A Winning Strategy for Scoring the Perfect Pickleball Coach

Michael Jordan had Phil Jackson. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick went to nine Super Bowls, winning six. These players and coaches were outstanding in their own right, but it took these player-coach partnerships to create legend-forming magic. Will you and your pickleball coach be the next history-making duo?

Even if your pickleball goals are more modest, the same principle holds: you need to find a coach that fits your personality and playing style to get the best results. You don’t just need a great coach; you need the right coach for you. In this guide, we’ll delve into finding the perfect pickleball coach. Get ready to embark on the quest for your pickleball soulmate.

Assess Your Skill Level

Take a moment to assess your current skill level. Most coaches will have a particular focus. If you’ve never picked up a pickleball paddle, you don’t want to work with someone who focuses on how to become a professional pickleball player. Likewise, if you are a skilled player looking to hone a few critical skills, you will get little out of a coach who focuses on introducing new players to the game.

Knowing where you stand on the skill spectrum will guide you toward a coach capable of tailoring lessons to meet your needs. Assess your skill level and ask potential coaches whether they specialize in a particular area of the skill spectrum. Make sure you fit into their target area.

Define Your Goals

What are you hoping to achieve through pickleball coaching? Sorry, but “Get better at pickleball” isn’t a sufficient answer. To find the right coach, you need to define what you want to achieve. Whether it’s refining your serve, mastering the art of volleys, or enhancing your overall strategic gameplay, having clear and defined goals will be the north star in your coach selection process. A great coach is not just someone who knows the game; they are someone who can align their teaching style with your game and aspirations.

Look for Certifications

While pickleball may have an air of casual fun, coaching is a serious business. Seek out coaches with proper accreditation and certifications.

There are several certifications and certifying bodies for pickleball coaches. It matters less which organization a potential coach works with and more that they’ve been certified. That shows they are committed to ongoing education and have met minimum standards set out by a respected organization. Anyone can call themselves a pickleball coach. A formal certification means your coach has been trained and vetted.

Organizations such as the Professional Pickleball Registry (PPR), Pickleball Coaching International (PCI), and the International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association (IPTPA) ensure that coaches meet stringent standards. Opting for a certified coach guarantees you’re placing your paddle in capable hands.

That’s not to say there aren’t knowledgeable, skilled coaches who haven’t put in the time and expense of being certified. But if you are looking for a way to narrow your choices or a registry to get you started on your search, these certifying bodies are a great place to start.

Ask for Recommendations

Word of mouth is a powerful ally in the quest for the perfect pickleball coach. Reach out to fellow pickleball enthusiasts in your local community and look online for recommendations. Whether through a local pickleball club or an engaging online group, people are usually more than happy to share their positive experiences with coaches.

Personal recommendations can be invaluable in finding a coach who knows their stuff and forges meaningful connections with their students. Because pickleball culture values creating community and encouraging fellow picklers, other players are a great source of information about instructors. Most people will happily share their thoughts on coaches they know.

Check Reviews and Testimonials

Reviews and testimonials can provide valuable insights into a coach’s reputation, style, and skill level. Explore online platforms, coaching websites, and even social media pages for feedback from past and current students. A coach with a trail of satisfied players is likely a good match for your pickleball journey.

Consider Compatibility

When scouting for a coach, pay close attention to their coaching style and personality. The best coach for someone else might be uncomfortable, annoying, or frustrating for you.

We all learn differently. You need a pickleball coach that teaches the way you learn. Finding someone you don’t mind spending an hour or two, or more, with each week is also critical.

Do you prefer a laid-back, easygoing coach, or are you motivated by someone intense and competitive? Do you need someone gentle or a coach who gives feedback directly and without sugar-coating? Finding a coach whose style aligns with your personality can transform the learning process from a routine drill to an enjoyable and effective experience.

As you speak with potential coaches, try to get a sense of their personality. You can also ask them directly how they’d summarize their coaching style. Compatibility is critical to the success of your player-coach relationship.

Use Trial Sessions

Before committing to a long-term coaching arrangement, consider attending trial sessions with potential coaches. This hands-on approach allows you to experience their teaching style, communication skills, and overall coaching vibe. Think of it as a pickleball first date – you’ll quickly discern if there’s chemistry or if it’s time to swipe left and continue your quest for the perfect coach.

You may have to pay for a trial session. The coach needs to be compensated for their time. That’s fine. But don’t commit to a package of 20 sessions or a six-month training program until you’ve hit the court together at least once to be sure your coach is a good fit.

The Right Coach

Whether you’re a seasoned pickler or just stepping into the game, having the right coach by your side can make all the difference. Your coach can transform your game but only if you find one that is a good fit. Using the tips in this guide, you’re bound to find a coach who knows how to conquer the court and makes the learning process enjoyable and fulfilling. Grab your paddle. Put on your game face and your pickleball shoes. Get ready to find the pickleball coach who will be a mentor and a companion in your journey to pickleball mastery.


A Winning Strategy for Scoring the Perfect Pickleball Coach