Unlike tennis and badminton coaches who can easily be found in every high school, universities, parks, and country clubs, pickleball coaches are difficult to scout, especially one that fits your standards and preference for training.
In essence, a good pickleball coach is one who points out strategies not only limited to playing the sport itself but also on emphasizing the discipline and practice that comes with it. Here are some of the factors to consider in choosing the best and most suitable pickleball coach to improve your game…
Knowing What a Good Pickleball Coach Must Possess
Here are the aspects that you must take into consideration when picking your Pickleball coach.
- Qualifications and experiences
Even if being a good player does not automatically equate to being a good coach, one would still favor of having a coach with good grasp to the nature, history, and rules of the games in comparison to other coaches. Students tend to be partial to those coaches having at least a couple of years of experience of playing Pickleball. You would not choose someone as clueless as you. You would not want to start from scratch, would you?
Besides, finding a well-experienced coach will not be enough for a satisfactory training experience. One should also determine whether you will be working for an established pickleball coach or not. Having an established pickleball coach will mean that you can be secured with their training profession. You should conduct research about their previous students and athletes they have trained before. Subsequently, you need to determine if they duly endorse these coaches.
Tip: Look into their professional athlete history, if they do have one, is also a must. Determine if your prospect coaches have bagged national or international awards, and check how long they took to reach each category. Again, the qualifications might not assure their competence as a coach, but their experience as a player will somehow provide you a gist of their success and expertise on this rigorous racket sport.
- Geographical Location
Just as the trainee prefers to find a pickleball coach in closer proximity, some professional coaches prefer only to train their students within a limited geographical location. Stumbling upon a closer pickleball coach in your area could save you some extra cash from fare expenses in moving back and forth across the country. Think of all the effort, energy, and time that one would waste away during the travels. Additionally, some professional coaches might not be considerate enough to travel to train you.
In some circumstances, locations of convenient proximity for beginner players could provide a sense of familiarity. This familiarity will then help them understand and set their own skills on playing the Pickleball instead of worrying for other locations. Also, the closer you are with your coach, the easier it might for you to know and ask them about playing Pickleball.
- Sports Background
Having a racket sports background is not a requirement for an individual to coach pickleball. However, players and students still would prefer to have someone who knows the rules and general knowledge about playing the racket sport such that the payment will be reasonable to them. More so, some of those who have a background in Pickleball show different techniques in what they teach and what they show to their students.
An example of such techniques is locking one’s wrist upon hitting the ball to avoid future injuries, evidently a tip for coaches who have a background in Tennis. Another instance is those coaches who have table tennis and badminton backgrounds teaching the students to maintain the flexibility of their wrist in the strategies of their movements. Having a different experience than the rest, pickleball coaches can teach you different and pickleball-specific techniques and strategies. These coaching biases could affect how you build your method of playing.
- Coaching styles and Strategies
Incidentally, the racket sports background of a pickleball coach will be taught differently by each different coach. Some pickleball coaches teach the same techniques and methods to all of their students. They would generalize the assessment of skills and experience of their students, placing them all in equal footing. They are usually the type of coaches who would prefer a classroom setup. On the contrary, some coaches would choose not to provide one-on-one training sessions: they would instead choose to offer training sessions through lecture materials or online video clinics.
On the other hand, some coaches do prefer one-on-one training sessions. This is since they could assess their students’ individual skills, strengths, and limitations. They train students accordingly, taking into account their assessments the techniques, skills, and strategies they intend to instill.
- Charge and Expenses for training sessions
The affordability of the training rates of coaches should also be a necessary consideration in choosing a professional pickleball coach. One might find occasional free offers for short-term lessons, clinics, and training sessions across the State, but these are quite unusual and would probably only cover a few short sessions. Some people prefer to consider their friends and acquaintances who knew about the racket sport as a personal trainer; however, if they are not professional coaches, they could only do so much.
Most of the coaches also charge you depending on their level of expertise, years of experience, evaluations and ratings from former trainees, and their proximity to your location. These coaches would cost a lot, but you should be careful not to fall prey to extra expense. Be vigilant of their rates, and identify critical points you need to discuss with these types of coaches. Needless to say, coaches who charge this much could mean that they are as competent and skilled as they advertise themselves, just make sure they are telling the truth.
- Offers and Materials provided
Aside from the experiences and background, the deals or materials supplied every session are also essential factors to consider. Offers and deals such as one-on-one training are in demand for a more intensive and focused training experience. Others provide their tutorials in different formats such that with online video tutorials, lecture-based tutorials, and study guide books, and clinics.
An example of a pickleball coach who offers DVD-format Pickleball Clinics is Richard Movsessian, known to some as Coach Mo. He currently has 21 75-minute pickleball clinic instructional materials. These videos were designed to move from the beginner stage up to its advanced stage.
In assessing coaches through their deal offers and materials, one should take into account the totality of the whole experience: some might not have that many resources as the others, but this does not mean that they are less competent than the rest. It all rests on the quality, not the quantity, of the available materials to read, watch, and enjoy.
- Trainees’ feedbacks
Feedbacks and ratings for the pickleball coaches are also worth considering. Their former students and trainees will most probably tell you how they work and train their students, how progress is maintained during their practice sessions, and how their attitude reflects as a coach. Feedbacks also provide the demand to different pickleball coaches to pickleball community.
Like customer reviews on a product, knowing the excellent reputation and feedback about your chosen coach will give you more confidence and trust in his/her capabilities. On the other hand, reading criticisms and low ratings to other pickleball coaches might make you hesitant about selecting them.
Criticism must be read with the sharpest eyes, as some of these might just be speculation. Avoid reading too much into the criticisms and more into the veracity and candor of the feedback: just make sure they are reliable.
- Attitude Compatibility
Even with the established history of experience and knowledge of the coach, his/her compatibility with your work and training preference would still have to play a huge role. It is crucial that your coach’s approach matches up with your attitude. You will have difficulties in learning if you cannot move at the same pace as with your coach.
In working with aggressive and fast pickleball coaches, one should take into account their own enthusiasm, strength, and agility in doing specific training activities. The lessons and techniques taught by the coaches may not be effective for some in comparison with their other trainees.
Finding a Coach Nearby
Once you have determined the qualifications, it is now necessary to pinpoint where you should look for your coach. You can try doing these preliminaries:
- Ask around: Local players or friends would probably know someone who is willing to teach and coach Pickleball. This method would get you a Pickleball coach that is most likely of proximity and great convenience.
- Put up posters: Do the opposite of what coaches advertising themselves would do: paste posters indicating that you are looking for a coach. Make yourself known, and give our the necessary contact details to have them contact you. You can go far as to publishing on the classified ads section of your local newspaper.
- Visit the local sports complex (if there are any): Probably the best place to look for a coach is in a sports center nearby. Check to see if you can find players playing Pickleball, and try to ask them politely. You can even observe if someone is coaching them, and approach that person who is most probably their coach. If you can’t find any PIckleball matches, try asking the ones playing Badminton or Tennis, they might know some Pickleball coaches around.
Looking for a Pickleball Coach Online
While a good coach can be found through referrals or colleagues, one of the most convenient ways to look for one is through the internet. Nothing beats the ease of searching online at the comforts of your own abode.
Here are some great websites you can check:
- Coach Mo: http://pickleballcoach.com/
- Pickleball Guru: http://pickleballhelp.com/
- Third Shot Spots: https://www.thirdshotsports.com/coaches-3
- Pickleball Central: https://www.pickleballcentral.com/Pickleball_Coach_Instructor_s/210.htm
Some good coaches make themselves available on a lot of different websites so be sure to check them all out. Most sites do provide essential preliminaries and information regarding their qualifications so you can adequately determine who you want to pick. After narrowing them down to a few numbers, make sure to take note of their:
- Contact information
- Geographical Location
- Expertise and Skills
- Personality and Feedback
Once you have written them down, try to contact each coach and inquire about their availability, or make arrangements. Do not hesitate to ask them any inquiry about Pickleball coaching right away. These people would not have made their contact information available on these coaching websites if they were not expecting any prospective new trainees to teach.
Picking the Right Coach For You
This list is a sufficient guide for you to assess your preferences in choosing the right pickleball coach, and how to look for them. There have been numerous websites made by different pickleball coaches online to advertise their services. You may find their background, experience, location, training rates, offers, and contact information on their websites. If that’s not your cup of tea, a quick stroll around the neighborhood, and asking for referrals would do the tricks.
Remember, choosing the right pickleball coach primarily involves your preference and your utmost convenience. In the end, the ball is, and should always be, on your side of the court. It’s up to you how you would control the outcome, just make sure it’s one which will get you good points.