As community centres, athletic clubs and local schools look to jump on the pickleball bandwagon, more and more people are providing organized instruction for new players. Here’s a quick guide as to how you can spend the first 20 minutes in a way that is safe, fun and effective.
Jail: Stand on one end of the court and have the kids line up at one of the doubles sidelines on the other side of the court. Have the first kid come out and then have a rally with the kid. If the kid loses the rally he/she will have to stand at the another doubles sideline and is now "In jail", if the kid wins the rally they can pick someone out of jail to go back in line and they will also go to the back of the line and recieve a point for winning the rally. The game ends when the kids have required a certain amount of points or when all the kids are in jail. You can also play with the rule that when you turn your back inbetween rallies, the kids in jail can run to the other sideline and whoever hasn't reached the sideline when you turn back around and say "freeze" has to stop and you hit one ball at each of the kids who didn't make it with them not being allowed to move. If you hit them they're back in jail, if you miss them they go to the back of the line.
Forehand Knockout: Have the kids line up at the baseline on the other side of the court. Feed a ball to the forehand of the first kid in line. If he/she hits it in he/she can return to the back of the line. If he/she misses or hits it out he/she must drop their racquet and go down to your side for catching(One hand on full or one hand one bounce). If you catch the shot someone makes then you return to the line with your racquet and they come down for catching. The game ends where there is only one person left in line.
ZooBall: Split the kids into two teams, half go to one side and half go to the other. Feed a ball to anyone on the court. The kids must now play out the point and whoever loses the point loses a live. Each kid has three lives(two with their racquet, one with their hands). Once they lose these lives they are out. The team that all their players get out first loses.
Crosscourters vs Baseliners: This game is good for learning to change direction of the ball. Have 2 kids on the baseline on each side of the court in adoubles position with no one at the net. The kids on one side of the court must hit their shots down the line and the kids on the other side of the court must hit their shots crosscourt. Feed a ball to anyone on the court and they will then play out the point hitting in their required direction. When someone loses the point they must go off the court and a kid in line fills they position.
Foursquare: Have the kids in the same positions as the Baseliners vs Crosscourters game and the rest in line. The two kids on one side are KIng and Queen. The two players on the other side are Jack and Duns. Feed the ball to the Duns and the kids then play out the point. Whoever loses the point must go to the back of the line. The remainders on the court that had a lower position that the person then move up a spot. Queen to King. Jack to Queen. Duns to Jack. Person in front of line to Duns. The same as a foursquare game. If you win a point when you are king you recieve a "kingcard". Whoever has the most kingcards at the end of the game wins.
Golffis: a fun little game where its a combination between tennis and golf. Teaches kids to have a bit of hand/eye coordination and hitting successfully with a small surface area. Line the kids up next to the fence spacing themselves around 3-4 feet between each other. Have the kid hold the racquet with the handle sticking out and put the ball on the ground (like in golf). The kids must hit this ball in a straight line down to the net.
Little Warrior: A game for training the rally. Best with a singles approach. Have kids line up on each side (skill balanced). The kid must feed the ball and the other return it successfully one time before starting the count. Have everyone count out loud each stroke (yell out ONE, TWO, THREE). Everyone gets to play. In the end, the kid with the highest rally number doesn't have to pick up the balls and the rest does.
IYAMAPRO: named funny, but great results in accuracy. Short for "I am a pro". Great for accuracy. Set up 5 small cones on a certain corner of the court, spacing the cones 2-3 feet between each other. You feed from the other corner (closer to the net). Feed the ball 6 times. Kids line up and hit individually. The kid that hits the most cones doesn't have to pick up balls in the end.
NetMasters: sounds like volleying, but isn't. This is a baseline game. This is a drill game for more advanced students. Purpose is net clearance. Have kids line up in two lines, hitting one at a time. Anyone who hits into the net is out, anyone who hits out of the court is out. Rotate after one hit. Last kids standing after your ball basket is half empty only has to pick up one racquet full of balls. The rest picks up everything else. Your tip is to "have 1-2 foot of net clearance every hit"
Nothing But Forehands Having quick feet is crucial in tennis. The nothing-but-forehands drill helps your player improve her movement by requiring her to hit only forehands. Have your player stand at the baseline on one side while you stand on the other side of the court. Set up two cones on your side, deep in the back corners. Feed your player several balls, some of which are easy forehands and some of which go toward her backhand. Your player must move her feet quickly to run around any backhands and hit a forehand. Have her direct her shots toward one of the cones. After a set number of feeds, repeat the drill with another player.
King and Queen of the Court This is a classic drill that gets your players' competitive juices flowing. Designate one of your players the first king or queen. This person stands on the baseline on one side of the court while everyone else acts as a challenger and stands on the opposite side of the court. The first challenger steps up to the baseline and puts the ball into play. Depending on his or her skill level, he or she may serve or drop hit. Players play out a singles point and if the challenger wins the point, he or she becomes the new king or queen. The next challenger tries to become the new king or queen and so on. If your players are having a hard time starting the point, you can feed the ball to start the point.
Short Court Drill Use only the four service boxes for this one-on-one drill. This drill helps players develop feel and touch for the ball while working on their movement and ball direction. Have your players start by standing diagonally across the net from each other, behind their right service box. Designate one player as the cross-court player and the other as the down-the-line player. The cross-court player starts by bouncing the ball, hitting it diagonally over the net into the box in front of the down-the-line player and then starts moving toward the left. The down-the-line player hits and directs the ball straight ahead and then starts moving toward the left. The cross-court player hits the ball diagonally across the net and starts moving toward the right. Then, the down-the-line player hits the ball straight ahead and then moves toward the right. Players continue to hit and move while directing the ball accordingly. After five minutes, have players reverse roles.
Credit to aricle on https://www.livestrong.com/article/472336-free-high-school-tennis-drills/
Warm Ups, Cool Downs, Skills and Games
Files from http://iptpa.com/iptpa-skill-assessments/
There are many different theories and methods for teaching beginners the game of pickleball. Many clubs offer beginner lessons and skills clinics. More and more players and professionals are offering their knowledge for a fee, every one sharing a different philosophy.
I too have my own philosophy on how best to teach beginners and I’ve created a simple curriculum to start with the basics. We are using this plan at Toledo Pickleball Club (Ohio) on Monday nights in our Beginner/Novice Training sessions, and I’d like to share that plan with you.
First, lets define WHO should be attending these sessions.
My philosophy of teaching is that you have to start beginners at the beginning, and teach the very basics first. The progression of adding skills in the order they are needed in a game situation will best prepare them to learn how to play the game.
We begin our sessions with a few words about safety (proper footwear, balls entering the court, running backwards, etc), and point out the court lines (sideline, baseline, center line, NVZ line). We mention the importance of warming up, however we don’t teach warm up drills at this session. Anyone interested in learning a few of those are welcome to come to us afterwards for that.
Step 1 – THE SERVE
A game can’t start without a good serve, so we start by teaching how to serve.
Step 2 – RETURN OF SERVE
A game of pickleball progresses with the return of serve, so it makes sense that this would be the next step in the learning process.
Explain to your students:
Next, we want to continue the progression of a rally by allowing the players to hit a third shot. Therefore, it is time to explain the two bounce rule. Players already have learned that they must let the ball bounce before returning a serve. Simply add that they also have to let the ball bounce before they hit the third shot.
By now, your beginners have learned how to start a game (serve) and proceed with a rally. There’s still lots to learn, but that’s enough time for a first lesson.
Although we discussed court position, as they are having fun rallying after the third shot, I begin to casually share some court position advice. For example, I will tell the non-receiving player to come to the kitchen line when their partner is the service receiver. After a rally or two, I will stop them and ask if they realize why I have put them in that position? Sometimes they have already figured out that they don’t have to let the ball bounce by the time it comes to them because the two bounce rule will already have been fulfilled. Often you can see the light bulb go on in their heads, as it starts to make sense! That’s when we know our beginning lessons have been successful.
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