Become a Certified Pickleball Instructor in 5 Easy Steps

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Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world, with millions of players of all ages and skill levels. It is a fun, social, and healthy activity that anyone can enjoy. But what if you want to take your passion for pickleball to the next level and become a certified instructor?

You can share your passion with others and earn extra money by becoming a pickleball instructor. As an instructor, you’ll not only help others enhance their skills but also meet new people and make new friends. It’s a fun and rewarding way to share your love of the game with others.

In this blog post, We’ll discuss how to become a certified pickleball instructor with our guide. We’ll cover everything from the rules and skills of the game to finding a certification program that fits your needs. You’ll complete the process and get your credentials. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Learn the rules and skills of pickleball.

Before you can teach pickleball, you need to learn pickleball. If you are new to the game, you will need to familiarize yourself with the basic rules and skills of pickleball. You can find plenty of resources online, such as videos, articles, or podcasts, that will teach you how to play pickleball. You can also check out some books or magazines that cover the sport.

Another way to learn pickleball is to join a local club or group that offers lessons or clinics for beginners. You will get to practice with other players, learn from experienced coaches, and have fun at the same time. You can also ask for tips or feedback from more advanced players or instructors who can help you improve your game.

Some of the most essential rules and skills that you need to learn are:

  • How to serve: You need to hit the ball underhand from behind the baseline into the opposite diagonal service court. The ball must clear the net and land in the non-volley zone (also known as the kitchen), which is a 7-foot area on both sides of the net. You get two chances to serve per point unless it is a let (the ball touches the net but lands in the correct court), in which case you can serve again.
  • How to volley: You need to hit the ball in the air before it bounces on your side of the court. However, you cannot volley if you are standing in the non-volley zone or if you step into it while hitting the ball. You also cannot volley on the serve or on the return of the serve.
  • How to dink: You need to hit the ball softly over the net so that it lands in the non-volley zone of your opponent’s court. This is a strategic shot that forces your opponent to move forward and creates openings for you to hit a winner.

Step 2: Practice and improve your pickleball game.

Once you have learned the rules and skills of pickleball, you need to practice them regularly and improve your game. You can practice by yourself, with a partner, or with a group of players. The more you play, the more confident and comfortable you will become on the court.

Here are some tips on how to practice effectively:

  • Set goals: You should have specific and measurable goals that you want to achieve in your practice sessions. For example, you could aim to improve your accuracy, consistency, power, or strategy. You could also focus on one aspect of your game at a time, such as your serve, volley, or dink.
  • Challenge yourself: You should play with players who are at your level or slightly above it. This will help you test your skills, learn from your mistakes, and push yourself to improve. You should also try different styles of play, such as singles or doubles, offense or defense, or aggressive or passive.
  • Get feedback: To improve your game, it’s a good idea to get feedback from other players or coaches. They can give you constructive criticism and advice on how to get better. You can also record yourself playing and watch the videos later to analyze your strengths and weaknesses. By doing this, you can identify areas that need work and focus on improving them.

Here are some drills or exercises that you can use to improve your game:

  • Serve drill: You can practice your serve by aiming at different targets on the court, such as cones, buckets, or chalk marks. You can also vary the speed, spin, and placement of your serve.
  • Volley drill: You can practice your volley by hitting the ball against a wall or with a partner. You can also use a paddle or a racket with a smaller head size to improve your control and accuracy.
  • Dink drill: You can practice your dink by hitting the ball over a low net or a rope that is tied between two poles. You can also use a softer ball or a smaller paddle to improve your touch and finesse.

Step 3: Find a certification program that suits your needs.

After you have practiced and improved your pickleball game, you are ready to find a certification program that suits your needs. There are different options for pickleball certification programs, such as online courses, workshops, or exams. Each option has its own benefits and requirements, so you need to compare them and choose the one that is right for you.

Here are some of the most popular options for pickleball certifications :

  • Online courses: These are available for anyone to take at their own pace and convenience. These courses cover the theory and practice of teaching pickleball and typically include videos, quizzes, and assignments. There are three main online certification courses available:
    • The Professional Pickleball Registry (PPR) Online Certification Course
    • The International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association (IPTPA) Online Certification Course
    • The Pickleball Coaching International (PCI) Online Certification Course
  • Workshops: These are workshops that you can attend in person at a designated location and date. They usually last for one or two days and involve both classroom and on-court instruction from certified trainers. You will learn the fundamentals of teaching pickleball, such as lesson planning, communication, safety, and ethics. Some examples of workshops are the PPR On-Court Certification Workshop, the IPTPA On-Court Certification Workshop, and the PCI On-Court Certification Workshop.
  • Exams: These are exams that you can take online or in person to test your knowledge and skills in teaching pickleball. They usually consist of multiple-choice questions, written essays, and practical demonstrations. You will need to score a certain percentage or higher to pass the exam and get your certification. Some examples of exams are the PPR Online Exam, the IPTPA Online Exam, and the PCI Online Exam.

The benefits and requirements of each option vary depending on the organization that offers it. For example, some options may be more affordable, flexible, or accessible than others.

Some options may also require more time, effort, or experience than others. You should research each option carefully and compare their pros and cons before making your decision.

Step 4: Complete the certification process and get your credentials.

Once you find a certification program that fits your needs, you will need to complete the certification process to receive your credentials.

The process may vary depending on the program you choose, but usually involves the following steps:

  • Register: To become a certified pickleball instructor, you must complete a few steps. First, you need to register by filling out an application form and paying a fee. You may also need to provide additional documents, such as your resume or references.
  • Study: Once registered, you will need to study the materials and resources provided by the organization. This may include completing assignments or tasks as part of the program.
  • Test: After studying, you will need to demonstrate your knowledge and skills by taking an exam or attending a workshop. You may also be required to give a lesson or a presentation to a group of evaluators.
  • Pass: To pass the certification program, you will need to meet a certain percentage or higher on the exam or workshop. You may also need to meet other standards set by the organization.
  • Receive: You will receive your credentials after you have passed the exam or workshop. You will usually get a certificate or a badge that proves your qualification as a pickleball instructor. You may also get some other benefits or perks, such as access to online resources, discounts on products or services, or recognition on social media or websites.

Successful Pickleball Instructors

Some examples of successful pickleball instructors who have completed the certification process are:

  1. Sarah Ansboury: She is a PPR-certified instructor who has won several national and international titles in pickleball. She is also a coach, a blogger, and a speaker who shares her expertise and passion for pickleball with others.
  2. Mark Renneson: He is an IPTPA-certified instructor who has played pickleball at a high level for over a decade. He is also the founder and head coach of Third Shot Sports, a company that offers pickleball training and consulting services.
  3. Prem Carnot: He is a PCI-certified instructor who has been playing and teaching pickleball for over 20 years. He is also the author of Smart Pickleball: The Pickleball Guru’s Guide, a book that teaches players how to improve their game.

Step 5: Start teaching pickleball and grow your business.

Now that you have completed your certification, you are ready to start teaching pickleball and making a difference in the lives of your students. Teaching pickleball is not only fun and rewarding but also a great way to grow your business and income.

Here are some tips on how to find clients, market yourself, design effective lessons, and handle challenges or feedback.

Find Clients:

Finding clients as a pickleball instructor can be accomplished by networking with other players and instructors in your area. You can join local pickleball clubs, attend tournaments and events, and participate in online forums and groups.

Additionally, creating a website or social media page to showcase your credentials, testimonials, and services is a good idea. Another option is partnering with local organizations like schools, community centers, or senior centers that offer pickleball programs or facilities.

Marketing Yourself:

To stand out from the competition, you need to market yourself as a professional and reliable pickleball instructor. You can do this by creating a personal brand that reflects your personality, values, and teaching style.

You can also use various marketing tools, such as flyers, business cards, brochures, or newsletters, to promote your services and attract new clients. Additionally, you can offer discounts, referrals, or free trials to incentivize potential clients to sign up for your lessons.

Designing effective lessons:

As a certified pickleball instructor, it’s important to tailor your lessons to the specific needs, goals, and abilities of each student or group. Use a variety of teaching methods, like demonstrations, drills, games, feedback, and evaluations, to help your students learn and improve their pickleball skills.

Creating a positive and supportive learning environment can also make lessons fun and enjoyable for your students. Remember to keep your sentences short and simple, using everyday language and active voice to increase clarity.

Handling challenges or feedback:

Teaching pickleball can also come with some challenges and feedback that you need to handle professionally and constructively. For example, you may encounter difficult or dissatisfied students who may complain or give negative feedback about your lessons.

In such cases, you should listen to their concerns, empathize with their feelings, and try to resolve the issue in a respectful and polite manner. You should also be open to receiving constructive feedback from your students or peers on how to improve your teaching skills and performance.

Teaching pickleball is a rewarding career that allows you to share your passion for the sport with others. By following these tips, you can start teaching pickleball and grow your business successfully.


In this blog post, we have discussed the steps to become a certified pickleball instructor and the benefits of doing so. Becoming a certified pickleball instructor is a great way to enhance your credibility, skills, and knowledge as a pickleball player and teacher. It is also a great way to make a positive impact on the pickleball community and to earn money doing what you love.

If you are interested in becoming a certified pickleball instructor, we encourage you to take action and start your journey today. You can visit the website of the Professional Pickleball Registry (PPR) or the International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association (IPTPA) to learn more about their certification programs and requirements.

If you have any questions or comments about the post, please feel free to leave them below. And please share it with your friends who may also be interested in becoming certified pickleball instructors.

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