Sponsored by Brown & Brown Insurance Company and with contributions by Tom and Suzanne Walters, Pictona Junior Pickleball is our youth development program which seeks to advance pickleball for young people by encouraging and improving instruction and facilitating opportunities for them to play. Pictona Junior Pickleball involves the following initiatives:
Pictona is grateful to PB Pro professional pickleball brand for their donation of 50 PB Pro Tour Widebody Ultra Lite paddles to be used in our Junior Program. PB Pro owner Simona Galik Moore, a former WTA professional player who fell in love with the sport of pickleball states:
“We are excited to support the growth of youth pickleball at Pictona. Our youth paddles were specifically designed to give young players great feel, easy maneuverability and sufficient power.”
Here is more information on these activities.
Teaching Pickleball to Juniors
Pickleball First Steps, developed by Lu Kandt and Mary Burns, is a comprehensive curriculum to teach the sport of pickleball to young people in grades 4 through 8 (ages 8-14). It is for use by physical education teachers and pickleball instructors teaching in a variety of settings. If you are a physical education teacher, you’ll find Pickleball First Steps easy to incorporate into your curriculum, and if you are a pickleball instructor, Pickleball First Steps will help you adapt your teaching methods to be developmentally appropriate for children.
Pickleball First Steps is a 10-lesson curriculum that schools and clubs can use to introduce, grow, and sustain the sport of pickleball. Besides using the curriculum in teaching local juniors, we offer the curriculum to physical educators and pickleball instructors to help them teach the sport to young people. Pickleball First Steps is endorsed and used by the International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association.
The lesson plans are based on learning the skills of pickleball starting from the “net” back. Doing so allows for immediate student engagement and success. The lessons are in sequential order which allows each instructor the liberty of moving at the pace dictated by his or her students. If a lesson is completed and class time allows for more instruction, the start of the next lesson can be implemented.
Pickleball First Steps for grades 4 through 8 is available as an ebook through Human Kinetics (insert link to publication at HK). The 100+ page publication sells for $20 and is easy to download. For physical educators and pickleball instructors who benefit from continuing education credits, Pickleball First Steps comes with a certification examination.
Pickleball First Steps is endorsed by the International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association (IPTPA), a leader in preparing instructors to teach this lifetime sport. IPTPA is launching a National Junior Development Program. One segment of the program is a series of workshops for those wishing to get certified to teach pickleball to juniors.
If you are a physical educator and have not played pickleball, find a place to play so you are familiar with the sport. It will help you be a better teacher of the sport. If you are a pickleball instructor who has played lots of pickleball, you will appreciate the experience of our authors who are veteran physical education teachers and highly skilled pickleball players in how they introduce the sport to young people.
Pickleball First Steps for Teens is being developed as a curriculum for 9th to 12th graders, adapting Pickleball First Steps for developmentally advanced young people. Our goal is to help teens have a positive experience learning the sport so they will want to continue to play, and play, and play in order to gain the benefits of this wonderful lifetime sport. This publication is under development now.
Classes and Courses for Juniors
Junior Pickleball 101. This is an introductory class for 6- to 8-year-olds to acquaint them with the sport of pickleball. It is free and consists of 60 minutes of instruction and play. Pictona provides the equipment. For upcoming dates please check the Pictona Events Calendar here. To register call the Welcome Desk at 386-310-7067.
Junior Pickleball 102. This free introductory class is for 9- to 12-year-olds to introduce them to the sport of pickleball. For upcoming dates please check the Pictona Events Calendar here. To register call the Welcome Desk at 386-310-7067.
Junior Pickleball 103. This free introductory class is for 13- to 16-year-olds to introduce them to the sport of pickleball. For upcoming dates please check the Pictona Events Calendar here. To register call the Welcome Desk at 386-310-7067.
Older youths may register for Pickleball 101, our free adult orientation to pickleball. Go here to register for a class.
Junior Pickleball 201. This introductory course is for children 8- to 14-year-olds who have no or little experience playing pickleball. This course follows the first 4 lessons in our Pickleball First Steps curriculum. Students will progress from the dink, the forehand, the backhand, and the serve as well as the rules needed to play the game.
Each class is 60 minutes in length. The teacher/student ratio is a maximum of 1 to 10 with a maximum class size of 20 students. The minimum course enrollment is 6. The course fee is $49. Go here to register for a class.
Junior Pickleball 202. This introductory course is for kids 8- to 14-year-olds who have completed Junior Pickleball 201 or have some experience playing pickleball. This course follows the lessons 5 through 8 in our Pickleball First Steps curriculum. The basic skills taught in PB 201 are reviewed and then students learn the drop shot, lob, and the volley. Basic offensive and defensive strategies will also be introduced. Each class is 60 minutes long. The teacher/student ratio is a maximum of 1 to 10 with a maximum class size of 20 students. The minimum course enrollment is 6. The course fee is $49. Go here to register for a class.
Junior Pickleball 301. This is Pickleball First Steps curriculum developed to teach pickleball to 9th to 12th graders (13 to 18 years of age). This introductory course consists of 8 lessons and costs $99. It includes 45 minutes of instruction and 45 minutes of game play. The teacher/student ratio is a maximum of 1 to 10 with a maximum class size of 20 students.
Advanced and Special Instruction. The above courses are introductory. Their purpose is to help young people develop the skills to play pickleball and create the desire to continue to play. We will develop advanced courses for juniors who have the desire to play at a higher level.
Pictona Junior Camps
We are beginning to offer special camps for juniors. These will be half day to full day camps for youth in the area and resident camps for students outside the area held when school is out of session. They will be 3- to 6-day camps that are for introductory and advanced play. We are offering our first camps in June 2021. Go here for more information about our Kids Camp (ages 6-10 years) and for our camp for teens (ages 11-15).
Pictona Junior Club
It is our intent to develop a junior club for children and teens ages 8 to 17 later in 2021. After completing the introductory courses students will be invited to become members of the Pictona Junior Club. Annual membership for juniors 18 and younger is $150 and monthly is $15. The Club will offer organized practice, coaching, free play, leagues, and tournaments. More to come about the Junior Club when we launch this initiative.
Pictona is expanding to offer 25 additional courts and a training center for juniors and adults called Pictona 2. We will offer the above programs at this new facility which is expected to open in September 2022. In the meantime, we will continue to develop and deliver the courses and resources described above.
We also wish to assist other pickleball clubs in developing pickleball clubs for juniors. As our club and other clubs develop, we will seek to offer inter-club competition. At the same time, we are exploring the development of pickleball clubs in area high schools, which may eventually lead to interscholastic competition.