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.
Pictona Junior Camps
We currently offer four youth day camps. Participants can choose from one of four camps during the summer of 2023. Kids ages 6-14 of all levels of play are encouraged to sign up for these fun camps. $150 includes pickleball instruction, swimming at the YMCA, lunch, and other fun activities! Find more information about these camps HERE.
Pictona Junior Club
It is our intent to develop a junior club for children and teens ages 8 to 18 later in 2024. 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 $200 and monthly is $20. The Club will offer organized practice, coaching, leagues, and tournaments. More to come about the Junior Club when we launch this initiative.
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.