More than 3 million people play pickleball in the U.S., and that number keeps growing. If you’re one of those people, or if you’re just intrigued by the sport, you understand the appeal.
Once you learn how to play pickleball, the next logical step is to teach your kids.
It’s a physical activity that kids and adults can enjoy together. They’ll likely have so much fun that they won’t realize they’re getting their 60 minutes of recommended exercise while they’re playing.
Beyond being fun to play, pickleball offers benefits for all ages. It gets your kids active, helps with balance and agility, and can improve everyone’s mood.
Use these tips to teach your kids how to play pickleball.
Teach Them Basic Rules
Pickleball rules can be complicated to remember, even for adults. Instead of overwhelming your kids with tons of rules they’ll likely forget, start with a few basics rules.
Explain how serving works. It needs to be an underhand serve that goes to the opposite corner of the other side. It also has to clear the kitchen, which is the area 7 feet from the net.
The double bounce rule is another basic to teach. After serving, the other team has to let the ball bounce once before hitting it. Once it comes back to your side, you have to let it bounce once before hitting it.
After those two initial bounces, you can volley the ball, which means you can hit it without letting it bounce first.
The exception is the kitchen area. You can’t volley the ball in the kitchen area, which should be marked by a line on pickleball courts.
Start With Basic Skills
Start off slow with kids. Getting a pickleball paddle in their hands right away helps them get used to the feel.
Let them practice serving to get a feel for how hard to hit the ball. Trying different pickleball drills before you play a game can help your kids get the hang of the sport.
A simple drill is to have one child serve and another on the other side of the net. Instead of returning the ball, the other play simply catches it. Take turns serving it back and forth just catching it.
Find Suitable Opponents
Playing doubles can make your child feel more confident when learning pickleball. But finding the right opponents is important.
If you have four people in your family, you have enough for two teams. This is ideal because you can control the atmosphere.
If you play with other people, make sure they’re okay with playing with kids. Ensure they’ll take it a little easy on them while they’re learning.
Make It Fun
Making the game too serious can ruin it for kids, especially when they’re just learning. Keep an upbeat, lighthearted atmosphere when you play.
Don’t be overly critical or hard on your kids if they make a mistake. They’ll forget the rules and make mistakes. That’s just part of learning, and even adults forget the rules sometimes.
Let them get the basics of the game down. If you hover over them and correct every little thing, it stops being fun.
Teaching Your Kids How to Play Pickleball
Teaching your kids how to play pickleball introduces them to a fun and active game that you can play as a family. Start slow and keep the lessons fun to help grow their love for the sport. Check for local pickleball facilities that use our court reservation system to claim your space to play easily.