Selkirk Sport - We Are Pickleball


How to get the most out of your last pickleball lesson

By Brynn Grissom

on May 01, 2024


Daniel J Howard stands on an indoor pickleball court with his arm outstretched. He is teaching a woman, who stands on the same side of the court, a new pickleball skill.

It’s no secret that the majority of people who try the game of pickleball get hooked. As you begin playing in earnest, you may decide it’s time to take some lessons. 

And while a great coach can transform your skills, there's a lot you can do after the lesson to ensure they have a lasting impact. Whether you’re attending your first lesson or your hundredth, these strategies will help make sure you're not just playing the game, but improving with every swing.

Be prepared: Set goals for your lesson

As the Boy Scouts motto goes, "Be prepared." Before stepping onto the court, identify three key areas you wish to improve. 

If it's a private lesson, discuss these goals with your instructor ahead of time so they can tailor the session to your needs. In a group setting, listen carefully to see how the general advice applies to your specific improvement points. 

Recognizing your weaknesses is the first step to turning them into strengths. Remember, you're investing in these lessons, so it's crucial to have a clear plan of what you want to achieve.

Be willing: Embrace the learning process

The willingness to learn is a fundamental, yet often overlooked, part of the process. When attending a pickleball lesson, be fully present and attentive to the instructions. 

Even if you think you've mastered a technique, be open to new insights — your coach may know a tweak that could elevate your game further. Don't fear mistakes or looking silly — these are part of the learning curve. 

Importantly, be prepared to lose a few games as you apply new techniques in real matches. True progress comes from persistence and willingness to integrate new skills, despite initial setbacks.

Take time to reflect: Absorb and analyze

After the lesson, take a moment to reflect on what you've learned. Jot down key observations, new skills, and specific drills to practice. 

If possible, record parts of your lesson or practice to visually pinpoint areas needing improvement — this can be especially beneficial for visual learners. Reflection helps consolidate the theoretical with the practical, ensuring that the lesson's benefits extend beyond the court.

Practice: The path to perfection

Skills don't improve overnight. To truly integrate new techniques into your game, diligent practice is essential. Repetition is key to muscle memory, allowing you to execute skills fluidly under pressure. 

Practice exactly as instructed during your lesson to maximize effectiveness. It’s easy to slip back into your old gameplay style, but try to stay disciplined in performing the new skill exactly as you were taught. 

Regular practice sessions not only reinforce what you've learned but also build confidence in your new abilities.

Don't settle for mediocre skills: Strive for Excellence

Lastly, resist the temptation to revert to old, comfortable habits. Mediocrity creeps back when you settle for "good enough." 

Use the techniques and strategies from your lesson to challenge and change ineffective habits. Focus on eliminating unforced errors and strengthening your game. Continual improvement requires a commitment to applying new skills and strategies, no matter how challenging the transition might be.

By preparing effectively, embracing the learning process, reflecting on your progress, practicing diligently, and refusing to settle, you can make the most out of every pickleball lesson. These steps not only enhance your skills but also deepen your love and appreciation for the game.

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