Take advice from others that have started their own club
I had the pleasure of attending the Hertfordshire Festival last Sunday. I think that it was the third or fourth Herts Festival I have attended. Always well run and full of joy in a nice venue. What struck me this time was the number of club leaders I was able to chat with. All with a different story about how they got established. Such a wealth of knowledge to tap into there.
We have a page with tips for starting a new club but nothing beats talking to someone that has successfully started a club or two! If you don’t know any club leaders, your Regional Director or County Representative would be a good start point, especially if you want help setting up a taster session.
Pickleball People in Staffordshire only started this year and are already looking to add more venues. Take a look at their recent blog on ‘How to set up a new pickleball club’ here. They have enthusiasm in abundance and really want to help grow pickleball in their area. They also valued attending the Pickleball Leaders Certification – we recommend that anyone wanting to start a club attends this training. Click here to find out when the next training sessions are scheduled for.
Creating more capacity
One of the things I heard a lot on Sunday was around managing capacity. Lots of clubs have a lot of members/players wanting to play but they can’t get any more courts because they are already hiring all the available ones at their venue.
London Pickleball have switched their sessions to schools which have availability in the evening and at weekends and they have started some double sessions. I.e. they had 24 new players for a taster session, then they had a normal club session after that.
The only way that this is possible for London Pickleball is because there are a group of volunteers sharing the load in terms of coaching and session attendance and administration. It is vital that the workload is spread amongst a number of people so that no one individual is relied on, otherwise eventually that person will burn out or resent the workload.
Promoting your venue/club
Getting the word out is vital. Posters, social media posting, telling family and friends, notice boards, all great ways of promoting your sessions. You might find the Join the pickleball movement materials that Salli Griffith created for PbE useful.
Share your insights
If you have some insights into starting or sustaining a club, we would love to hear from you. You can comment below or you could send your insight to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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