RRDPC Pickleball Academy AND Player Development

Mike Conley, RRDPC Player Development Committee Chair; Larry Nortunen, RRDPC Academy Manager; Jim Lafferty, RRDPC Skills Training Manager

In calendar year 2018 the Robson Ranch Denton Pickleball Club conducted 19 pickleball academies and ten skills training sessions.

Each six-hour pickleball academy is designed to introduce students to pickleball basics, rules, strokes, scoring, court procedures and club play. Optimal class size is eight students with two instructors. Twenty-one of our volunteer instructors contributed more than 260 hours to train 141 students in 2018.

Monthly two-hour skills training is a follow-up to the academy based on the 23 International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association’s (IPTPA’s) training skills. Optimal class size is 24 students with six instructors. The three-phase training includes: 1) Service and return of service, 2) Server’s transition and soft game and 3) Dinking and firefight. Students are coached on what shot to hit, when to hit it, court positioning and techniques for consistency and accuracy. Twenty-four of our volunteer instructors contributed 120 hours to train 200 students in 2018.

Our club has nearly 500 members with 51 volunteering as instructors to support pickleball training. The club recognizes Ms. Sherril Kerr, Ms. Susan Mickelsen and Mr. Jim Lafferty for presenting more than six classes during the year. Robson Ranch Denton is extremely fortunate to have five Certified Pickleball Teaching Professionals (CPTPs) that assist in developing and conducting our training.

Becoming a member of the RRDPC allows you to participate in the academy, skills classes, referee training, tournaments, shootouts, open ball machine practice and to play on courts reserved by the club. Membership funds also allow the club to purchase balls, replacement nets and equipment for club members use. The club website (rrdpc.com) provides information on registering for future academies, shootouts and skills training offered by the Player Development Committee.

The goal of the Player Development Committee is to improve the skills of RRDPC members. With the addition of 12 new courts in the past, we find them routinely filled with quality players rising through four skill groups (D, C, B and A) identified by the club.