September 13, 2019

Pickleball: Learn the Game and Start Having Fun

by R. Wayne Larson

Pickleball is for all ages, is all-inclusive, and can become very addictive. Since 2014, pickleball has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing sports in North America. It’s no wonder since the initial learning curve for new players is quick. This is especially true for those who have previously played any racket sport as the skills are highly transferable.

After a few lessons, most students are ready to start playing games. Like most sports, it is wise to start by learning the proper techniques in the four basic shots: serving, returning, dinking, and drop shots. Practice does not make perfect, but practice with correct techniques and coaching can make an enormous difference in your learning outcome. The fun and laughter experienced by most players is contagious, and most players return to the courts within a day or two, anxious to get back into the fair, fun-filled, and friendly game of pickleball.

To get started all you need is a decent paddle and a pair of court or training shoes, as they provide much better support and a low-profile sole designed for court play.

Of the many advantages of pickleball, the promotion of health and wellness through active participation in playing a sport tops the list. While pickleball clubs aim to encourage and promote amateur games, they provide recreation for members and promote opportunities for friendly games and social activities.

Most pickleball clubs in Alberta offer the following benefits:

  • free group lessons that focus on skills and drills practice
  • vetted and experienced instructors using valid and reliable lesson plans
  • scheduled intra-membership round-robin play, shootouts, and open playtimes
  • socialization opportunities and functions
  • access to information shared by other pickleball clubs in Alberta and beyond
  • comprehensive general liability insurance

Further, membership in Pickleball Canada gives you — among other advantages — a monthly newsletter, updates on rules and policies, reduced fees for Pickleball Canada sanctioned tournaments, tournament information, and liability insurance in sanctioned tournaments.

For a helping hand, consider subscribing to free pickleball videos from,, or There are now hundreds of videos on YouTube that offer introductory, intermediate, and advanced sessions on a wide variety of pickleball topics.

For more information, visit the Pickleball Alberta website at, check out the organized clubs in your area, and then contact your closest club to get in the game.

Since retiring in 2013, after thirty-eight wonderful years of teaching at the post-secondary level, R. Wayne Larson’s new-found passion is teaching pickleball in Edmonton and Mesa, Arizona. Wayne (pictured above) enjoys playing and teaching pickleball at recreational and advanced levels throughout the year.