This is an excerpt from Pickleball First Steps epub by Pictona Club & The.
The lesson plans in this curriculum are for students in grades 4 through 8 (ages 8 through 14 years) and focus on teaching pickleball safely and effectively. These lessons follow the whole-part-whole method of teaching. In lesson 1 you’ll demonstrate how the game is played. Then, in lessons 1 through 9, you will introduce the parts of the game, those essential skills needed to play pickleball. The lessons start with the skills needed at the net: In lesson 3, students will learn dinking. Instruction then progresses to the drop shot or long dink in lesson 4. Next, we introduce the serve in lesson 5. Building on that motor skill, in lesson 6 you’ll teach students the mechanics of forehand and backhand ground strokes. Using their newly acquired ground stroke skills, we move on to lesson 7, the return of serve; this is then followed by lesson 8, on the volley and block. Lesson 9 focuses on the basic tactics of the game, and lesson 10 concludes by bringing all the parts together to play the game as a whole. This sequence of lessons progresses from basic to advanced, with each lesson building on the skills learned previously to optimize skill acquisition. Beyond being theoretically sound, this progression is one we’ve tested and refined over many years.
The lessons are approximately 43 to 57 minutes long and are divided into the following sections:
Warm-Up: 5 to 7 minutes
Lesson Plans: 15 to 20 minutes
Practice Games: 20 to 25 minutes
It’s a Wrap: 3 to 5 minutes
You are encouraged to adapt these time frames according to the specific needs of your students. The lessons are presented in sequential order and can be slowed down or sped up in accordance with the skill development of your students. If a lesson is completed and class time allows for more instruction, you can start the next lesson. On the other hand, you may not complete a lesson in one class session. For example, you’ll introduce the dink, an essential skill of pickleball, in lesson 3, but it may take more than one class session before you are satisfied that students are ready to move on.
Here is what you’ll find in each lesson.
- Introduction. A brief statement explaining the objective of the lesson.
- Learning Outcomes. These outcomes are aligned with the national physical education standards. They are the skills a student should be developing during the lesson.
- Equipment. A list of what is needed for each lesson.
- Warm-Up. These activities are used to get students moving quickly upon entering the learning environment. For each warm-up activity, we describe the activity and the rules for engaging in the activity. In addition to the warm-up activity listed for the lesson, you may choose to use one of the activities from the previous lesson as a warm-up.
- Lesson Plan. Here we provide a developmentally appropriate sequencing of pickleball skills, or what we call “steps.” This sequence is designed to help each student progress at his or her own rate. For each step of most skills, we present photos as well as (1) guidance on instruction and demonstration, (2) key teaching points, and (3) practice activities. In lessons where sequencing and timing of a skill are important, you’ll be directed to a video link to view.