Pickleball has captured the hearts and minds of players all over the world, especially in the United States. Everyone from the youngest family member to your best friend down the road is happy to pick up a pickleball paddle and join in the fun.
While hosting a few games in your backyard during a BBQ is always a good time, you may want to take your game to the next level. That is why attending a quality pickleball camp, or pickleball clinic may be the best option.
These events provide all kinds of valuable instruction and practice with more advanced players, so the next time you’re serving a sweet drop-in at your local court, you’ll be the master of the game. Let’s dive into some tips for finding a worthwhile pickleball camp or clinic and what you should bring along with you.
Researching Pickleball Camps and Clinics
Before choosing a pickleball camp or clinic, it's essential to do your research. Start by setting a goal for yourself. What level are you right now, and where do you want to be after attending this camp?
Next, do a quick online search for camps in your area or at a location you are willing to travel to attend. Be sure to look at the photos and videos of what the camp and clinic offer, so you know what you are paying to receive.
Searching online reviews is a great way to get an idea of the experiences of past attendees. Look for reviews that mention the quality of instruction, equipment, and overall experience. Online forums and social media pages are also good resources for finding recommendations from fellow players.
Talking to friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers who may have attended pickleball camps or clinics before can also provide valuable insight. They can share their unique experiences and offer recommendations based on your skill level and goals. You are trying to judge if these events will be a good fit for your particular needs.
If you are still feeling a bit lost, you may want to check out some of the more well-known national pickleball camps like:
These will give you a good starting point of what to expect from your local camp. They will also help set your expectation of what you should be able to learn during your experience.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Pickleball Camp or Clinic
Once you've narrowed down your options, it's time to consider essential factors related to your goals and your expected experience. Pickleball training will be different for someone hoping to win a tournament compared to a player who wants to improve their skill while also relaxing on a beach in the afternoon.
Consider your skill level and the level of instruction that's being offered. Some camps and clinics are geared toward beginners, while others are for advanced players. If you're unsure which one to choose, look for programs offering a range of skill levels. You want incremental growth that won’t result in accidental injury.
The size of the camp or clinic is also an important factor to consider. A smaller group setting may offer more personalized instruction, while a larger group setting may provide a more social atmosphere. If you are out to network with fellow players, this will matter quite a bit.
Make sure to inquire about the availability and quality of equipment at the pickleball camp or clinic. Some programs may provide gear, while others may require you to bring your own. The quality of the court setting is also important, as it can affect your overall experience. For example, is the court indoors in a temperature-controlled environment or outdoors under the sun?
The duration of the program and the cost are also important factors to consider. Some programs may be a weekend-long, while others may last a week or more. Make sure to consider your schedule and budget when making a decision. You want to get that work-life balance that allows you to enjoy your hobby without sacrificing family time or revenue streams.
Finally, consider any additional amenities like meals, lodging, other activities, or transportation. These can add to the overall experience and make the program more enjoyable.
What to Bring to a Pickleball Camp or Clinic
Now that you have a good idea of an excellent pickleball camp or clinic, it is time to pack your bags. Besides the essential clothing attire, medications, and toiletries, we wanted to create a packing list specifically for your pickleball gear.
Knowing what to pack for attending a pickleball clinic is not a matter of tossing a paddle into your bag and your smartphone charging cable. You want the essential equipment to ensure you have a rewarding experience.
We suggest creating a packing list for your regular items and using our list of pickleball gear for your pickleball bag.
We’ve included our suggestions for your preparation shopping. You may also want to hang onto this list as a great selection of gift ideas for your friends, family, and coworkers who also enjoy the great sport of pickleball.
What to Pack:
- 2-3 Pickleball Paddles - P-One pickleball paddle
- 2-4 Pickleball Balls – Onix Pickleball Balls
- Sweat Towel – PackTowl Personal Quick Dry Microfiber Towel
- Water Bottle – Sundried Water Bottle
- Electrolyte Packages – Hydra-Charge by Kaged
- Hat & Sunglasses – Skylon Ace Sunglasses
- Sweat-proof Sunscreen – Skinnies Sungel SPF30
- Lip Balm with SPF protection – Sun Bum SPF30 Lip Balm
- Extra socks and foot powder
- Shoes for court – Nike Air Zoom Vapor Pro
- Anti-inflammatory medicine like ibuprofen
- Muscle/Pain cream like Tiger Balm
- Protein/Energy Bars – Bulletproof Bars
- Ice Packs - ProSeries
- Folding Chair – Kijaro Dual Lock Chair
- Pickleball Equipment Bag – Fila Pickleball Bag
- An attitude to have fun and learn!
It's crucial to be prepared for the elements, so bring appropriate clothing and rain gear if necessary. Also, bring any necessary medications or medical equipment to ensure a fantastic and carefree experience on the court.
Attending any pickleball camp or pickleball clinic can be an exceptional method to boost your fundamental skills. It is a great chance to have some fun, escape the rat race of life for a bit, and connect with fellow pickleball enthusiasts that can quickly turn into great relationships from a shared love of a sport.
Take your time to do your research ahead of any trip and maybe talk it over with your family. There may be a great way to combine your upcoming pickleball trip with some fun activities for your kids, partner, or in-laws. That way, you can spend all day improving your serve and volleys and then head out to a fantastic dinner with your family afterward.
Good luck, and be sure to hang onto our list of essential items to pack. You never know when it will come in handy during the next holiday season. Have fun!