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Do You Actually Make A Living Playing/Teaching Pickleball?

I love this question and I understand why people ask it. I am mid-40's, I have 3 daughters with my oldest in college and I have a home that has a lot of cost associated with it. They see that I am on the road often, which has cost associated with it. They are perplexed at how this sport could support myself and my girls. I hate the question but I totally respect it. To most people's credit I do make my work look like play. Those that know me, understand how much I love it, but don't let it confuse you with the fact that it is long hours that can be extremely exhausting. Leaving my feet on fire and a loss of voice at the end of the day. For those that haven't found this sport or are still just hearing of it, they can't possibly understand the magnitude of growth in the last few years. It's funny though that for some reason people will ask that question, often. I can't imagine ever asking someone if they actually can make a living at their job.

Coaching and playing in tournaments goes hand in hand in this industry. In order to be a better coach you have to grow and make yourself uncomfortable as well. This game is evolving everyday. What we were coaching two years ago has even changed. Side-stepping in a J pattern to return a lob....not anymore... One hand backhand....not anymore. Only the 3rd shot drop...also not the case anymore. Playing at a highly competitive levels teaches me something new every single tournament. It also teaches me the mental aspect of the game and how it relates to my clients. I run as an empath naturally. In teaching this is helpful because, I can see the struggle someone may be facing. I played some tennis growing up. I have had atheltic abilities but pickleball didnt come naturally to me. I didn't walk onto the PB court a former D1, D2, D anything tennis player. I wish I had, but what it does allow me to do is have to break down shots and strategy in a way that many students need to hear it. They need to know that it's not easy to do, it takes time and muscle memory, drilling and playing. I take each session with my clients as if it was their first with me. I prepare, I shift lesson if needed and I bring to the court what I have learned while being on the road. Even when I am on a non-playing day in a tournament, I am watching the amateur and pro level players competing. I am taken physical and mental notes of what's working and what's not. Watching the mixed doubles pro qualifier att eh APP Sacramento, I watched a great female player literally win 6 rally's off of an Erne against the male on the odd side of the court. I thought holy smokes, I need to be teaching all my females this, how to set it up, execute and avoid having it done to you.

So the quick answer is yes! I invest in my coaching by playing. I keep loyal clients and word of mouth goes along way. I care about my students and their progress. I follow up with them and try to drive them to do their best. I love teaching and I think it shines through when I step on the court to play or to teach. :)


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