Are you looking for ideas to design your pickleball lessons? 

I have compiled a list of 4 free pickleball lesson plans that are suitable for players of all levels and ages. These lesson plans are based on the OPEN Physical Education Curriculum and the Dynamic PE ASAP website, which are two great resources for pickleball teachers and coaches.

These lesson plans cover various aspects of pickleball, such as skills, strategies, rules, fitness, and social responsibility. They also include different types of activities, such as drills, games, challenges, and obstacle courses. 

They are designed to be fun, engaging, and effective for learning and practicing pickleball.

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pickleball player, a teacher or a student, you will find something useful and enjoyable in these free pickleball lesson plans. 

So, without further ado, let’s get started! 

4 Example Free Pickleball Lesson Plans

These are some templates you can use to design your pickleball lessons.

Lesson Plan 1: Dink and Drop

Objective

  • Skill: I will execute the dink and drop shots with accuracy and consistency.
  • Cognitive: I will explain and apply the rules and etiquette of pickleball.
  • Fitness: I will actively participate in all activities, with a focus on developing hand-eye coordination and reaction time.
  • Personal & Social Responsibility: I will demonstrate respect and cooperation with my opponents and partners.

Material

  • 1 paddle per student
  • 1 pickleball per pair of students
  • 4 cones to mark the non-volley zone

Activity Procedures

  1. Let’s practice our dink and drop shots, which are essential skills for pickleball. The object of this activity is to self-volley the ball with our paddle while demonstrating the correct pickleball grip.
  2. On the start signal, pair up with a partner and stand on opposite sides of the net, inside the non-volley zone. Begin by tossing the ball to your partner, who will hit a dink shot back to you. You will then hit a dink shot back to your partner, and so on. How many consecutive dink shots can you make without hitting the net or going out of bounds?
  3. Now that we’ve practiced our dink shots, let’s try our drop shots. On the start signal, one partner will move back to the baseline, while the other partner stays in the non-volley zone. The partner at the baseline will toss the ball to the partner in the non-volley zone, who will hit a drop shot over the net. The partner at the baseline will then run up and hit a dink shot back to the partner in the non-volley zone, who will catch the ball. Then, switch roles and repeat. How many successful drop shots can you make in a row?

Lesson Plan 2: Pickleball Bingo

Free Pickleball Lesson Plans - Pickleball Bingo

Objective

  • Skill: I will demonstrate various offensive and defensive shots in pickleball, such as lob, smash, drive, drop, volley, dink, etc.
  • Cognitive: I will identify and analyze different situations and strategies in pickleball.
  • Fitness: I will actively engage in all activities, with a focus on developing my cardiovascular endurance and agility.
  • Personal & Social Responsibility: I will follow the rules and scoring system of pickleball and display good sportsmanship.

Material

  • 1 paddle per student
  • 1 pickleball per pair of students
  • 1 bingo card per pair of students
  • 1 marker per pair of students

Activity Procedures

  1. Let’s play Pickleball Bingo, a fun game that challenges us to use different shots and strategies in pickleball. 
  2. Each pair of students will receive a bingo card that has different shots or situations in each square, such as “hit a lob”, “win a rally with a smash”, or “force your opponent to hit out of bounds”.
  3. On the start signal, pair up with a partner and play a regular game of pickleball, following the rules and scoring system. 
  4. However, each time you or your partner accomplish something that matches one of the squares on your bingo card, mark it off with your marker. The first pair to get five squares in a row, column, or diagonal wins bingo and gets a point. Then, switch partners and play again with a new bingo card. How many bingos can you get in 15 minutes?

Lesson Plan 3: Pickleball Rally Race

Objective

  • Skill: I will maintain a continuous rally with a partner or a group, using proper footwork and positioning.
  • Cognitive: I will identify and apply the rules and scoring system of pickleball.
  • Fitness: I will actively participate in all activities, with a focus on developing my speed and agility.
  • Personal & Social Responsibility: I will cooperate and communicate with my partner or group, and encourage others to do their best.

Material

  • 1 paddle per student
  • 1 pickleball per pair or group of students
  • 4 cones to mark the boundaries of each court

Activity Procedures

  1. Let’s play Pickleball Rally Race, a fun game that challenges us to maintain a continuous rally with our partner or group. The object of this game is to keep hitting the ball over the net and into the opponent’s court as long as possible, without making any errors.
  2. On the start signal, pair up or group up with other students and stand on opposite sides of the net, holding your paddle and ball. Begin by tossing the ball to the other side, who will hit it back to you over the net. You will then hit it back to the other side over the net, and so on. How many consecutive hits can you make without hitting the net or going out of bounds?
  3. Now that we’ve practiced our Pickleball Rally Race skills, let’s play a game. On the start signal, one side will serve the ball to the other side over the net. The other side will then return the ball over the net, and the rally continues.
  4. The side that wins the rally gets a point. The first side to get 11 points wins the game.

Lesson Plan 4: Pickleball Tag

Objective

  • I will play Pickleball Tag demonstrating cooperative skills and following the rules established by the instructor.
  • I will demonstrate backhand hitting using the correct form demonstrated by the instructor.
  • I will demonstrate lobbing during the Lesson Focus using the form demonstrated by the instructor.

Material

  • 1 paddle per student
  • 1 pickleball per student
  • Cones to mark the perimeter

Activity Procedures

1. Warm-up: Pickleball Tag (10 minutes)

  • Explain the rules of Pickleball Tag: Everyone moves around the room while bouncing pickleball on the racquet. If tagged, move to the outside of the area and bounce the ball on the paddle 10 times. Then, return to game boundaries.
  • Divide the students into two teams: taggers and runners. Give each tagger a different colored vest or bib to wear.
  • On the start signal, the taggers try to tag the runners with their free hand, while the runners try to avoid being tagged and keep bouncing their ball on their racquet.
  • After 5 minutes, switch the roles of the teams and play again.

2. Lesson Focus: Backhand Hitting and Lobbing (15 minutes)

  • Backhand Hitting: Drop bounce ball and hit to partner 5’ apart. Repeat, increasing the distance between players.
  • Lobbing: Partner tosses the ball high to partner 5’ apart. Partner returns the ball with a lob shot. Alternate roles.
  • Provide feedback and guidance to the students as they practice their skills. Emphasize the importance of weight transfer and timing for hitting the ball with power and accuracy.

Additional Resources

If you are looking for more free pickleball lesson plans, you can check out these additional resources that I have found online.

  • OPEN Physical Education Curriculum: This is a comprehensive and standards-based curriculum for physical education, which includes pickleball as one of the units. You can find lesson plans, assessments, videos, and other resources for teaching pickleball to students of different grades and abilities.
  • Dynamic PE ASAP: This is a website that provides ready-to-use lesson plans for physical education, which are aligned with the SHAPE America National Standards and Grade-Level Outcomes. You can find lesson plans for pickleball that cover skills, tactics, rules, and games.
  • Pickleball Coach: This is a website that provides online coaching and training for pickleball players of all levels. You can find lesson plans, videos, tips, and strategies that will help you improve your pickleball skills and performance.

Conclusion

In this article, I have shared with you 4+ free pickleball lesson plans. 

I hope you find them helpful for making your lesson plan. 

If you want to learn more about pickleball, you can check out my Pickleball Rules You Should Know article.

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