How To Become A Professional Pickleball Player? No-Nonsense Guide
It’s impossible to deny how much joy and opportunity pickleball adds to our lives, and no one wants to be trapped with the same skill set for the rest of their life. Professional pickleball players inspire us, and we all want to emulate their achievements.
How to become a professional pickleball player, you ask? Don’t worry; you’ll get help from this article. Your dream of becoming a pro pickleball player is now closer than ever before.
Remember: Grinding isn’t enough. You need to keep an eye out for a lot more.
Table of Contents
- What Skill Set /Rating is Required to Become a Pro?
- How to Become a Professional Pickleball Player?
- The Bottom Line
What Skill Set /Rating is Required to Become a Pro?
In order to determine a pickleball player’s level of proficiency, an evaluation is performed, rating a player between 1.0 to 6. To become a top-notch pickleball player, you must have at least a rating of 4.5 or above.
Don’t worry if you’re a newbie without a 4.5 skill set. We’ve written an article about becoming a 4.5 player. You may also want to have a look at it.
The UTPR, also called USA Pickleball Tournament Rating, is the official player’s rating. A player’s UTPR is determined solely by their performance in a tournament. As a result, if you want to get a verified rating from them, you will have to participate in an event.
You should master all the shots, strategies, and pickleball rules and win tournament matches to get the highest possible rating.
If you’re an aspiring pro player, it’s worth knowing how much do pro pickleball players make.
How to Become a Professional Pickleball Player?
Though pickleball is easier than tennis, becoming a professional player is still challenging. Here are some tips to improve your game and become a pro pickleball player.
1. Join Pickleball Camps
A few years ago, finding a good pickleball coach nearby was challenging. However, as the number of people playing pickleball rises, more and more centers are emerging, particularly in North America.
Long sessions at pickleball camps allow you to improve your game under the guidance of an expert coach. Your game will improve dramatically after only a few courses with a coach who has the skills and knowledge to help you.
Pickleball clinics provide you with the opportunity to interact with and learn from professional pickleball players. Compared to pickleball camps, pickleball clinics are generally less costly.
2. Work on Your Weaknesses
Mastery is the key to success, which is why we recommend that you focus on your weaknesses. Even when you improve your skills or rating, you may notice that certain weak parts are left in the process. At the professional level, opponents are quick to spot and target your weak spots, so don’t forget to put some effort into them.
For example, we’ve seen novices struggle while playing in a kitchen or non-volley zone, or beginners missing their shots when playing against a banger.
If you are having difficulties with any particular shot, don’t fret. Pickleball camps can help you.
If you are unsure of your own personal weaknesses and strengths, a pickleball coach may assist you in identifying them. Or, you can identify your weakness by playing against someone with a higher skill set than you.
3. Recreational Play is Not Enough
Most of us began playing pickleball as a way to spend time with our friends on the weekends, and at that point, our only goal is to have a lot of fun.
However, if you’re serious about making a career out of pickleball, let me tell you that casual enjoyment isn’t enough. Pickleball may be played in a recreational area, but you need to go out of your comfort zone and spend more time on the court to become better.
Practicing against a professional and working on your weak points aren’t possible in casual play because of time constraints. If you want to play professionally, you need to immerse yourself in the sport as much as possible.
4. Watch Pros Play and Notice Their Game
Despite being a talented pickleball player, you are not yet a pro. To become a better pickleball player, we suggest observing the games of other players who are more experienced.
Now, you may wonder why you should watch professional pickleball games instead of watching Netflix. You’ll see how the experts use strategies like pickleball stacking to alter the scoreboard in their favor with a keen eye, or how they hold their pickleball paddle at the net.
You’ll better understand shot selection and the many playing styles used by pros under varied conditions by paying attention to the game. Pickleball is more about control, ball placement, and strategies. This is what pros are good at and what you should learn from them.
5. Participate in Pickleball Ladder Leagues
Pickleball ladder leagues can help you gauge your proficiency level among other players and rate yourself. Many people are curious about ladder leagues but don’t know what they are.
Players of the same skill level or rating compete against each other in a ladder league. As you keep winning, you move up the ladder. If your league has two or more ladders, the winners get promoted to the next ladder. This way you can compete with similar players and improve your game.
It’s easy to see how far you’ve progressed in ladder leagues, as well as where you stand compared to others. Many pickleball clubs have ladder leagues, so you can visit your nearest club for participating in them.
6. Play in Tournaments
To become a professional pickleball player, you must compete in competitions. The good thing is, there are pickleball tournaments for all skill levels. So grab the opportunity to participate in the game as soon as you can since you’ll get to compete against competent opponents.
It’s better to participate in a sanctioned tournament, as you get an official rating and play against better players. USAPA offers two types of sanctioning:
- Standard Sanctioned Tournament
- Medal Match Plus (MMP) Sanctioning
You can find the list of pickleball tournaments here.
The Bottom Line
Put yourself out there by joining pickleball camps and challenging yourself to play at the highest level. It’s not simple to become a professional player, since it demands a lot of time and effort.
If you want to compete in tournaments, you must constantly improve your abilities and practice. Having the assistance of a pickleball coach can accelerate your journey. And that’s how you can become a professional player.
This is a difficult question to answer since the length of time it takes is dependent on a variety of things, such as your skillset, the amount of time you spend playing, and the effort you put in. In other words, being a professional pickleball player takes less time if you put in more sweat on the court. However, Anna Waters and Ben Johns are the perfect examples that you don’t need years of experience to become a pro.
When there are over 4.2 million pickleball players worldwide, the number of professional pickleball players is also huge. There are more than 200K registered professional pickleball players, according to USAPA.