Here are the details of a great event that you may be able to replicate in your area to build the level of play and interest in pickleball.
Jeff Shank, avid pickleball player and organizer of The Villages Pickleball Pro Exhibition did an awesome job creating and coordinating (with the help of his wife Anita) the three-day event that I was lucky enough to attend. 450 attendees participated in the various sold out clinics with the 14 “pros”.
Sponsored by Villages Pickleball Club, the events included the following:
Friday: ½ hour session of doubles and be critiqued by a pro. 132 people rotated through courts with the pro to pick up tips. Each court had one pro (except Lydia and I were together so we had twice the laughs)
Saturday: 2 hour session where you bring your own chair and get front row seating – three courts going on at one time. 35 min play of the pros – then pros rotate to next court/crowd. This day we had 2 sessions, a quick lunch break, and then 2 more sessions. That is a lot of spectators with eight hours of pro play on a sunny day…. I slept good that night 🙂
Sunday: 1 hour sessions, bring your chair, pick a court and questions/answers with a group of pros. The pros would rotate court to court. We did three sessions back to back.
Both club members and the general public attended with the general public having only a 15 minute window of opportunity to purchase remaining, limited tickets. Capped at 450 tickets, the participants’ experience and lessons remained up-close and personal. Jeff shared that people lined up for 45 minutes awaiting the chance to purchase a ticket. Maybe we should call them “Golden Tickets!”