IPTPA Level II Provisional Certification Policy
As of October 1, 2023, an instructor that completes IPTPA Level II Certification without having first attended an IPTPA Level I Teach the Teacher Workshop will have a provisional Level II Certification. The instructor will have one year to attend an IPTPA Level I Teach the Teacher Workshop to finalize their certification. After the one-year provisional period, if the instructor still has not attended an IPTPA Level I Teach the Teacher Workshop, IPTPA reserves the right to remove the instructor’s certification.
Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the country. With a current estimate of 2.5 million participants and an estimated 8 million participants in the next couple of years, establishing standards for the pickleball teaching professional has become a priority. We have players seeking instruction for their own personal improvement being taught by tennis and racquetball professionals who do not have a background in pickleball. At other times, we have well meaning pickleball players trying to help players while providing poor or sometimes incorrect instruction. Beginner and intermediate players are being taught tennis or racquetball strokes such as driving the ball with power without developing the consistency of a dink game or understanding the importance of a 3rd shot drop.
Developing Minimum Teaching Standards
In order to protect players and the demand for proper instruction, the International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association (IPTPA) was formed. (see list of founding members) This first wave of instructors is meant to provide MINIMUM standards of teaching. Its primary objective is to distinguish those who understand the rules of play, have a thorough knowledge of the strategy, shot selections and proper stroke development specific to pickleball, while being able to consistently demonstrate those skills. These objectives will be met through a series of exams. The first will be a pass/fail 50 question written exam where the applicant must meet a minimum standard of 80%. Upon successful completion, the applicant will be required to take a skills exam (see video for required elements) where a minimum score of 80% will also be required to pass. Finally, the applicant will be observed teaching a one-hour lesson. It is the applicants responsibility to contact an IPTPA Director of a training/testing center near you, while supplying a student for the observed lesson. You can find an IPTPA Director in your area by visiting the Certified Members page. Once all tests have successfully been completed the candidate will be eligible for membership. Acceptance to IPTPA is complete after receiving member dues. Dues must be paid on annual basis to maintain membership.
Applicants must be at least 14 years of age to become certified as Level I or Level II instructors. Applicants under the age of 18 can become certified, but must agree to be mentored by a current Level II IPTPA instructor until the age of 18 at which time they can teach on their own. Any lessons that are taught by those under the age of 18, must be supervised by the mentoring Level II instructor. It is the applicants responsibility to reach out to a current Level II instructor to discuss the possibility of being mentored by them. A list of our instructors can be found on our website at www.iptpa.com under Certified Instructors.
Certification is the First Step
Passing a series of exams and being observed teaching a one-hour lesson will not guarantee a great teacher. What it will guarantee is that the certified instructor understands the rules of play, and has a thorough knowledge of the strokes, strategies and proper shot selections specific to pickleball. There are a number of factors that contribute to a great coach. Teachers and coaches spend a minimum of 4 years getting a degree in education while taking classes in psychology, theory of sport and many others in order to get prepared for a career in education and coaching. Even after all the schooling that is required we´ve experienced great and poor teachers and coaches. Therefore, certification is simply the first step in what the IPTPA considers a full-time commitment to improving your skills as an instructor. The IPTPA will be providing workshops, seminars and other learning opportunities throughout the year in an effort to continue each instructors´ improvement level.
Continue Your Training
Each instructor will be required to earn 2 continuing education units (CEU´s)/ year in order to maintain their status as a certified pickleball teaching professional. Earning CEU´s will be available in a number of ways, some originating from the IPTPA, while others will be contributions in the form of articles, video´s training tips etc. from the certified pickleball teaching professional. This will encourage two way interaction between the association and it´s members. OUR association is only as strong as the commitment and value our members place in it. So visit our website often for specific opportunities.