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An Honest Guide to Pickleball Camps

Considering going to a destination pickleball camp, but don't know what to expect or how to choose? Read on to learn more about participating in a pickleball camp!

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You're a developing and avid pickleball player and you've heard about all these pickleball camps around the country.

And now you're curious about what they entail, what options you have to select from, and if they are of good value.

pickleball ball basket on court

This is your ultimate guide on pickleball camps and what to expect. After you attend a pickleball camp, here is a complete guide to your first pickleball tournament.

Our experts weigh in on the pros and cons of camps, as well as a rundown on what to expect when going to one. Below you'll learn how they are structured and all relevant details.

Quick Strategy Guides

If you cannot attend a pickleball camp, check out these FREE pickleball strategy guides you may find useful as you develop your game

How do pickleball camps work?

Pickleball is skyrocketing in popularity. With that comes a large wave of new players.

There are now millions of new players who find pickleball to be a great outlet, but they want to learn the game on a deeper level. With such large interest and growth, a new trend has emerged: Pickleball destination camps.

These events are not unique to pickleball, but are new to the pickleball scene. They offer players group instruction and an entire slate of scheduled activities.

These camps craft a fun learning experience and usually lasts for 2-4 days in a fun locale at a high-quality venue. The slate is packed with lesson material from top regional players, ensuring that participants receive high-quality coaching and opportunities to learn new techniques and strategies. All while enjoying a vacation vibe to boot.

Why are pickleball camps popular?


Pickleball camps offer a focused and immersive learning experience, allowing players to concentrate on improving their game and receive expert guidance from top pros.

This can be a seriously fun time for folks who want to immerse all the way, living and breathing pickleball. For those 1-5 days, you are solely engaged in a comprehensive pickleball experience unlike any other.

Group Setting

The group setting of pickleball camps creates a fun and supportive environment where participants can learn from one another and make new friends, providing a unique and enjoyable experience that goes beyond just playing the sport.

Many players have reported making social network contacts and lifelong friends from taking a camp together. It will be a likeminded group with a lot in common!

Quality Instruction

With experienced and knowledgeable instructors leading the way, often even top pros, pickleball camp participants receive high-quality instruction tailored to their skill level.

This will ensure that players make true progress in a short amount of time.

Participants will be able to ask pros questions directly, observe them first-hand up close, and occasionally even play games with and against the pros.

Value and Convenience

Compared to other vacations, pickleball camps are reasonably priced and provide an efficient way for players to spend time learning, playing, and having fun all in one.

Less driving, less random logistics, and a great value on a per-hour basis.

The package deal is all organized ahead of time, and you barely have to do anything besides show up! No planning or worries. And you'll be playing pickleball a lot of the time!

Vacation Vibe

With a full schedule of instruction and extra activities and social events, pickleball camps let players make an entire trip out of pickleball, providing a fun and memorable way to improve their game and enjoy some hangout time.

Notable Pickleball Camps:

-Kyle Yates manages camps: "Pickleball in Paradise" in various Caribbean spots.

-Tyson McGuffin owns a series of camps under his own name.

-Callie Smith conducts many camps each year through Nike.

-The Johns brothers run camps under a company called Pickleball Getaways.

-Rob Davidson leads camps through Rise Pickleball.

Reality of Pickleball Camps

There are some things that pickleball camps are, and some things they are not.

It's good to go into one knowing what to expect, and to have the right expectations.

You may not improve a lot in one weekend.

Rather, you will be introduced to many new concepts to work on after the camp is over.

It's more like a classroom than a boot camp. You will get a lot of court time and repetitions. Lots to think about. Valuable takeaways.

But you will not jump a full level or two in one weekend.

You are not going to go from a beginner to an advanced in a couple of days. But this could be the start! So go in with an open mind and realistic expectations!

You will not receive full attention from the pros.

The ratio of pros to players is set as a basis for the lesson plans, but the pros will be going around working with folks at intervals.

It will not be like a private lesson.

Now, some folks might actually like that better. Some folks like to blend into the crowd. Just realize they can't tailor it towards everyone.

You'll still get personal time, but the ratio is often 8:1 or so. The pros must make the rounds.

You will get a broad overview, but not specificity.

Think of it as a buffet. You'll get some of everything.

Hey, buffets are great though!

Ultimately, think of a pickleball camp as an experience almost like a convention. You will cover a lot of ground, and you'll have many takeaways. But you won't stay at one kiosk the whole time. And that's ok.

Pickleball Camps FAQ

What do you bring to a pickleball camp?

Same as you would bring to a play session or tournament: An equipment bag, a paddle and ideally a spare, some court shoes, a towel, and a water bottle.

View the guides below on top options for avid players and prospective pickleball campers:

What is a typical day schedule in a pickleball camp?

Most camps are broken down into 1-2 sessions, often 2-4 hours. There is usually a lunch break, with one session before it and one after. There are periodic small water breaks.

They will make sure no one is overworked and gets too tired. At the same time, they know everyone is there to play! Camp will often fill up half of a day, in essence.

How much do pickleball camps usually cost?

Most camps are in the hundreds of dollars for a 2-4 day event. Average might be $300-500.

It is definitely more than a private lesson in total, however per hour it will often be much less, since you will be doing upwards of 10-15 hours of court time over a few day span.

Note that most times, lodging is included in price but flight and food might not be.

How many people attend one camp at a time?

Camps often operate by ratio of instructor to student.

They will try to keep it around 8:1, upwards of 16:1 players to pros. Some camps will only have 1-2 instructors, so they would have 1-2 dozen campers.

Other bigger camps get 4-6 pros to attend, in which case they can 50-75 or a bit more campers. Typically, expect like 16-64 players in attendance.

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What do you do when not on the court?

Camps will often schedule meals and activities for campers. They will make sure the players have activities and bonding time to just hang out and have a drink and unwind after playing.

Otherwise you can just rest for the next day. Most of the downtime will occur in the late afternoon and evening, in the time surrounding dinner.

Pros will often hang out and socialize and answer questions for campers, too.

Is a pickleball camp better than private lessons?

Depends for what. For social aspect, for camaraderie, for bulk education experience, a camp is better. For more immersion with a real pro, a camp is better.

For training specific needs, for reps, for privacy and for true practice, a private lesson may be better, even if it's not with a top pro.

Each has advantages. Consider a pickleball camp more of a social event and a vacation.

Bottom Line About Camps

Pickleball camps are a great value and offer an immersive experience that allows players to focus on improvement among other enthused players.

Whether you are a beginner or an intermediate player, you can expect to come away from a pickleball camp with new skills and a love for learning the sport.

The group setting of camps create a fun environment where participants can learn from one another and make new friends.

The presence of experienced instructors ensures that participants receive expert coaching and guidance, making it possible to absorb several concepts in a structured setting.

For almost any avid and developing player, a pickleball camp is a great investment and a rite of passage in one's pickleball journey, and is sure to be remembered for years to come.


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