How To Become A Pro Pickleball Player

Pickleball is finally getting its due recognition, with many individuals playing this sport for entertainment. However, that's not it; a few people are also inclined towards making a professional career in it. But is it easy to do so? Certainly not! The journey of becoming a pro pickleball player is challenging, with various hurdles to cross. To make things easier for you, we have shared this guide that includes easy tips to help you become an expert at this sport. So, let's begin without any further ado.

What Are Pickleball Ratings?

USAPA has issued guidelines regarding pickleball ratings. With it, you can rate yourself by comparing the given criteria to your current skills. While it may help with self-assessment, you must consider two other rating systems when seeking a professional career in this sport. Here’s a brief overview of both:

  • DUPR (Dreamland Universal Pickleball Ratings): It is an advanced system for rating pickleball players where every picklehead must self-report the result (win or lost) of each game they play. Also, one other player has to verify their claim. Thus, every win would lead to an increase in the ratings that range from 2 to 8. This advanced system was developed by Steve Kuhn, who owns Dreamland, a pickleball entertainment center in Texas.
  • UTPR(USA Pickleball Tournament Player Ratings): This system basically rates your skills based on how you performed in different official USAPA-approved tournaments. The scale ranges from 0 to 6.999. To be qualified as a professional, your ratings must be at least 6 or even above that.
Pro Player 2

5 Simple Tips To Become A Professional Pickleball Player

The journey to becoming a 5.0 pickleball player might seem challenging initially. However, with the right tips and tricks, you can surely be on your path to success. That said, let's have a look at 5 things that you can do to become a professional pickleball player by honing your skills.

1- Join A Pickleball Club

At first, you must become a part of a pickleball club irrespective of where you stand as a player currently. This approach will give you exposure by letting you play with expert players and learn their techniques. You can then apply them in your game to become a pro player quickly without any hiccups. Not only this, but many clubs come with a pickleball ladder system that can greatly benefit you.

Here's how it works:

  • You can play with those whose skill level or rating matches yours
  • As you win the matches, you move up the ladder to compete with more advanced players

This particularly helps you determine how you have progressed your skills over time.

2- Participate In A Tournament

Just self-practicing and playing random pickleball matches will not help you a long way. To become a professional player, you need to challenge yourself by participating in tournaments. Competing with other players will help you assess the areas you’re good at and those that require improvement.

If you participate in USAPA-sanctioned tournaments, then you'd also be eligible to receive the official ratings, which can be useful in your professional journey. Usually, the association organizes two types of pickleball tournaments, known as Standard Sanctioned Tournament and Medal Match Plus (MMP) Sanctioning. However, it'd be suitable if you start with small-stakes local tournaments before making a shift towards playing these.

Pro Player 4

3- Watch The Sport

While practicing is important, it's equally crucial to observe the way pros play this game. You can either attend different tournaments or watch the sports on television. Even YouTube is full of such videos that can help you in the journey of becoming a pro pickleball player. However, it does not stop at observing. You need to imitate the style in your gameplay to get the most out of this tip.

This approach really helps you understand various aspects of the game. For example, you can get better at shot selection and learn to play in various styles depending on the specific conditions. Pickleball is all about strategies that help you maintain control and ensure proper ball placement. And since pro players have mastered it, you can get a lot of benefits by watching them play live.

4- Hire A Coach

A pickleball coach is someone that every player would need in their journey of becoming an expert in this sport. Not only would they help you excel at different aspects of the game, but they also assist in identifying your weaknesses so you can work on them. Even renowned players like Anna Leigh and Ben Johns have coaches to train them. Here are some things that you must consider before hiring a coach:

  • They must be professionals in the field, holding the relevant certifications from reputable pickleball associations.
  • Always ask for testimonials from the coach's previous trainees to judge their effectiveness.
  • Understand their coaching style and ensure it aligns with your learning preferences and goals.
  • Make sure to inquire about the coach's fees and additional charges associated with equipment or court rental to ensure it doesn't exceed your budget.
  • Lastly, do sign the contract before reviewing it properly. Cancellation policy and payment schedule are two essential aspects that you must be mindful of.

5- Keep Practicing

There is a huge difference between playing pickleball for fun and seeking a professional career in the sport. So, it would be a big mistake to think that random matches will help you become a pro player gradually. It’s a big no as with this approach; you would never be able to target your weak points and work on them. Thus, professional practice is the key. With it, you won’t just be hitting shots based on your luck. Instead, you can spend time on the court learning strategies that help you make a perfect shot each time.

Some drills that you must practice to advance your skills include serve repeats, wall drills, and cross-court dink drills. Besides helping you hit accurate shots, these also facilitate enhanced muscle memory.

Pro Player 3

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How Long Does It Take To Become A Professional Pickleball Player?

The exact duration required to become a pro pickleball player varies depending on various factors. These particularly involve your prior experience with the sport, natural talents, intensity of training, and exposure to higher-level tournaments. However, you can definitely shorten the time by implementing the right techniques for skill development, physical and mental training, and strategic learning.

What Does It Take To Reach Pro Status?

Here are some things that are a must if you want to achieve pro status in pickleball:

  • You must be proficient in the sport's fundamental skills, particularly involving mastering shots like serves, returns, dinks, smashes, etc.
  • It's equally important to understand the game's strategy, like knowing when to play aggressively or how to read your opponent's play.
  • Your fitness level must be high, which can only be achieved with regular training and exercises.
  • You must be ready to invest your finances and time in training, equipment, travel, and competition entries.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Anyone Enter A Pro-Pickleball Tournament?

Generally, anyone can enter a pro-pickleball tournament, irrespective of their skill level. You can conveniently apply for the Pro Qualifier Draw of the league. However, only winners would be able to advance to the Main Draw. The players who lose will then go to the Points Draw. This open registration format indicates even amateur players can try their luck.

Is It Hard To Go Pro In Pickleball?

At first, it can be quite challenging to become a pro-pickleball player. Not only does the process require a high level of skills, but you must also possess a strategic understanding of the game along with physical and mental toughness. Moreover, you'd need to participate and perform well in official tournaments to acquire the rankings that reflect your expertise in the sport.

How Much Does A Professional Pickleball Player Make?

Professional pickleball players can earn income from various means other than the sport itself. These particularly include sponsorship deals and endorsements. Thus, it can vary widely with no specific figures to be discussed. Even the prize money of tournaments by the PPA Tour or other similar authorities is different, depending on the round a player manages to reach.

Is It Easy To Become A Pickleball Pro?

While it may not be easier to become a pickleball pro, you can achieve your goal with continuous dedication. The key is to work on skill development and get familiar with the strategic aspect of the sport. Moreover, hiring a coach can further simplify the process, as you will have expert guidance.


To conclude, that was all about how to become a pickleball pro. The process can be a bit long with various challenges involved. However, following the right strategies can help you navigate your path smoothly. The article outlines some tips to become a pro pickleball player in minimal time if followed correctly. So, what inspired you to start a career in this sport? Do let us know in the comment section below! 

Sophia William

An accomplished author with an impressive history of 6 years of contributions to renowned informational websites.

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