Coach Development Frequently Asked Questions

Pickleball Coach Development and Certification FAQ’s
A Coach Certification program is one of the requirements for PC to become registered/recognized as a national sport organization (NSO). The Coach Certification program needs to follow, among other criteria, the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) guidelines. The program is intended to development coaches and subsequently certify them, thus some refer to the program as Coach Development and others as Coach Certification. Either description is intended to cover both aspects.
A reading list has been compiled to assist potential coach candidates in learning various aspects about the various models, processes and information that is helpful in developing a Coach Certification program. See other tab.
A workgroup from Pickleball Association of Ontario (PAO) has started the development of a Pickleball Coach Certification program, on behalf of Pickleball Canada, and is expected to continue to do so, with guidance from PC, and involvement from PC and the provincial organizations.
Throughout the past year, PAO has communicated status to its members and has received numerous questions and expressions of interest. Here’s answers to FAQ’s that we have either received or anticipate receiving.
Q: When will the Coach Development program be complete?
A: As per previous communications, the bulk of our coach development training curriculum will be created if and when we are successful in receiving a Trillium grant (notification expected March 2018). The process is expected to take about 24 months and the goal is to have a Coach Development program recognized and approved by the Coaching Association of Canada, Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and Sport Canada.
Q: Can I now start taking courses to become a Pickleball Coach?
A: Since the Pickleball Coach Development program has not yet been created, all courses cannot be accurately predicted at this time. As we get further into the development process, we will communicate courses that can be taken.

We have been in contact with the Coaching Association of Canada and Coaches Association of Ontario, and we have been advised that people can start training in multi-sport courses that we know are guaranteed to be credits towards any Coach level certification.
These courses are:
  • Get Coaching (online course)
  • Fundamental Movement Skills
  • Coaching Basics (online course)
  • Make Ethical Decisions
  • Planning a Practice
  • Nutrition
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Design a Sport Program
  • Basic Mental Skills
Please note that most courses are not free. The course cost will be stated either in the course description or be evident during the registration process.
Q: How do I sign up and register for courses?
A: Register for Fundamental Movement Skills here –  
Or here –

Get Coaching is a free online course, and currently cannot be credited on your Locker (CAO is working to get this course credit recognized by CAC), and can be taken here – . Make sure to watch all the videos framed and pinned with a red pin.

Please start with the Navigation video. Take Coach Initiation in Sport here –  
Registration for the other courses on the list above can be done via the Locker or calendar links.

There is no particular order the modules need to be completed.
Q: What if I want to take courses in another province?
A: The NCCP multi-sport curricula are offered Canada-wide. This link ( shows the contacts for each province and territory. These contacts are called Provincial/Territorial Coaching Representatives (PTCR) and can facilitate your multi-sport training.
Q: Is there a calendar showing course offerings?
A: This link shows the Coaches Association of Ontario facilitated course calendar: ( For course calendars in other provinces, it is best to contact the appropriate PTCR in above answer.
Q: How do I register for pickleball specific coach training?
A: Once the pickleball specific coach training has been identified and developed as part of the Pickleball Coach Development program, we will let you know when and how to register.
Q: How will my course credits be tracked?
A: Once you register for your first course or begin the registration process for Coach Initiation in Sport on the Locker, you will be assigned an NCCP number. Transcripts of your completed courses will be stored in your Locker.
Q: When I finish all the required training, will I then be a Coach?
A: Training alone does not qualify you to be a certified Coach. Part of the Coach Development program will be the creation of a coach certification process. That process will consist of completion of required training, observation in a coaching environment, along with an independent evaluation of a coach portfolio. The detail of this process will be defined as part of the Coach Development program.

That said, once you have completed your first training course and it is registered in your Locker, you will be recognized as a coach with an “In Training” status. That status will remain the same until you have the option to complete the certification pathway process described above.
Q: There are a lot of interesting courses on the NCCP site. Can I take any courses of my choice?
A: You may register and pay and attend any course you desire, provided you meet the course prerequisites, if any. You do, however, run the risk of taking courses that are not needed for the Coach level that you are pursuing. Once we determine the Coach levels and course requirements as part of the Coach Development program, we will let you know.
Q: Some pickleball teachers refer to themselves as instructors, and others call themselves coaches. What is the difference?
A: Definitions of Coach and Instructor vary depending on dictionaries cited, and common uses. For purposes of the Pickleball Coach Development program, we will align with the following (from Ontario Trillium Foundation references, and NCCP curricula):

Instructors are focused on teaching and improving select skills that are needed for a specific sport.
“Coaches play many roles – instructor, motivator, disciplinarian, mentor, friend, manager and fundraiser. They understand the developmental stages and limits of their athletes, as well as basic kinesiology, sport psychology, nutrition and basic first aid. And they help players improve their skills, develop strong character, and gain confidence.” (from
Q: What different levels of Coaching programs will be offered?
A: As we develop our Coach Development program, we will define the coach levels, and whether the instruction elements will be separate or combined into the coach roles. Tentatively, the coaching levels would include Community Initiation (new players and recreational players), Intro to Competition (players wanting to excel in competition) and High Performance (players pursuing advanced competition at national and international levels).
Q: International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association (IPTPA) is offering Train the Trainer and Coach programs. Can’t we just use those programs for our NSO and PSO requirements?
IPTPA is globally recognized as a leader in Pickleball skills and techniques instruction. It is branching out into the realm of providing consistent training for developing instructors and coaches. Its programs focus primarily on the Pickleball specific skills and how to teach those skills. It does not cover many of the multi-sport coaching knowledge that the NCCP guidelines are looking for. Also, the IPTPA currently does not have a Long Term Athlete Development model that it can reference to adapt training, instruction and coaching techniques to the maturation level of the target athlete.

We have reviewed our approach with Seymour Rifkind (Founder/owner of IPTPA) and he is interested in our approach, and welcomes further discussion regarding sharing of information as we both develop our programs.
If you have other questions, please contact us at:

Jim Parrott
Anne Evans