Coach Development Frequently Asked Questions

Pickleball Coach/Instructor Development and Certification FAQ’s [updated Sept 30, 2018]
A Coach/Instructor Certification program is one of the requirements for PICKLEBALL CANADA to become registered/recognized by Sports Canada.  The program needs to follow, among other criteria, the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) guidelines. The program is intended to develop coaches/instructors and subsequently certify them, thus some refer to the program as Coach/Instructor Development and others as Coach/Instructor 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/Instructor Certification program. See other tab.
A workgroup from Pickleball Association of Ontario (PAO) has started the development of a Pickleball Coach/Instructor Certification program, on behalf of PICKLEBALL CANADA, and is expected to continue to do so, with guidance from PICKLEBALL CANADA, and involvement from PICKLEBALL CANADA 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/Instructor Development program be complete?
A: Short-term: Pickleball Association of Ontario will be working for the next 24 months to develop a Coach Development Program.
Long-term: in the subsequent years Pickleball will position itself accordingly with the goal of partnering with organizations such as Coaching Association of Canada to move the coach development program towards a national certification program. 
Q: Can I now start taking courses to become a Pickleball Coach?
A: Since the Pickleball Coach/Insrtuctor 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/Instructor 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.
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.
To learn more about NCCP click here -

 Q: How do I sign up and register for courses?
A: Register for Fundamental Movement Skills here –  
Or here –
And in other provinces here -
Get Coaching is a free online course, and currently cannot be credited on your Locker, 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/Instructor 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 or certified Instructor.  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/Instructor 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/Instructor levels and course requirements as part of the  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/Instructor programs will be offered?
A: As we develop our 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.
 Since NCCP and IPTPA and other coaching program organizations have differing requirements and curricula, there will be no grandfathering of other programs credentials into the NCCP Pickleball program eligibility requirements.

Q: What is the PICKLEBALL CANADA's position for provinces and territories who are requesting that PICKLEBALL CANADA sanction and approve their coaching programs as a prerequisite for their registration as a PSO or TSO?
PICKLEBALL CANADA cannot sanction or approve any coaching/instructor program until there is a pickleball coaching/instructor program developed and approved in the NCCP framework by Coaches Association of Canada and Sport Canada. In lieu of an NCCP pickleball coaching program, PICKLEBALL CANADA will support any province or territory seeking PSO or TSO status by reviewing its locally developed coaching program, for its teaching methods, content, and focus on safety and wellbeing of the athletes.
Since NCCP and IPTPA and other coaching program organizations have differing requirements and curricula, there will be no grandfathering of other programs credentials into the NCCP Pickleball program eligibility requirements.

If you have other questions, please contact us at:

Jim Parrott
Anne Evans