I just completed the “Teach the Teacher Workshop” workshop at the Horseshoe Bay Resort. Horseshoe Bay is a city west of Austin, TX and north of Johnson City, TX. As you are driving to the convention center, where the classroom sessions were held, you get the feeling that the city is bigger than it actually is.
The pickleball facilities at Horseshoe Bay are top notch. There are 8 courts, all in perfect condition.
If you are interested, there are also many tennis courts, including red clay courts. The ones at Horseshoe Bay were the first I have seen since leaving Florida.
Our instructor was Matt Lazarine (“Matt Laz” to most of us), who is the full time Director of Pickleball at Austin Tennis & Pickleball Center. He is also an IPTPA Director and Master Teaching Professional, a 13-time Gold Medalist at USAPA sanctioned events, and a 2018 Mid-South Regional Men’s Doubles (5.0) Gold Medalist. On the second day of our workshop, we were joined by Kit Harper, Vice President of Greater Austin Pickleball (GAP).
The IPTPA Teach the Teacher Workshop is based on the IPTPA Handbook, which outlines the appropriate skills, progressions, strategies etc. for the beginner thru intermediate player as defined by the IPTPA Rating System.
I got certified as a Level II Teaching Professional before I took the Teach the Teacher Workshop. In order to get certified as a Level II Teaching Professional, you have to pass a written exam, demonstrate a set of skills and be observed giving a lesson. As IPTPA itself says, 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.
If you are interested, in order to pass the Level II skills set, you have to perform the following:
- 8 out of 10 down the line forehand dinks
- 8 out of 10 cross court forehand dinks
- 8 out of 10 down the line backhand dinks
- 8 out of 10 cross court backhand dinks
- 8 out of 10 windshield wiper dinks (travel across the NVZ line performing dinks)
- 8 out of 10 forehand down the line drop shots in the kitchen
- 8 out of 10 forehand cross court drop shots in the kitchen
- 8 out of 10 backhand down the line drop shots in the kitchen
- 8 out of 10 backhand cross court drop shots in the kitchen
- 8 out of 10 forehand down the line volley
- 8 out of 10 forehand cross court volley
- 8 out of 10 backhand down the line volley
- 8 out of 10 backhand cross court volley
- 8 out of 10 forehand down the line ground stroke
- 8 out of 10 forehand cross court ground stroke
- 8 out of 10 backhand down the line ground stroke
- 8 out of 10 backhand cross court ground stroke
- 8 out of 10 return of serve deuce court
- 8 out of 10 return of serve ad court
- 8 out of 10 serves deuce court
- 8 out of 10 serves ad court
- 8 out of 10 overheads
- 8 out of 10 offensive lobs forehand and backhand from NVZ line
Personally, I think getting certified as a Level II Teaching Professional before getting certified as a Level I is the way to go. You’ll know that you have the knowledge of the rules and the strokes, and then you can build on your own experience by observing and listening to others. Everyone in our group of 16 had great ideas on drills, particularly for beginners, most of which I will use in my clinics.
Level II followed by Level I is similar to the method used in getting certified as a whitewater kayak instructor. When I took that certification, we had to demonstrate that we knew how to make certain maneuvers, and then we discussed how to teach those maneuvers. Once again, everyone in my whitewater kayaking certification class brought their own knowledge to the class.
Matt periodically gives Teach the Teacher Workshops. If you are anyway near the Austin area and you are interested in this training, go to the link below to get a schedule. Scroll down to the bottom of the page! Matt also is an observer for the Level II certification.