Pickleball PATS Program 

performance - assessment - training - system

Overview - The PATS Program

Playing with Purpose

PATS is a new program designed to give new to experienced players a structured and supportive framework for improving 8 core pickleball strokes. A SIMON ball throwing machine is used to feed balls to each player (4 players per session). The four players become "Player Buddies" and are assigned the task of giving stroke feedback to each other. 

The Player Buddies are given a brief explanations of proper shot techniques. As each player takes their turn on the SIMON machine, their strokes are assessed by a PATS Trainer with input from "Player Buddies". Their stroke (forehand, backhand, dink etc.) scores are recorded so they can see what progress they are making. Player scores are stored online and accessible to the players.

After one hour of PATS (each player hitting approximately 100 shots each) the 4 Player Buddies can play a round of pickleball matches on our other court. 

The key elements of PATS includes:

  • Players, motivated to develop their skills, follow a structured peer support process; The PATS program utilizes the Pickleball Bible (manual) to provide a solid foundation of researched pickleball knowledge and clear instruction;
  • "Player Buddies" in groups of 4, cycle through the PATS stroke development process. Each "Player Buddy" takes a turn observing and scoring a fellow 'player buddy as they develop their stroking skills with the SIMON'ball machine; 
  • Social inclusion, fellowship, supportive relationships and playing with purpose are the core pillars of the PATS system;
  • Players (especially senior players) benefit from safe play instruction and injury prevention education given by our, insured Trainer;
  • When players have their stroke level scores for all 8 stroke areas, they are able to seek out players with peers having similar stroke level scores. This feature reduces discomfort that comes with playing above or below your stroke abilities.

PATS Program Goals

The PATS program design grew from our experience developing the ACTC Pickleball program which was funded by a 2015 seed grant from the New Horizon's for Senior's Program. The PATS program is developmental. This means it will improve as we evaluate the various program activities and desired outcomes.  

Our overarching goals include the following:

  • Provide skills assessment, evaluation and training thereby improving physical literacy and social inclusion;
  • Provide a website that serves as an administrative hub for storing player stroke scores and documenting relationships with partners, resource sharing etc;  
  • Coordinate the sharing (lending) of the SIMON ball machine and PATS Trainers/volunteers with the participating recreational venues.

Pickleball PATS Program


Pickleball, a game for life


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