Pickleball for Parkinson's & Arthritis Program

Our program is an ideal fit for individuals who were once active in recreation activities but now have withdrawn from recreation activities due to health limitations like Parkinson's and Arthritis.  

They are reluctant and or resistant to partake in healthy active sport programs due to their physical and psychological limitations of Arthritis and Parkinson's. For many this withdrawal happens because they don't want to feel they are letting down their team members or feeling stigmatized due to their health limitations.

The P & A Program uses a "player buddy" model which gives participants the role of peer mentor (volunteer) to other participants. In our Program "participants" are also volunteers that help their fellow participants. There is a unique reciprocal experience among participants. Those with limitations due to disease learn not only how to physically perform better, they also give back to their peers by contributing their feedback as part of their responsibility of been a player buddy. (see below for more detail on the Performance Assessment Training System that the P & A Program utilizes.

Performance Assessment Training System - PATS

PATS™ – A Brief Overview

Leadership - Structure

The PATS program is supervised by Brent MacKinnon; Coordinator.  The Program is based on the principles espoused in the Pickleball Bible and supported by the work of authoritative researcher/author, Anders Ericsson in his book  “Peak Performance”. Each stroke is described with specific tips (techniques) in the “Pickleball Bible”. Each stroke technique has hyperlinks to a video that demonstrates the correct form for completing the stroke.

Rotation & Roles

Each group of 4 players become "Player Buddies". Three of these Player Buddies observe the person who is hitting the ball coming from the ball machine.

One "Player Buddy", standing beside the Trainer observes the stroke form (mechanics) and he/she uses the evaluation score sheet as a reference. Two other Player Buddies are using the ball hopper to pick up balls. These Player Buddies take time to observe the person stroking and contribute their feedback in the huddle after each drill session.     

Stroke scores of players are entered into a “Boogie Board”. The player sores are accessible immediately after the session. Click here to see a sample of a PATS score sheet

To summarize, 4 players, plus the Trainer help each Player Buddy drill with focus. The emphasis is on cooperation and playing with purpose….not competition! The Pickleball Bible Manual is the PATS program core resource for stroke technique. It is a manual built on published kinesiology studies.


Please contact the PATS™ Convenor Brent MacKinnon for more information.

Brent MacKinnon

Pickleball for Parkinsons and Arthritis

Overview of P & A Program


Pickleball for Parkinson's and Arthritis Program

If you wish to learn more about our Parkinson's and Arthritis Pickleball Program please review the excerpts below. If you would like the full proposal, please contact Brent MacKinnon. 


Project Description:

Activities: Seniors involved with the organization will participate in a pickleball program and train other seniors with limitations in pickleball to promote social interaction amongst the senior community.

The key activities of the project will be:

  •        Program manager consults providers to secure play space;
  •        Promotion of activities including establishing online website information source;
  •        Recruitment of instructors and participants;
  •        Provide training to mentors and certified instructors;
  •        Run 6 week, two, one hour Pickleball instruction sessions:
  • Provide administrative support and complete year-end evaluation report.

Key role of seniors and volunteers are:

  •        Seniors will create a volunteer peer group that will assist a certified instructor to        deliver the assessment and training program; 
  •        The volunteer group will teach and assist other seniors to play Pickleball and              work to ensure seniors with Parkinson's and arthritis are included.

Purchases Include:

  •        Capital Assets: (equipment purchase and replacement): ball machine, ball                hopper, and Pickleballs;
  •        Funding for manager/webmaster; Trainer fees for certified coaches;
  •        Costs for hospitality and honoraria

Program Activities - Schedule

April 2018: 

Program Manager begins contacting providers of indoor pickleball venues to secure        playspace for pickleball i.e. municipal recreation gyms, Community centers, church halls etc.

June 2018:

Advertise the program across the Region and accept applications for Parkinsons patients and "Player Buddies".

June - ongoing:

Establish an online website for informing the community and promoting the project.

July - August:

Provide training to "Player Buddies" and certified instructors delivering the program.

September - April 2019:

Run 6 week PATS sessions, two one hour session twice per week with 4 participants per one hour session twice per week (40 minimum 1st year). Record assessment values progression.

August - April 2019:

Provide all administrative support needed for  the program including payments, record keeping, public relations, rental payments, inquiries from other jurisdictions, supervision etc.

Complete and send year- end report to funder. Program continues on self-sustaining basis or supported role by ACTC.


PATS is a trademark name for the Pickleball PATS Program


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