If you've never held a pickleball paddle and don't know how to get started, no problem! Whether you've never played a racquet sport, or whether you're a former tennis champ, this page will direct you to the right place for you to get started. Pickleball is a sport for ALL PEOPLE, ALL AGES. You can do this. Read the info below, pick a place to start, and pick up a paddle.
Upcoming Beginner Clinics
There are MANY area beginner clinics offered at various sports and rec centers around the metro area. In addition to those listed below, Kirkwood Community Center, Maryland Heights Community Center (youth) or (full guide), Crestwood Community Center, and Vetta, among others, often have beginner clinics scheduled. Please call them directly for more information.
Great Open Play Venues for Beginners
Mondays 9-12 - St. Elizabeth's of Hungary in Crestwood. Open play with beginner instruction. 1414 So. Sappington, Crestwood, MO 63126.
RESUMING IN OCTOBER: Mondays 10:30-1:30 - Salvation Army in South County. This is a great venue for those who have played enough to know the rules but are looking for a friendly "beginners welcome" environment to advance your skills before moving into intermediate or advanced open play. If you often lose games 11-5 or more and want to better your skills in a friendly environment, head over to SAL!
Tuesdays and Thursdays 8:30-11:00am - Shrewsbury City Center has open play for newer players. No on-site instruction, but if you know the rules and are looking for play specific to newer players until you're ready to tackle an all-level open play, Shrewsbury is the place to be!
Thursdays 1-4pm - St. Elizabeth's of Hungary in Crestwood. Open play with beginner instruction. 1414 So. Sappington, Crestwood, MO 63126.
Looking for a Lesson?
There are several area professionals who offer private and group lessons. The following is a list of some available professionals in no particular order (pros - if you'd like to be listed, please send an email to email@example.com).
Mike Chapin. "Mike Chapin Pickleball LLC" 5.0 USAPA Rated Player, International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association (IPTPA) Certified Level II (highest current level) Professional Instructor, Winner of over 35 medals in tournament competition at the 4.5+ skill levels. Pickleball Professional at Sunset Tennis Center, Tilles Park and Bellerive Country Club. Great pro for all levels, beginner to advanced. Does a great job with beginners to players that want to really move their game to the next skill level(s). Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an early morning, weeknight or weekend lesson, or sign up online at signupgenius.com.
Vetta Racquet Sports. Vetta has a host of racquet sport instructors for all levels. Call the location of your choice, or email Mike Najjar, coordinator of all things pickleball, at email@example.com. For information on all Vetta pickleball programming, click here.
John Callahan. "Callahan Pickleball Academy". Works with all levels. Especially enjoys helping newer players develop a stronger game, i.e. growing the game, though the Academy coaches 4.5 players as well. Check out www.callahanpickleball.com for more information. His "play with a pro" sessions are a great way to advance your game to the point you're comfortable at any open play session. For the summer 2019, when weather is nice, John will often be running programming at Dwight Davis in Forest Park.
Dwight Davis. If you have a larger group (up to 16) and want to rent out 2-4 courts for a fun event, contact DDTC for court availability and instruction prices. Click here for more information.
If you have taken an intro to pickleball class and have a handle on the basics but feel you need a few friendly games under your belt before you pop in to open play at a new venue, consider contacting Nancy Skinner, a volunteer who helps transition new players from the beginner stage to players ready and confident for open play. Email her at or text her at 850-499-6800. Groups of 3-4 preferred.
Additionally, the Saint Louis metro area has several USAPA Ambassadors who would love to answer any questions you have. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and your question will be quickly routed to the right person to assist.