Several folks have reached out to me to ask how they can go about arranging Sarah Ansboury pickleball clinics or an Ansboury Academy in their area. So today I’ll review the process.
A New Pickleball Journey
In May of this year, I decided to move from teaching tennis full time to focusing exclusively on pickleball. I love the change! I am a big believer in always learning and striving to grow. And trust me: leaving our home, purchasing a truck and trailer, moving from place to place, starting a whole new business and playing in tournaments has certainly been a learning experience!
We have had some real adventures, some mishaps, and challenges…but mostly we have had great experiences. I love being able to see all sorts of different people and be exposed to so many different playing styles. I really enjoy helping people pursue their own pickleball journey!
Before we arrive in a new city, we have typically arranged a series of 2-hour clinics. Each clinic session addresses a specific skill level and topic. We prefer to work with small groups (no more than 16 people) because we know that you can’t learn an athletic move by simply listening to a lecture or watching someone else demonstrate the movement. Certainly, that is part of it, but if you want to really improve you need to get on the court and try it. You need someone to point out what you are doing right, or identify different ways you can try it. As we have discussed before you want to practice intentionally… you want to practice doing it the right way. So most of the time, my students are on the court.
Between clinics, the day before or after, I also offer private and small group sessions. A player may be having difficulty with a particular shot. Partners may want my help in working together as a team. A group of four friends might sign up for a playing lesson. Coming from teaching tennis I find value in adapting my teaching to each student. We have different bodies. We have different abilities. Perhaps we have physical limitations that need to be addressed. Recognizing we are all different is important.
It is possible that we can add a stop to our existing schedule. It may work out that we are passing through an area and will sometimes just do a one-day event. However, most often we work with folks well in advance to schedule these events. I trust you can understand that we need a minimum number of events and students in a given area to be able to afford the time and travel associated with an event. We also need help from a local representative to assist us in securing adequate court time. As a member of the IPTPA, I have the required liability insurance….but need to know ahead of time where the event will be and any costs associated with securing the facility.
The response to our 3-day Ansboury Academies has been wonderful. We sold out 4 of these events in Las Vegas this fall. The Academies provide for intense instruction for two days, followed by a tournament day. We all know it is one thing to practice something, and quite another to put it to use in a tournament. By limiting these sessions to 12 students of similar skill level, we assure that everyone gets supervision both while practicing and playing.
Our first Ansboury Academy in Las Vegas came about with the help of Sally Dobson and Lisa Carter. After attending clinics in Las Vegas, many of the participants wanted more. Working with them, we were able to arrange for the Academy to be run before and after the Sin City Tournament. What a fantastic venue, and great pickleball destination.
We are also working with Nancy and Denise at RVPicklers to offer Ansboury Academies in a RV resort in Florida prior to the US Open in Naples. So, if like us, you move from tournament to tournament, in your camper…stay tuned for the details in the coming weeks. (Please note: subscribers to my newsletter will be informed first of upcoming Academies. So if you haven’t subscribed already, so it today!)
As I shared with my subscribers in a recent newsletter, we are trying hard to create a schedule that addresses the many teaching requests we have received, while allowing me time to practice and compete. If you want us to come to your town, please drop us an email and we will see when we can make the schedule work. We like to be able to keep the clinic page current, and offer online sign-up whenever possible.
As I mentioned above, from time to time we are able to add dates. Just last week we added two days onto our drive when someone noticed we were planning to be nearby. We may not have enough time to add these dates to this website, but will include them on the Sarah Ansboury Pickleball Facebook page.
Look forward to seeing you on the pickleball courts soon!