By Bob Nibarger
Ready or not, 2021, is here and we are looking at a new year of opportunities! With Spring just around the corner, there is hope and excitement as we begin planning for outdoor programming. I often get asked a common question, “with the uncertainty of COVID-19, how can we plan anything for this year?” In answering this question, I suggest looking at 2021 from a different lens. With COVID-19 putting normal planning activities on “pause” in 2020, now is a perfect time to plan for 2021 and expand opportunities for pickleball. Kids and families cannot wait to get fresh air, exercise, and begin playing pickleball again.
To get started, here are some organizational steps for this year.
- Form a working committee with area pickleball parents with kids, set short- and long-term goals for this year and get started; Work together to schedule practices, games, and other activities for later this year.
- Select some dates sometime in the future for programs. These could be clinics, round robins or simply recreational pickleball games. The main thing here is to get something on the calendar so families can begin planning; Collect photos from events that can be shared.
- Get your USA Pickleball Ambassador involved. He or she will have lots of contacts and can assist you as you begin to plan activities.
- Share the free resources (free online workshop & dynamic play activities) with PE teachers and youth organizers that are available on USAPickleball.org.
- Create awareness of the support offered from USA Pickleball to schools and youth programs such as the Youth Pickleball Playbook Kit, access to discounts on equipment and instructional videos. Found HERE.
The main point of this brief article is to get started and be ready to launch when restrictions ease. Do not wait only to discover that you not planned because it may be too late.
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