Pickleball team building presents a ton of opportunities for teams to bond. Whether you are looking to rally the sales staff, break down walls between departments, or bring people closer together post-pandemic, pickleball’s low barrier to entry and proximity of play make it the perfect event to bring people together.
Here are a few reasons why Pickleball Rookie predicts that pickleball team building is the next wave of the sport’s rapid growth.
Picking a Team Building Event Is Hard
For anyone who has done their time in the corporate machine is already familiar with classic team-building activities such as scavenger hunts, BINGO, two truths and a lie, etc. If we’re going to be honest, those games all kind of suck. The best team-building events I have been part of revolved around sports. And since pickleball might be the most inclusive sport ever invented, no one gets left out of the fun. Even if your employees are not fitness freaks, they will still have a great time learning about and playing pickleball.
As a company or a boss, cash in on the excitement and put pickleball at the center of your next team event. It will get people talking!
Get People Out of the Office
A change of setting helps neutralize the playing field. Suddenly, a supervisor who might have felt unapproachable is right there next to you, and is just as human! The best team-building events take place outside of the office. One of the beautiful things about pickleball is that courts can be set up anywhere: you can play in a parking lot; you can even play pickleball on grass. Pickleball facilities are opening all over the country, and I’m willing to bet they will get into the team-building business.
Forty-Four Feet of Team Work
The size of a pickleball court is conducive to team-building. Unlike a tennis court or a setting where people are sitting in rows or far distances from each other, pickleball gives you 1,800 square feet to work with. And if you have a big crowd, you’ll be OK: you can fit two pickleball courts for every tennis court.
Pickleball Is the Most Inclusive Game I Have Ever Played
A low barrier to entry makes the game accessible to everyone. Regardless of age or physical encumbrances, participation can be high when the event is structured correctly. One of the best things about pickleball is that people can play at their own pace and level. I have seen people in their 70s playing next to people in their 20s, and everyone is having a great time. Big, small, black, white, heavy, or light–pickleball is for everyone. Pickleball team-building events put wellness at the forefront for your employees.
Equipment Can Be Relatively Inexpensive
For the purposes of team building, no one needs a $300 Selkirk Labs paddle or even a $100 Engage paddle. Basic pickleball paddles can still be had for $15 a pop; a ball is a couple of dollars; portable nets are under $80; the highest rate I’ve seen for an indoor pickable court rental is $45 an hour in the New York area, so this also becomes an affordable choice.
Pickleball Team-Building Ideas
Since the sport is rapidly evolving and growing, including investments from the world’s biggest athletes, why not have teams compete to put together a business pitch to help grow the sport? Or, since the rules are always being evaluated and changed, have folks work on ways to make the game more efficient, exciting or fun?
Up in the Air
Most racquet/paddle beginner lessons start the same way, with kids hitting the ball in the air, attempting to see how many times they can tap the ball before losing control. Play some music and eliminate folks as balls drop to the ground. Have some hotshots who can keep the ball in the air? Have them hop on one foot.
Depending on your participants’ comfort level, you can consider having dink rallies by playing mini pickleball, or see which teams can have the longest rallies. Then, let tandems work together to strategize the most effective way to hit the ball back and forth.
Pickleball Doubles Tournament
Ready to put what you have learned to the test? One of the beautiful things about pickleball is that beginners can play right out of the box after a few quick pointers. Put communication and teamwork to the test by having doubles partners battle it out. If you have any athletes in your group or experienced pickleball players, consider allowing them only to use their non-dominant hand.
Pitch Pickleball to a Third Grader
If pickleball education is part of your event, you can flip the script after teaching “students” the basics…and have them teach fictional newbies. Whether you choose to have employees explain the game to imaginary children or aliens–the end result is sure to provide a few laughs.
Relay Races, Blindfolds, Oh My
A pickleball relay race can be a test of communication and skill. Add a twist and have one player blindfolded while the other guides them through the race, or tie one hand behind their back! Since your HR department is unlikely to approve your axe throwing team building event, go for the next best thing and have the team take target practice. You can set up areas around the court and assign a point system for hitting different items and locations. Hey, maybe even the boss’s face shows up. 😉
Hold a Pickleball Tournament
Sometimes keeping things simple is the best path. You can always hold a pickleball tournament as your grand finale, with doubles teams competing for a prize. Assuming most employees are new to the sport and things are relatively even, watching people’s competitive juices get flowing should be a blast.
Over the past year, I have seen countless people show up at the pickleball court and leave happier after playing. Try these pickleball team-building activities and feed off the energy that only smiles can fuel.
Who knows, maybe the team building goes so well that you decide to start a corporate league. 🙂