Effective Ideas for Ambassadors
- Be sure to add any new locations to the Official USAPA Places 2 Play website, as soon as possible, and be sure that the information is complete and accurate, by referring to the “Places 2 Play Help Guide.” If the location is not open yet, or only open seasonally, include that information in the listing. All listings should be “Updated” at least once a year, even if the information has not changed, so that the “Updated Date,” is not more than one year old. The Places to Play feature, is a critical tool of our organization and our sport and referred to regularly by members and non-members alike.
- Identify possible future locations where pickleball could be played, such as county/city/private gyms, senior centers & schools. Locations where badminton (indoor) or tennis (mostly outdoor) is played.
- Identify individuals or groups of persons, such as youth/family/seniors who are potential players, and try to organize regular play for that group.
- For upcoming clinics, tournaments & other events, identify and contact local media, and let them know about our great game of pickleball. Give them a human interest story about your players. Encourage the members of the media to come out & see what is happening, and how much fun we have. Refer them to usapa.org for our history and to view our promotional DVD on the bottom of our Home Page. It makes it easy for them to write their story about this new game with the funny name.
- Utilize the USAPA Promotion DVD to demonstrate our game to possible players & officials.
- Compile a computer data base of players for communication purposes.
- Advertise/organize a training clinic for new players. Have handouts describing playing tips, equipment sources and pickleball websites. Inform the local media of an upcoming event. Make arrangements for regular subsequent play for interested players. Introducing the game is only half the battle… success is getting them on the court on a regular basis.
- Organize training clinics periodically for beginning and/or intermediate players who wish to improve their games. Arrange for a top player in your area, who is a good instructor, to conduct the clinic.
- Organize groups of players into clubs when it might be advantageous for such a structure. This may be necessary for recognition purposes i.e. in a senior community when other sport groups have clubs. An added advantage is that continued leadership is assured and the unit becomes stronger as players will have a common focus. Click here for Sample Club Bylaws (PDF file).
- When there are more than a couple of clubs in an area, organize a Council of Clubs where leaders can get together periodically to share ideas, common concerns, dates for tournaments etc.
- Arrange for a USAPA registered trainer to conduct referee training at least two weeks ahead of a sanctioned USAPA tournament using the USAPA Referee Materials available on the website under Rules & Referees.Provide clipboards with blank scoresheets from the tournament software to be used (or the USAPA Official Manual Scoresheet) for referees to practice refereeing during open play matches.
- Promote the use of the various links on the Learning to Play page on the website. This info provides some basics for helping players improve their game.
- Ambassadors may apply for a grant for a new net in a pickleball start-up situation. The Grant Application is in the Training & Education segment of our website.
- Organize in-house tournaments and help facilitate interclub tournaments with other clubs in the area.
- Promote sanctioned USAPA tournaments and share the benefits a sanctioned event offers vs non-sanctioned events. The information & application for this process is in the Tournament section of the website.
- Encourage Tournament Directors in your area to utilize the Tournament Software function, also in the Tournament section of the website.
- Be alert to new sport facilities being considered in your area, either government or private, both indoor and outdoor. Awareness and involvement in the early planning stages can possibly lead to the addition of courts being added to the project. Court dimensions and the space requirements are shown on the website on the Court Diagrams page.
- If these facilities are primarily for family/youth, offer to teach pickleball to these groups! Get other players in the area to help.
- Have USAPA Membership Applications in your gym bag, and at every opportunity, mention the goals of the USAPA organization and ask people to join.
- Start a Pickleball website, a great communication tool, and a way to publicize local happenings.
- If you are a “snowbird”, or regularly do not spend the majority of your time in your designated area, we suggest you recruit an ‘assistant’ who would be available most of the time. Use this person to assist you in any way you can. Ask for their opinions & ideas too.
- For additional ideas, read this article about ” Starting Pickleball in a Community.“
- Always strive to gain new USAPA members. Access the Member List to determine who are already members in your Local Area & get them to assist with recruiting. You can accomplish this by clicking ‘Show All’ then sorting by city/state or province. In this manner you can determine who are not members and whom you want to target for membership.
- Ask your Regional Director and/or other Ambassadors in your area for ideas/assistance.
- Consider joining the USAPA Ambassadors Forum. Ambassadors have access to an exclusive forum to discuss matters, share ideas and offer support. If you are a current ambassador and would like to join this group or have questions, please contact the Ambassador Forum Manager, CLICK HERE
Assistant Director, Ambassadors
USA Pickleball Association