Friday, December 3, 2021

In Your Comfort Zone

Coach Wayne’s Corner


Playing pickleball is a fun way to get your competitive juices flowing, get some exerciseand make new friends. 

One of the things that makes pickleball so popular is thatgenerally speaking, when you’re playing, the time you spend both on and off the court is a socially fun and friendly experience. However, when you are new to the sport the whole affair can be somewhat intimidating. 

It doesn’t matter if you are playing at your neighborhood courts, at your local club, or at a large public park facility like Naples Pickleball Center. Becoming comfortable with the format of participating in rotational play can be somewhat overwhelming. 

Even if you have actively competed in other sports, the whole concept of how pickleball is played is different. The truth is that all players, at one point in time, have felt the anxiety of being a newcomer to the sport. 

Submitted Photo | Comfort Zone

I have played tennis for my entire life and I have always been comfortable when playing socially or competing in a tournament environment. However, when I began playing pickleball some 10 years ago, I had to start from scratch and reprogram myself in the correct way to participate in both social rotational play as well as in tournament competition. 

I realized that if I were to become an accomplished player, I needed to first learn proper fundamentals and how stroke production in pickleball varied from the sport of tennis. I also needed to familiarize myself with the rules and social etiquette of the game. 

Once I had acquired a firm understanding of the fundamentals, I was then able to advance my level of play to the level I was as a tennis player. 

Because of this personal experience of being new to pickleball, I am now offering a clinic called “Stay and Play”. 

The “Stay and Play” clinic is for the player who has completed a beginners clinic and would like to become more familiar with court positioning for point play, basic strategy, shot selection, and scoring.  

In the clinic, I cover stroke and shot fundamentals, teach you some simple drills to help improve your fundamentals, then follow up with supervised point/game play. We will finish the clinic with a quick tour of the park to familiarize you with the layout of the courts so you will feel comfortable competing with players at your own skill level. 

The one-and-a-half-hour clinic is limited to four players and is offered on Saturday mornings beginning at 8:30 and at 10:00. You can register and pay for the clinic by visiting our website at The cost for the clinic is $30. 

So, if you are new to the game and feeling somewhat intimidated and uncomfortable with going out and participating in social rotational play, my “Stay and Play” clinic will help you to gain some confidence in your game, make some new friends and most of all, have a fun time learning! 

Wayne Clark is a professional tennis instructor with over 25 years of experience coaching players on all levels of the game. Wayne is also qualified in pickleball instruction and is on staff as an instructor with The Pickleball Academy of Southwest Florida at East Naples Community Park. Contact Coach Wayne by email at, or by call or text at 239-450-6161. 



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