Life Time Pickleball
Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the country, and Life Time is in the game, big time. Included in your membership, we offer more courts, more open play time and more fun with this highly addictive sport that’s part tennis, part badminton, part ping-pong and all-around fun.
Open Play For All
Members can sign up, show up and play
Open Play is a series of set times every week where all players with a reservation can participate in fun and challenging games. Play with a partner or rotate partners with each new game. Open to all ages and levels. Check your club schedule for Open Play times, reserve your spot and then join in. Paddles and balls are provided if needed.
Programming Available at Select Clubs
Intro to Pickleball Class
This special introductory class teaches the basics of the game, scoring and the importance of staying out of the kitchen! Wear your workout clothes and court shoes. We provide the paddles, balls, instruction and fun.
Private, semi-private and group lessons are available with our teaching pros.
Geared toward improving specific skills (serve, dinking, tactical strategies, etc.), drills are led by a certified pickleball pro.
Be part of a team and play other similarly matched teams as you fight your way to the league championship trophy.
Competitive Tournaments and Leagues
Mix and mingle with other players at social events or put your skills to the test by competing in a tournament.
I am new to pickleball. How do I get started?
We are excited to hear you are interested in getting started with pickleball! With almost 74,000 Life Time members joining our pickleball community, we are confident you will fall in love with the nation’s fastest growing sport! To get started, we recommend an Intro to Pickleball class, which is offered at many of our Life Time locations and complimentary with your membership. This one-hour class is designed to help you learn the basics of how to play pickleball, including scoring, rules and strategies of playing the game.
The next step is getting involved in beginner Open Play pickleball. Open Play is a series of set times each week where all players with a reservation can participate in fun and challenging games. Play with a partner or rotate partners with each new game. Court reservations are also available for players who already have established partners and opponents. Court reservations are complimentary with a Signature Membership. In addition, most Life Time locations offer pickleball lessons, clinics and mixers as well. Our experienced pickleball leaders at the club can assist you with determining your player level and making recommendations.
Do you offer progressive lessons or clinics to further advance my skills?
We are excited to support you in improving your pickleball skills. Our experienced pickleball pros host a variety of options for you to get involved. This includes lessons and group clinics for players at all levels. We also offer private lessons through our experienced, certified professionals.
Do I have to be a member to play pickleball?
A membership is required to access pickleball courts at Life Time. Find a club near you and learn more about our membership options.
How do I meet other players to play pickleball with?
As a Life Time member, we offer many options for you to meet fellow pickleball players. We invite you to participate in Open Play, our Intro to Pickleball class, clinics, drills and leagues. In addition, we offer pickleball mixers. Mixers are two-hour events that are designed to help you meet and play with or against other similarly skilled players. They provide a fun and competitive environment and create great social connections within the pickleball community. Mixers are $10 per event. Timing and availability of these offerings vary by club. We recommend connecting with the pickleball leader at your local Life Time to ensure you are connected with the correct group of players.
Does Life Time host pickleball tournaments?
Tournaments of various size and ability levels are offered at select locations nationwide.
Where can I learn more about the rules?
To learn more about the pickleball rules, check out this Experience Life article on How to Play Pickleball. In this article, David Dutrieuille, Life Time’s National Pickleball Director, breaks down the game and offers helpful tips to get you started on the court.
Who can play pickleball?
Everyone! From young kids to older adults, beginners to pros, fierce competitors to social players, people of all ages, abilities and levels of competitiveness are playing pickleball. Check out Life Time member testimonies.
How do I reserve court time to play pickleball?
Once you enroll as a member, you will be able to reserve your court through the Life Time Digital app. There are two ways to reserve a court.
- Open Play. Reserve your spot on the court for up to two hours to compete and play with other players with an Open Play reservation. If there are more than six players registered, each player will rotate in. This is a great way to meet new players!
- Court reservation. Already have a group of players to play with? As a Life Time member, you can reserve a full court just for you and your crew.
Are pickleball reservations an additional cost?
Open Play pickleball time slots are complimentary for all members.
Pickleball court reservations are complimentary with a Signature Membership. Those members without a Signature Membership are subject to a $20 per hour or $10 per half hour pickleball court fee.
Are pickleball paddles and balls provided?
Yes, at Life Time, we have complimentary loaner paddles and pickleballs available.
Pickleball Terminology to Know
Carry: A normal pickleball shot bounces off the paddle. A carry is when the ball slides along the paddle when swinging the paddle forward, giving the visual appearance of you throwing the ball off your paddle.
Cross-court: Cross-court refers to a player’s position on the court. When a player is located in one of the playing boxes (let’s say the right side), cross-court refers to the box that is diagonally across from that player (in this example, the left side) on the other side of the net.
Kitchen: The kitchen is 7’ space on either side of the pickleball net. This space a different color from the reminder of the court to make it easily identifiable. A player may not step into this space unless the ball has already bounced within it. A player may not stand in the kitchen and hit the ball out of the air. This is also referred to as the “non-volley zone.”
Live ball: A live ball is a ball that will bounce off the playing surface once. A player must make contact with the ball off of the first bounce or else the ball will become “dead.”
Dead ball: A dead ball can refer to a ball that is no longer in play. A player must make contact with the ball off of the first bounce or else the ball will become “dead.” A dead ball can be a pickleball that has lost its proper bounce.
Dink shot: A dink shot is commonly understood as a softly hit pickleball ball shot that is hit from the non-volley zone that lands on the opposite side in the non-volley zone. A dink shot may be hit directly in front of or cross-court from the player who is hitting the dink shot. A dink shot can also be understood as a shot hit from anywhere on the court that is softer in nature, intended to land in non-volley zone.
Double bounce: Double bounce indicates that the ball bounces twice thus creating a dead ball or it can make reference to the “two bounce rule” (i.e., double bounce rule).
Double bounce rule: The double bounce rule is a pickleball-specific rule that prohibits any pickleball player hitting the ball out of the air until the serving team and receiving team have allowed the ball to be hit and bounce off the ground once on each side.
Ground stroke: A ground stroke is any shot made on the pickleball court. A common ground stroke in pickleball is called a drive. This ground stroke is a shot that is hit hard with pace using your whole body to generate pressure against an opponent.
Lob: A lob is a type of shot that a player hits out of the air or off the bounce over their opponent’s head.
Volley: Volley means to hit the ball out of the air.
Non-volley zone: The non-volley zone is 7’ space on either side of the pickleball net. This space a different color from the reminder of the court to make it easily identifiable. A player may not step into this space unless the ball has already bounced within it. A player may not stand in the non-volley zone and hit the ball out of the air. This is also referred to as the “kitchen.”
Third shot drop: In pickleball, the three basic shots any player must hit are the serve, return, and a third shot option (lob, drive, drop). A third shot drop is a shot that takes a dink shot and combines distance. With this type of shot, the player hits a soft shot hit, after the return of serve. This shot has a gentle arch intended to be unattackable and land into the kitchen. The purpose of this shot is to take away space from your opponents and allow your team to get to the non-volley zone.
Understanding Pickleball Skill Levels
David Dutrieuille, Life Time’s National Director of Pickleball suggests the skill assessment below to evaluate your skill level. Our in-club pickleball leaders are also available to assist members with assessing their skill level.
1.0–2.5: You’re a beginner. As you get closer to the end range of this scale, you learn how to keep score, understand serving positions, and can successfully serve the ball four out of 10 times.
2.5–3.0: You’re at a beginner-intermediate level. You’re more confident in hitting the ball out of the air, hitting ground strokes, and blocking shots.
3.0–3.5: You’re generally considered intermediate. You’re not as afraid of the non-volley zone and have an impetus to enjoy getting closer to the net. You start exploring different shots, such as sideline shots and lobs — perhaps even attempting a dink here and there.
3.5–4.0: You’re generally considered to be at an intermediate-advanced level. This is where the game starts to take a different shape, says Dutrieuille. You’re comfortable and confident with ground strokes, you hit the ball hard, you want to get to the non-volley zone line and are attempting to do a third shot drop. Your ability to manipulate and slow down the game increases.
4.0–4.5: You know where you want to hit the ball and are directionally intent — and you get it there about 60 percent of the time. You can easily serve successfully eight out of 10 times. You’re able to execute a third shot drop and a reset shot about 50 percent of the time.
5.0–5.5: You’re able to perform a third shot drop and a reset about 80 to 90 percent of the time.
5.5+: You’re at a pro level. You’re executing all shots at a rate of 90 percent or higher.
Membership levels, types, amenities, services, programs and their associated dues, pricing, fees and/or charges may vary by location and are subject to change. Access to clubs, and certain services, programs, amenities, or areas within a club (e.g., outdoor pools, racquet courts) may be restricted, conditioned, or otherwise limited by specific terms and conditions and/or subject to a separate or supplemental fee for access or use (e.g., your access to the outdoor pool area may require a separate fee and be limited to your designated club). See club for additional terms and conditions that may apply. Always consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program.