Pickleball is undoubtedly one of the fastest growing sports right now, especially in the US, and the game has gone from consisting purely of amateurs, into birthing its very own set of professional players, with those players going on to play full time, and even earn money by doing so, which is exciting for them, and for the sport itself.
The sport has over 3 million players in the US alone, but it’s important to remember that pickleball is still growing, so unlike a sport like tennis, the prize money involved with playing tournaments doesn’t tend to be as high.
If you’ve ever wondered how much money professional pickleball players earn, and whether or not it’s a viable career option for those who play the sport regularly at an amateur level, then this guide will provide you with all of the information you need to know.
How Much Do Professional Pickleball Players Earn?
Before we can begin to look at how much money is earnt by professional players in Pickleball, it is important to know that the term “professional” is one that is used in a rather loose fashion in this sport, especially since it is only up until recently where anyone could enter a tournament simply by paying the required entry fee, which could end up pitting you against some of the best players in the country.
So, the players which sometimes play in tournaments aren’t necessarily professional players, which means that we can’t evaluate their earnings as a representation of what a professional pickleball player earns.
Instead, we’ll take a look at the players who play the sport for a living, and who are involved with it all year round, as opposed to its peak play time in the summer.
So, that begs the question, how much do professional pickleball players earn?
On average, a professional pickleball player can earn anywhere from $50,000, up to $200,000 a year.
This isn’t just from playing though, as with most sporting professionals, earnings can come from a wide variety of sources, most notably, gear sponsorships, with some of the top pickleball players earning as much as $80,000 through their sponsors.
So, let’s take a look at some of the forms of earnings that pickleball players get:
Arguably the most prominent form of earnings for any professional pickleball player is from gear and equipment sponsorships (Also check out Best Pickleball Sets), and as the sport begins to gain popularity and traction worldwide, the amount of money that sponsors are willing to pay also increases too.
If you want an example of this, then you need not look any further than Selkirk Sport, who, as any fan of pickleball will know, are probably the leading brand for paddles and surrounding accessories in the sport, and in recent years, their incentive pool has increased dramatically, reaching over $300k as of 2019.
The next form of earnings that many pickleball players, especially those who are considered professional, but rank slightly lower than those at the top, is coaching.
Many players earn themselves a Pickleball Coaching International certification, which allows them to coach new players for money and to pass their experience and expertise onto people looking to get involved with the sport.
How much a player can earn from coaching pickleball depends on a number of different factors, such as where in the world they are, the amount of people attending their lessons, and the level of experience they are able to offer their students.
In the US, people typically expect to pay around $10 per hour for Pickleball lessons, and classes can range in size anywhere from 10 to 30 people, which is why so many professional pickleball athletes choose to coach alongside their professional career.
Of course, those who offer private coaching sessions, or particularly advanced or specialized coaching lessons will be able to charge a lot more for their time, so that can have an effect on their income too.
Of course, professional pickleball players aren’t always able to travel everywhere in order to coach the next generation of pickleball players, which is why so many people look for online tutorials and guides from experienced players for learning how to play pickleball (You might want to check out How Many Calories To Play Pickleball).
There are a number of players who run YouTube channels and blogs all about how to play pickleball, and provide information on every detail of the game needed in order to become an avid player.
Although it is free for new players to access content, professional players are able to earn some money from the ad revenue found on their websites and YouTube channels, although this is not enough to be considered a stable source of income.
People do often contact those who make these videos for in-person professional coaching, which can lead to some more revenue for those players who need it.
What About Those Outside Of The Top Rankings?
For those professionals who find themselves outside of the highest ranked spots in the sport, unfortunately the earnings just aren’t enough to be considered a sustainable form of income, so it means that until those players are good enough to earn sponsorships from equipment manufacturers and brands, then they will have to work alongside their pickleball career.
Although pickleball is a sport very much on the rise, those who are looking to try and forge a profitable professional career in the sport might need to hold off from quitting their day jobs just yet, as the money earnt by the top ranking players is definitely not a true representation of what every pickleball player earns.
So, as the game continues to grow, it is likely that the prize money and sponsorship deals will likely grow too, so the next generation of pickleball pros might just be the luckiest ones yet!