Spirit of the Hummingbird (SOTH) is a non-profit Minnesota-based corporation created to help build the future and enhance the long-term growth of pickleball, both nationally and worldwide.
SOTH'S intended impact will be pursued in collaboration with a wide range of American and international pickleball organizations that are focused on the game's global development (such as the United States of America Pickleball Association (USAPA), the International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) and the World Pickleball Federation (WPF).
Founded by its president and executive director, Jim (aka "JImbo") Cohen in 2017-18, SOTH's mission is multifaceted and ambitious--offering consulting, management, promotion, player development, coaching and facility design, depending on the needs of our diverse organizational and individual clients. Its goal, simply, is to strengthen and expand the influence of pickleball nationally and internationally as a sport for all people and for all ages, including those with physical disabilities and other health challenges.
SOTH aims to work with both individual and organizational clients (for-profit and non-profit) in both the United States (where the sport already is the fastest growing sport, currently played by nearly three million adult and youthful enthusiasts ranging from age 8-90+ (roughly split evenly in numbers between men and women); and enjoyed by many thousands of players in numerous other countries and regions worldwide where the game is catching on fast--including, among others, throughout Canada and Europe (e.g. France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Holland, Denmark), Central America (e.g. Costa Rica, Panama), Korea, India, South America (e.g. Brazil), Asia, Africa, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, England, Scotland, Ireland and Australia.
CURRENT ACTIVITIES & SHORT-TERM PLANS
SOTH's most visible current activities include its highly regarded coaching clinics in various states and countries (See Coaching Clinics tab on this site). Its current program development plans and practical efforts, working for and with existing local, state, national and international pickleball associations and their individual ambassadors (including the USAPA, IFP and WPF (collectively wherever possible), aim eventually towards:
(a) representing players and established teams in league competitions (both within the U.S. and among various countries);
(b) creating opportunities for greater player exposure and increased prize money for tournament success;
(c) refining further the rules applicable to tournament competitions;
(d) finding funding for and developing state-of-the-art and replicable multi-sport arenas focused on pickleball play, as well as allowing for enhanced public spectator enjoyment and public & social media involement;
(e) helping to ensure that the indoor and outdoor tournaments that are sanctioned for players' national and international rankings, and for general participation, consistently use balls from the same brands or at least with the same characteristics, in order to enhance the integrity of competitors' rankings and to facilitate a reduction in players' injuries;
(f) facilitating the further development of one major and reliable rating system, universally accepted, for both professional and amateur players;
(g) creating different leagues and governance structures that will facilitate the long-term growth and durability of the game nationally and internationally; and
(h) ensuring the national and international application, integrity, consistency and reliability of sanctioned teaching programs, such as the long-established and highly regarded training program of the International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association (IPTPA) and the Professional Pickleball Registry (developed and adopted by the USAPA in 2018).
LONG-TERM NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL GOALS
Over the long term, nationally, SOTH will promote, expand and enhance various Pickleball product manufacturers, brands, facilities and organizations, worldwide. We will enable our national and international clients to be the best version of themselves--showing clients new and innovative strategies to grow and expand their brands and products.
We will engage and contract with healthcare, financial services, real estate developers, retail businesses and other industries, that can benefit from the growing sport of pickleball. To promote our pickleball client companies, branded product, apparel suppliers, sports facilities and sports organizations worldwide, Spirit of the Hummingbird (SOTH) will develop our clients into the premier product and service providers in the pickleball industry. There are many small startup companies in the market, and more coming into existence every month. SOTH will identify and select clients who can rise through the clutter, to become market leaders.
In short, SOTH will utilize its extensive business and legal experience, research and innovative strategies to grow and expand our clients brand awareness and product sales in the USA and elsewhere. SOTH will also identify Clients in the Healthcare industry, financial services industry, 55+ real estate developers and specialty retailers who will prosper in the unique and exponentially expanding market segment that is Pickleball.
Internationally, in its early efforts to help promote, expand and enhance Pickleball worldwide, SOTH has helped facilitate the development of the Mexico Pickleball Association in Ajijic, in the central Mexican state of Jalisco (a short distance from its capitol of Guadalajara), with the aim of bringing pickleball convienently to all of Mexico. This development program is intended to become the model for future expansion into Mexico and other Latin, Central and South American countries where retirees from around the world often travel to, winter or live in. SOTH will also help communities, cities and villages in all parts of Mexico to experience how pickleball can serve their communities and youth populations, by enabling them to become involved in a “racket sport” that is accessible, affordable and supported by the volunteer efforts of retired persons from around the world, who are residing in Mexico.
In addition, SOTH's long-term international goals include working cooperatively and vigorously with the World Pickleball Federation (WPF), of which Jimbo Cohen is a founding board member, the International Pickleball Federation (IFP) and the United States Pickleball Association (with which Mr. Cohen has been asked to asked to assist in a volunteer capacity), includes SOTH's intention to contribute to the worldwide expansion of this great and fun sport through:
(a) the establishment of country-wide ambassador and “Gringo mentorship” programs in Mexico and other foreign countries, aimed at involving Mexican and other foreign country youth, wherever pickleball is played;
(b) the development of fund raising programs to facilitate the growth of pickleball within and among member countries of the IFP and WPF;
(c) the expansion of travel and teaching opportunities for U.S. and other countries' pickleball players; and through
(d) contracting with real estate developers, to create additional pickleball facilities.
Two organizations created simultaneously with SOTH, and intended to complement its national and international efforts to broaden the scope and strengthen the impact of the game, are the International Association of Professional Pickleball Players (IAPPP) amd Elite Athletes Management Agency (EAMA). Both those organizations, separately and cooperatively, over the long run will be dedicated to:
(a) securing more financial commitments from various sources for increased prize money at sanctioned and other major tournaments;
(b) enhancing professional players' collective influence in negotiating terms and benefits for their full and cooperative participation in, and the marketing of, tournaments and efforts to increase the visibility and influence of the USAPA, IFP, WPF and other state, country and international pickleball associations and federations; and to
(c) procuring enhanced public media coverage of Pickleball, nationally and internationally.
Files coming soon.