My Story

Daniel J Howard – Coach, Athlete, Mentor

I began my coaching career while I was still in high school. And I’ve been coaching ever since.

I started teaching basketball and tennis camps while in high school and continued throughout college during the summer months. Upon graduating college, I started teaching tennis part-time while also working with clients as a personal trainer. Within months I built up a full slate of tennis lessons and taught full-time for the next 15 years.

Once I discovered pickleball, I made the transition to the sport and devoted myself to being the best pickleball instructor and coach. I began teaching private and group lessons and leading camps across the country. 
I am passionate about sports because from a very young age, I was exposed to a variety of sporting activities by my athletically inclined father. I discovered that I had an aptitude for most any sport requiring hand-eye coordination and/or foot speed. I got great enjoyment from running, jumping, swinging objects at balls, and sending a ball though a hoop or to a target. I had great fun exploring possibilities and experimenting with what I was capable of. Free play was (and is) pure enjoyment for me.

In school, I participated in many different sports because I discovered that I was a fairly talented athlete, but mostly because I wanted to perform. As a youngster, I ran track, played golf, basketball, baseball, tennis, and recreational football with friends. In high school, I played lots of table tennis with friends, played golf and soccer for my high school team, and was captain of the varsity basketball and tennis teams, earning all-state honors in basketball. I played two years of basketball and four years of tennis in college. 

I am passionate about teaching because I love helping others and enjoy helping them discover the joy of participating in sports as I have. I enjoy adding value to people’s lives and one way I can do that is through coaching and teaching a sport.

I believe sports are a metaphor for life in general and there are many lessons to be learned, which can help one become a better, more well-rounded person. Sports point us to something bigger than ourselves. 

My father has been a coach since I was born. He has coached varsity basketball for over 45 years and is as passionate about it today as when he started. My mother was a substitute schoolteacher and was a great teacher to me and my siblings. Growing up in the home of a coach and a teacher, I suppose you could say those two passions run in my blood. I adopted much of my abilities from the nurturing and education of my parents. 

Following in my footsteps, my oldest son played high school basketball, choosing to play for his grandpa (my father), and also played college tennis at my alma mater. He currently teaches tennis full-time, leading group lessons and coaching individual students. He recently coached the East Lansing High School tennis team. He has helped me lead pickleball camps around the country. 

Daniel J Howard - Sports Mental Game Coach
Daniel J Howard posing with Drew Brees

I am a certified Mental Game Coaching Professional, MGCP.

Mental Game Coaching Professional Logo

I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Exercise Science from Cornerstone University.


“Mental coaching has been a game changer for me. Thank you to Daniel Howard for being such an amazing coach! I’ve made incredible improvement with your help! The most amazing feeling has been finding my true love for the game again!”
Adrienne K, professional pickleball player

Coaching Experience

I coached tennis for 15 years. I’ve also coached high school varsity basketball, high school tennis, as well as college and professional tennis players.

Daniel J Howard signed to the Selkirk team
Daniel J Howard family photo
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