How do you get better at pickleball? Practice, practice, practice. There’s no substitute for playing more, but luckily you don’t have to be on a court to get better.
Here are 4 drills that can help improve your game without leaving home, so you can be a step ahead next time you hit the court.
Shots & Reflexes
Whether it’s a garage door, squash court at the gym or even a wooden fence at the end of your driveway, if you have a hard flat surface, you can practice pickleball. Simply place marks (try chalk, paint or masking tape) on your wall at 34" off the ground to mark the net and 7 feet back for The Kitchen. Now you can practice dinking, volleys, footwork and more.
There’s nothing better than a well-placed shot — especially when you meant to hit it. To work on accuracy, place a mark or a bucket on the ground and practice hitting a few balls toward your target. Increase distance, add more marks or place a net-high object in-between you and your target to practice angles and switch up the difficulty. Placing the ball where you want is a skill that’s always in demand.
Serving is a major part of pickleball, and a good serve can make or break your game. Practice hitting your serve by measuring out the full distance from baseline to baseline (44') and placing flags, sticks or other markers where your opponents would be. Depending on your skill level, you can start simple, and graduate to hitting to weak sides, adding spin and more.
Hitting the ball is only half the game — mobility and agility play key roles in becoming a well-rounded player. If you need to work on getting in position, place two markers (paddles, sticks, etc.) at least 7 feet apart and practice sidestepping between them. You can start facing one, make a practice swing, sidestep and rotate toward the other, then swing and repeat.
Pickleball doesn’t have to stop when you leave the court, so don’t let weather, travel or full courts stop you. Whether you’re looking to improve your game or simply keep your skills sharp between rounds, there are tons of ways to practice at home. And next time you take a swing, you’ll be ready.