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At Home Pickleball Practice Guide

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As the holiday season rolls in, many pickleball enthusiasts might find themselves away from the courts. However, this doesn't mean your game has to hibernate! Whether you're a beginner just getting into the swing of things, an intermediate or an advanced player, there are plenty of ways to get some at-home pickleball practice to keep your game in top shape.

Fundamental Practice

Here, we will look at some basic fundamental drills you can practice at home. These are the foundation of your training and help to build a solid and reliable game.

1. Wall Rallies

Before you begin. Here's how to set up your wall ready for some wall rally practice:

Tips: Vary your positioning. This is also dependent upon how much space you have! Try close-up dink rallies, mid-court rallies, and baseline rallies.
Focus Points: Aim for consistency and control. You can try to hit a specific spot on the wall consistently and also alter your position like this cone-hit drill:

2. Shadow Practice

One of the most underrated forms of practice, yet one of the most effective. It's an easy way to get reps using the correct technique without the pressure of an incoming ball.

Tips: Without a ball, go through the motions of various strokes and footwork.
Focus Point: Improves muscle memory through repetition, so ensure you use the correct technique. Practicing in front of a mirror or videoing yourself is a great way to ensure this.

3. Serve Practice

Many players neglect their serve practice. By including it in your training, turn yours into a weapon, not just a rally starter.

Tips: Place a target on the wall and mark the correct net height.
Focus Points: Practice the same routine you would use in a match. For example, if you like to bounce the ball twice before every serve, include that in your practice.

Control and Precision

Once you are feeling consistent with your fundamental practice, try pushing your skills to the next level with some of these drills:

1. Target Practice

There are many ways you can incorporate targets into your practice. You can use wall targets, floor targets, and objects such as buckets to try hitting into. Get inventive to keep it fun and varied!

Tips: Place targets (like cones) at strategic locations to mimic the court, place markers on the wall, and use objects to aim into like buckets.
Focus Point: Practice hitting these targets from different positions, focusing on precision and controlled pace.

2. Paddle And Ball Control

A great way to increase your overall touch and control is to practice some ball skills. Here’s a selection of different exercises from Ed Ju that you can do anywhere:

3. Dink Practice

One of our most essential shots in pickleball, it's crucial to train your dinks to be consistent, accurate, and aggressive when needed.

Tips: Use a makeshift net or a line to practice dink shots.
Focus Points: The aim is to get the ball just over the net (or line) and into the 'kitchen' area, perfecting the soft game.

4. Footwork Drills

Footwork drills can be as straightforward or complex as you want. The world is your oyster here!

Tips: Use cones and ladders to improve lateral movements and quick steps. Get creative with your drills.
Focus Points: Replicate the footwork patterns you would use in a game. Enhanced footwork is vital for better court coverage and reaction time.

5. Spin Practice

Both slice and topspin are crucial components of a well-rounded pickleball game. If you don't already have these skills, use your at-home practice to master them.

Here's an example of how to practice your topspin on the TopspinPro:

Advanced Practice

1. Power Drills

Power and your ability to be explosive with changes in direction and movement to the ball are crucial for both your defensive and attacking game.

Tips: Focus on exercises like plyometrics to build strength for powerful shots. You can also use any gym equipment you may have, such as dumbbells.
Focus Points: Improves power and explosiveness for live points play, so try to replicate game-specific movements such as wide lunges exploding back into your ready position.

2. Advanced Wall Rallies

Take your wall rallies to the next level by adding variety.

Tips: Integrate spin shots, quick volleys, and varying rhythms.
Focus Points: Simulate high-pressure game situations to enhance reaction time and shot accuracy.

Strategy and Mental Strength

Practising the mental side of the game is one of the easiest forms of practice at home. Yet, most of us don't do it! try some of these tips to make you a stronger pickleball player!

1. Educational Viewing

This is the easiest form of practice on the list. grab your phone, tablet or computer and get watching a few minutes here or there!

Tips: Watch professional matches or instructional videos.
Focus Points: Learn from observing strategies, positioning, and shot selections of top players.

2. Mental Training

There are many forms of visualization to be found on the internet. Or try creating a scenario where you might go out of your comfort zone more than usual!

Tips: Practice visualization and mental scenario planning. Practice point scenarios. Even practice getting out of your comfort zone in everyday life. These skills transfer across to the pickleball court!
Focus Points: Mental preparedness is key, especially in close matches or critical points.

3. Rules Refresher

Tips: A strong understanding of the rules can provide a strategic edge in gameplay. Review the official rules and scoring system. Try to know the rules inside out to understand every situation you may encounter on the court. Here's a link to the Official USA Pickleball Rules.
Focus Points: A strong understanding of the rules can provide a strategic edge in gameplay. Look up some interesting scenarios you may encounter on YouTube.

Wrapping Up

The holidays offer a unique opportunity to refine your pickleball skills away from the court. For beginners, it's about building a solid foundation; intermediates can focus on precision and tactics, while advanced players can maintain their edge with high-intensity drills. Beyond physical practice, engaging in strategic learning and mental conditioning is crucial for players at all levels. So, grab your paddle, clear some space, and turn your holiday downtime into productive pickleball training!


  • How can I practice pickleball at home during the holidays?

  • What are some drills to improve control and precision in pickleball?

  • How can I enhance my footwork for pickleball at home?

  • What mental training techniques can I use to improve my pickleball game?

  • Why is practicing topspin important in pickleball?

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