Let’s face it, sometimes life gets in the way and you can’t always wrangle up a pickleball partner to hit the courts with. But that doesn’t mean your game has to suffer! There are plenty of ways to stay sharp and improve your pickleball skills even when you’re going solo.
Practicing pickleball by yourself can be boring, but it doesn’t have to be. By mixing up your routine and focusing on key areas of your game, you can stay engaged and motivated to keep improving.
Not sure where to start? Check out these 9 essential pickleball drills you can do when you’re flying solo.
The Telephone Pole Drill
This one’s great for working on your drop shot accuracy. Find yourself a telephone pole (or any vertical object really) and set up so you’re about 10-15 feet away from it. Then start hitting soft drop shots over the object, trying to land the ball as close to the base of the pole as possible. The smaller the target, the more challenging (and rewarding) this drill will be.
Doesn’t matter what level you are in pickleball, this is a great way to work on one of the most important shots in the game.
The Speed Ladder Drill
This one’s all about improving your footwork and getting comfortable moving side to side quickly. Set up a speed ladder on the pickleball court (you can find them cheaply online or at most sporting goods stores) and run through it forwards and backwards, making sure to touch each rung with both feet as you go. For an added challenge, try doing some lateral movements through the ladder as well!
The Wall Drill
This is a great way to work on all aspects of your game at once. Find yourself an empty wall and start hitting balls against it, varying up your shots as you go. Try different spins, speeds, and angles to keep things interesting (and challenging). Not only will this force you to get creative with your shots, but it’ll also help build up those all-important forearm muscles!
You can also make your own pickleball wall using PVC pipes and a tarp. Simply set up the pipes in a rectangle, stretch the tarp over them, and start hitting away!
If you’ve ever played pickleball, you know that having good form is key to winning the game. But what many people don’t realize is that you can practice your form without even hitting a ball.
This is called called a shadow swing, and it’s a great way to improve your control on the court. When you shadow swing, you simply pretend to swing the paddle, imagining that you’re hitting a ball. This may seem like a pointless exercise, but it’s actually quite beneficial.
By swinging the paddle without hitting anything, you can focus solely on your form and make any necessary adjustments. As a result, you’ll be better prepared to take on your opponents the next time you step on the court. So the next time you pick up a paddle, don’t forget to do some shadow swings before you start playing.
Get more comfortable on the court
One of the best ways to improve your pickleball skills is to simply get more comfortable on the court. If you’re not used to playing, the whole experience can be pretty overwhelming. There are so many things to think about at once, and it’s easy to get lost in the moment.
That’s why it’s important to take some time to just get comfortable with being on the court. If you can learn to relax and not focus on everything at once, you’ll be in a much better position to succeed. So the next time you find yourself alone on the court, take a few minutes to just walk around and get comfortable with your surroundings.
As you become more familiar with the court, you’ll start to feel more comfortable, and you will be more and more aggressive while playing pickleball. And the more comfortable you feel, the better your pickleball skills will become.
Practice long shots
One of the best ways to improve your pickleball skills is to practice your long shots. Many players make the mistake of only practicing their short game, but it’s important to be able to hit the ball hard and accurately from all parts of the court.
So the next time you’re playing, make a point to practice your long shots. Not only will this help you become a more well-rounded player, but it’ll also give you an edge on your opponents. After all, they won’t be expecting you to make such a powerful shot from so far away!
Switch to the Backhand
Most pickleball players are not using their backhand enough. The backhand is actually a very powerful shot, and it can be the difference between winning and losing a game.
Practice your backhand as often as possible, and try to use it in game situations as well.
You may not be as accurate at first, but the more you practice, the better you’ll become. And before you know it, you’ll be hitting backhands like a pro!
Pickleball is also a game of vision. You need to be able to see the ball at all times, and you need to have good hand-eye coordination.
There are a few different ways to improve your vision on the court. One is to simply practice your eye tracking. This means following the ball with your eyes as it moves around the court.
Watch the Pros
One of the best ways to improve your pickleball skills is to watch the pros. There are tons of great pickleball players out there, and you can learn a lot by watching them play.
Not only will you be able to pick up some new techniques, but you’ll also get a feel for how the game is supposed to be played. When you have some free time, find a pickleball match online and see how the pros do it. You might be surprised at what you learn!
If you want to get a pickleball sponsorship, you’ll need to be able to stand out from the competition. And one of the best ways to do that is to have amazing pickleball skills.
So if you’re serious about becoming a sponsored pickleball player, start working on your game today. With a little hard work and dedication, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goals.
There’s no need to let a lack of partners keep you from enjoying a good game of pickleball! With a little creativity (and maybe a trip to the sporting goods store), you can set up some great solo practice drills that will have you game feeling sharp in no time.
As you can see, there are a number of different ways to improve your pickleball skills when you don’t have a partner to practice with. So get out there and start practicing! With a little effort, you’ll be surprised at how quickly your skills will improve.