Easy Pickleball Drills for Beginners: How To Practice

Pickleball scoring system explained

If you’re just starting with pickleball or are a seasoned player, practicing alone can be a great way to improve your skills. Plenty of pickleball drills for beginners and advanced players can help you improve your game.

So next time you find yourself without a partner, don’t be discouraged—use it as an opportunity to practice your pickleball skills and improve your game. We will break down some of the best drills you can practice alone to become a better player. Let’s jump in!

How to Practice Pickleball Alone

While pickleball is traditionally considered a game to be played with others, there are many benefits to practicing alone. For one thing, it can be a great way to improve your skills and techniques. Without the distraction of other players, you can focus on your form and shot-making.

You can also take the time to try out new shots and strategies without worrying about throwing off your teammates. In addition, practicing alone can help you build mental toughness and discipline, and having to rely on yourself for motivation can push you to work harder and stay focused.

What You Need to Practice Pickleball at Home

All you need is a pickleball paddle and a ball in its most basic form! It’s helpful to have some masking tape to mark off some areas on the wall or simulate different parts of the court. As I discuss below, a container or basket helps practice your serves and ball placement on the pickleball court.

Pickleball drills for beginners

Don’t Forget Your Outfit! What to Wear to Play Pickleball.

Easy and Effective Pickleball Hand-Eye Coordination Drills

You can track the pickleball better to improve hand-eye coordination as it moves around the court. You can improve your hand-eye coordination by doing simple exercises such as holding a tennis ball in one hand and drawing circles in the air with it. As you become more coordinated, you will be able to keep your eye on the pickleball better. Here are a few solo pickleball drills:

1. Throwing and Catching a Ball

One of the simplest and most effective hand-eye coordination drills is to throw and catch a ball. Start by standing a few feet away from a wall or another person. Throw the ball back and forth, gradually increasing the distance between you and the wall or person. As you become more comfortable, try throwing the ball harder and catching it with one hand.

2. Juggling Pickleballs

Juggling is another excellent hand-eye coordination drill. Start by juggling two balls. Once you are comfortable doing this, add the third ball. As you become more proficient, try juggling three balls while walking or running. You can also try juggling different objects’ sizes and weights, such as balls and beanbags.

3. Practice Your Pickleball Serve

Finally, one of the best ways to stay focused during a game is to practice your pickleball serves. This will help you develop a better service and become much more accurate in your ball placement.

A great way to practice your serves is by setting up a basket or container and hitting your pickleball into it. Admittedly it’s better if you have a bunch of pickleballs to practice with. Start with the basket at 30ft and move it around as you like.

Bonus Pickleball Drills for Beginners

Shooting Hoops

Shooting hoops is another fun way to improve hand-eye coordination. Start by shooting from close range, such as from inside the paint area near the basket. Once comfortable doing this, move back to the free-throw line and shoot. As you become more proficient, try shooting from further away, such as from behind the three-point line.

Doing Puzzles

That’s right; solving puzzles improves your hand-eye coordination in a few ways. First, your need to focus when you’re looking for puzzle pieces. It’s also helpful because you’re looking for patterns in pieces (those pesky edges and corners). Finally, puzzles have been proven to improve mental cognition and people’s focus.      

Can You Practice Pickleball Against a Wall?

Yes, You can! Another way to practice is by hitting the ball against a practice wall. This can help you to improve your accuracy and increase the power of your strokes. By practicing alone, you can become a better pickleball player and have more fun playing with others.

Using a wall as your opponent is the easiest way to practice all of your shots. Wall drills help build consistency and accurate shots; if the weather is bad or you want to practice at home, here’s how to set your wall drills.

  • Measure 7ft from the wall and tape a line – This acts as your non-volley zone
  • On the wall, measure 36 inches from the floor and tape a horizontal line across – This is the net height.
  • I like to tape a few boxes just above the net height to practice accuracy.
  • Start slowly practicing your dink shots and groundstrokes, and try hitting the box as many times as possible. Practice your forehand and backhand strokes, seeing how many times you can hit the box in a row. 
  • Next up, practice volleying off the wall, same technique, but don’t let the ball bounce this time. This wall drill will bring your game to the next level by building hand-eye coordination and consistency in your stroke.


Don’t Forget About Leg Work

Anyone who has watched a professional pickleball match knows that legwork is essential to the game. Running back and forth across the court requires stamina, speed, and agility. If you want to improve your legwork on the pickleball court, there are a few basic drills you can do:

  • First, try sprinting from one baseline to the other. Start slowly and build up your speed as you get comfortable with the exercise.
  • Another good drill is side-to-side shuffling. This helps to increase your lateral quickness, an essential skill for chasing down those cross-court shots.
  • Finally, be sure to take some time to practice your footwork around the net. This will help you move quickly from one side of the court to the other and put you in a position to win those volleys.

You can improve your legwork on the court by putting in some time on these basic drills.

Need to brush up on all the scoring rules? Read our new post: The easy pickleball scoring guide

Pickleball drills for beginners - rebounder

What are Pickleball Rebounders?

A pickleball rebounder is a simple but effective training tool that can help improve your game. Here’s how it works: you stand near the rebounder and hit the ball against the “frame.” The ball then rebounds off the “frame” and back to you. This allows you to practice your pickleball shots over and over again without having to chase after the ball. 

The most significant benefit of using a rebounder rather than a wall is the variety of shots that bounces back to you; you can practice lobs, dinks, backhand, and forehand shots.

Rebounders come in all different sizes, so you can choose one that best fits your needs. Some even have adjustable angles so that you can customize your training regimen. It can also be used as a game, where you try to hit the ball against the rebounder as often as you can in a row.

Whether a beginner or a seasoned pro, a pickleball rebounder can help with consistency and up your pickleball skills.

(Do you know the difference between indoor and outdoor pickleballs? Read our latest post.)

Practice your sweet spot drills

What is a Pickleball Sweet Spot Trainer

The Pickleball Sweet Spot Trainer is a training aid that helps players improve their game by teaching them to hit the sweet spot on their paddle. The sweet spot is the paddle area that provides the most power and control, which is essential for playing pickleball at a high level.

The trainer consists of a nylon and rubber slip-on that stretches over your pickleball paddle. The center or “sweet spot” is a circular area that naturally trains you to aim for. It’s obvious when you miss the sweet spot on these as the ball flies off the court. The Pickleball Sweet Spot Trainer is an affordable and effective way to improve your pickleball game.

Small Pickleball Training Paddle

Essentially, it is a smaller version of the regular paddles used in the game. The smaller size makes it great for training ball control and allows for finer shots and better hand-eye coordination. As a result, it is an ideal choice for beginners who are still mastering the basics of the game.

In addition, the smaller size also makes the paddle lighter and more maneuverable so that it won’t tire you out. Whether you are just starting or looking for a paddle that will give you an edge, a small pickleball training paddle is a great option to practice your focused shots. If you want to customize your own pickleball paddle fully, check out our full guide first!

In conclusion

These are just a few tips that can help you stay focused during pickleball games. We hope we have provided you with some good pickleball drills for beginners in this guide. If you can master these techniques, you will quickly improve your pickleball game. So get out there and start practicing! You’ll be surprised at how much better you’ll play. 

Try all the strategies and let us know how they work!

Read our post on how many calories you burn playing pickleball.