Pickleball is a really fun, easy-to-learn, and social team sport.
The only problem?
You need other people to play with!
If you can’t find friends to play a match (or if you just want to become a better player before stepping foot on the court), it’s possible to practice and improve your pickleball skills on your own.
It’s simple: you can play
OnCourt OffCourt has a ton of great training aids for playing
Let’s look at 5 easy ways you can practice
Pickleball drill #1: Practice your serve
One way to practice
Many players consider this the most important skill in the sport—it’ll help you score points and win games.
To practice your serve alone, stand at one side of the court and hit the ball into the opposite service box. Practicing this motion will help you increase your accuracy and confidence when serving.
You can even challenge yourself to hit certain targets in the box.
Just place pieces of tape, x-spots, pylons, or other targets in various spots and aim at them.
I’ve even seen some great lightweight pop-up targets that attach to the net with velcro in just seconds.
Too lazy to pick up the balls each time you’ve finished a drill?
Or if you’re looking for a tool to use in a larger space, the new OnCourt OffCourt Multiroller is really your best bet.
This device looks like a mix between a shovel and an old-school push lawn mower and picks up balls rolling both forwards and backward.
It’s the quickest and easiest way to pick up large amounts of pickleballs and tennis balls in a big space, like community courts or gyms.
- Picks up balls rolling forwards and backwards.
- When not in use, stands up for convenient storage or to place courtside.
- Ball capacity: 60 pickleballs.
Pickleball drill #2: Dinking techniques
Another way to practice
Dinking is an important skill that many advanced players use, and you can practice it even without a partner.
Stand at the net and gently hit the ball over the net. Then, quickly run to the other side of the court and hit it back. This drill will help you perfect your form and control on the court. It will also increase your familiarity with the kitchen line and no-volley zone.
If you don’t want to do all that running, consider investing in a pickleball machine.
These devices make it super easy to practice on your own—just load your balls into the machine (some machines can hold up to 50, 75, or 100 balls) and hit them all in a row before stopping to collect them.
This allows you to get in the zone and really improve your hits without breaking focus.
The Pickleball Tutor Mini model is the most compact pickleball machine available.
- Ball Speed – Up to 50 MPH.
- Ball Feed – Adjustable from every 2 seconds to every 10 seconds.
- 60 ball capacity – one standard pick-up basket full.
- Throws both indoor and outdoor pickleballs.
Pickleball drill #3: how to practice at home
No equipment? No problem. It’s also possible to practice
Shadow swings are a great way to work on your form and technique without a
You can also do lateral movements to work on your non-volley zone skills. These back-and-forth leg exercises can be done in any space.
Quick feet donuts are perfect for these footwork, movement, positioning, and split-step exercises.
I’ve seen the Pickleball Eye Coach used by a few
You can use this handy solo
It teaches you how to keep your head still, where your eyes should focus, and the proper ball-striking rhythm, all at the same time.
Apparently, you only need to use it for five minutes a day to get the full benefits.
Check out this video of how it can be used with a Pickleball Sweet Spot Trainer—even on this tiny backyard balcony!
If you’re really serious about your at-home
If you don’t have enough space, you can build a half-court with a hitting wall. Using a hitting wall is one of the best ways to practice hitting the
Learn more about building a
Pickleball drill #4: Apps, technology, and virtual reality
Two words: virtual reality.
A ton of
The best part? You don’t even have to leave your house or go outdoors to play.
Apps like Pickleball: The Road to 5.0 use strategic drills designed to be powerful training tools.
It’s touted as ‘the most realistic
Just watch out where you’re going — you don’t want to trip running to hit that dink shot.
Pickleball drill #5: Practice against a wall
Finally, you can practice
Just put some tape on the wall at pickleball net height (34 inches) and use that as a target area. You can practice serves, dinks, volleys and drives using the wall.
Using a wall to practice
Watch this video for training drills to target dinking, volleys, and backhand resets against a wall:
The Benefits of Playing
1. You can practice whenever you want
Pickleball is a great way to get some exercise, but it’s not always easy to find someone to play with.
If you’re playing alone and you want to play at 5 AM or 10 PM, you can! And you don’t have to coordinate schedules with anyone else. Just grab your paddle and ball and head on out to the driveway or court.
2. You can practice for as long as you want
Have an hour? Great! Have 10 minutes? That works too!
When you’re playing by yourself, you never have to worry about someone getting bored or needing to leave early. You can stay out there and practice your shots until you’re ready to drop from exhaustion.
3. You can work on any part of your game
When you’re playing with others, it can be easy to focus on your strengths and ignore your weaknesses.
But when you’re playing alone, you can take the time to really work on those weak parts of your game.
Want to work on your backhand? No problem! Want to spend an hour practicing your serves? Go for it!
When you don’t have anyone else to worry about, you can devote as much time as you want to whatever part of your game needs work.
4. You don’t have to put up with anyone else’s bad attitude
Maybe it’s just me, but I find that playing sports with others can sometimes bring out the worst in people.
Whether it’s trash-talking, poor sportsmanship, or just general unpleasantness, it can ruin the experience for everyone involved.
But when you’re playing alone, no one’s bad attitude can ruin your game (except your own, if you’re not playing particularly well).
Key Takeaways for Practicing
Pickleball Alone at Home
These are just a few of the ways you can practice
The point is, you can work on your
You might decide to set up a full
But even if you only have a paddle, a
The important thing is that you’re dedicated to getting better and improving at
Although you can’t play an official game of
YouTube has a lot of great videos for
It can be done almost anywhere (you just need a wall, obviously). Indoors, at a court, in your driveway.
Stand farther away from the wall to develop your strength, serve, and other longer volleys and shots, and stand closer to the wall to work on control, aim, and dink shots.
There are so many resources to get better at
You can also work on your cardio with just a treadmill at home, or utilize new technology like virtual reality
If it’s the off-season and you’re worried about staying in shape for
Strength is not quite as important in