The Dink Pickleball

The Dink Pickleball Logo
Pickleball Lives Here
Pickleball Tips

How to Sharpen Your Pickleball Skills at Home

by Jason Flamm on

I've yet to meet a player who is happy getting out to the pickleball court only once or twice a week. Instead, most of us wish we could play every day but we can't due to life's responsibilities.

Ugh, right?

Fortunately, thanks to pickleball's accessibility, there are ways you can play or practice pickleball even when you're at home.

Pickleball Skill Quiz
Find out your pickleball rating

Work on your technique

Working on your technique is the easiest way to practice pickleball at home. It requires no equipment (though if you can have your paddle in your hand, that helps) and no one can see how goofy you look doing it.

Find and hold your balance

A common problem for amateurs is finding their balance on the court. This often happens when we're moving quickly and then have to stop to take a swing at the ball.

One way to improve this is to find your balance while moving.

A balanced athletic position is when:

  • Your knees are slightly bent
  • Your feet are about shoulder-length apart
  • Your weight is forward
  • You are standing on the balls of your feet

On the pickleball court, you achieve this by split-stepping. A split step is a quick separation of your feet, putting yourself in the position described above and ready to respond to the ball coming your way.

To practice this at home, instead of running, simply walk a few steps forward, then split step into position. Pause once you get there and do a self-check. If someone were to push you slightly, would you topple over or stand your ground?

Try it a few times with your focus on being strong and balanced.

Jordan Briones has a great video on split stepping and finding your balance before each shot:

Hip turns and squats

Another common error players make is not turning their hips or getting their lower half low enough on shots. Instead, we often rely on our arms to do all the work.

The reason you want to use your legs and hips is because when we're in an active ready position (see above), we allow ourselves to tap into more power and control than if we only use our arms and hands.

Practice this by getting into your ready position and holding your paddle out in front of you. Now lower your legs (as though you are doing a squat) and turn your hips. Notice how the paddle moves with your body.

Do this a few times with your forehand and backhand, and you should feel how different it is from when you only use your arms to reach for a ball.

That stable base - connecting your paddle to your arm to your torso and legs –ensures you'll hit the ball squarely and with the touch needed on specific shots.

Combining these two things and getting your body comfortable being in these positions will transform your game once you get out on the court.

Find a wall

A pickleball weighs less than one ounce. So, if you throw or hit it against a wall, it's likely to do very little damage. Whether it's a wall inside your house or somewhere outside, find a wall that allows you to hit a few drives, volleys, and dinks against.

Practicing against a wall can help you sort your form out and provide you with endless touches to turn your technique into muscle memory.

Shea Underwood has a great video on drills you can do against a wall:

Watch Videos, Read Content

There are many great content creators in the pickleball space, each with their own teaching technique and strategy. Find a few that you really enjoy watching and learning from.

Personally, some of my favorites include:

Of course, while you're at it, you should subscribe to our newsletter:

and the PicklePod:

The Dink Pickleball
Join 150,000 pickleballers who read our free newsletter: - Daily news and tips: - Shop pickleball swag: - Work in pickleball: For everything else:

Shameless plug over.

Keep notes of what you like best

If you see a drill or lesson you like, note it on your phone. That way, when you get out on the court, you can find specific things you want to work on or even go back and watch the video again.

Record yourself

Another great way to practice at home without actually practicing is to record your play and drilling sessions. You can watch your videos back and critique your own play.

This might feel weird at first, or maybe you don't even know what to look for, but after a while, you'll start to notice your own patterns or ways to improve your game based on how you look when you're out there.

Do pickleball-specific workouts

I have a pickleball paddle on my desk at home, resistance bands, and my Theragun. Of course, there's a lot of other junk, too (hey, it's my desk), but those are things I keep around specifically for pickleball.

Each day, I work on my wrist and ankle mobility and calf tightness and practice holding my paddle in different positions.

Whether you have a home gym or a small office space, you can keep things around that let you do pickleball-specific workouts.

It could be a medicine ball to practice rotating your hips or a dumbbell to improve your wrist strength. Whatever it is, keep it close by and make yourself use it every day.

There you are, a few ways to practice pickleball in the comfort of your own home. Next time you have the itch but can't get out on the court, do a few of these, and you might be shocked at how easily they improve your game.

Jason Flamm

Jason Flamm

Jason is a writer from St. Louis. He’s been a coach in several sports and is currently working on his pickleball coaching certification. He loves to teach and share his passions.

Read more