Solo Pickleball Drills: 3 Pickleball Drills You Can Do by Yourself

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One of the best parts about playing pickleball is the community that surrounds the sport. It’s a blast to get on the court and exchange some witty banter while practicing and working on your dinks and drop-shots. And it’s great fun discussing your favorite paddles and trying new drills with your fellow pickleballers.

More Resources: Top Pickleball Drills to Improve Footwork

But chances are that from time to time, every player will find themselves wanting to practice pickleball when no one else is available. But that doesn’t mean you can’t practice pickleball by yourself. 

There are plenty of fun and helpful pickleball drills that you can do alone, and as long as you have access to a court, a ball, and a paddle, you can do them all!

Also Check Out: Top 10 Pickleball Drills

Here are our three favorite on-court pickleball drills you can do by yourself.

1. Solo Pickleball Drill for Serving Accuracy

You can’t score in a pickleball game unless your team is serving, so it makes sense to practice your serves as often as possible! This drill will help hone in your serving accuracy and overall confidence when hitting the ball.

For this drill, you will need the following:

  • A basket of pickleballs
  • Your paddle
  • Some training cones
  • Access to a pickleball court

In this solo pickleball drill, you will be targeting cones to hit with your serves. 

Start by setting up the cones on one side of the court; each cone should be in a spot that you’d like to hit more consistently in games. We suggest targeting the corners formed by the baseline and the centerline to practice deep serves, as well as the corners formed from the sideline and the non volley zone line. 

On the other side of the court, set your basket of balls close by, and you’re ready to start hitting your serves. The goal is to actually hit the cones with your serves. 

cone serving drill in pickleball

Choose which cone to target first and hit ten shots at that cone. Keep track of how many balls hit the target so you can see your improvement as you progress through the drill. After ten shots, switch to targeting the next cone you have set up. This will help improve your serving accuracy at a variety of depths. 

Take your time between each serve to reset your feet and get into a routine serving rhythm. The more consistency you have in practice, the more consistency you’ll have in your gameplay. 

Dive Deeper: Top 5 Serving Drills For To Ace Your Opponents

Variation

After you’ve gone through this drill a few times, switch it up by doing a set with all lob serves or all power serves; you can even try a set with spin serves! 

2. Dynamic Dinking Solo Pickleball Drill

Dink shots can look so simple when you see a proficient player in action, but most people struggle with consistency when executing a dink on the court. It’s incredibly easy to mis-hit a dink shot, and it’s a frustrating feeling when your dinks come up short and hit the net. 

For this drill, all you’ll need is:

  • Your paddle
  • One pickleball
  • Access to a pickleball net

You will be dinking the ball back and forth to yourself over the net in this drill. 

Start out of bounds at the side of the court – centered facing the net. Begin the drill by dropping the ball on one side of the net; shift your weight to the side, and gently dink the ball over the net. As the ball moves over, so should you. Shuffle step and move across the net to dink the ball back over.

When first beginning, you’ll want to start off by keeping the ball as close to the net as possible. The further the ball lands from the net, the further you’ll have to move in both directions to reach the ball. 

As you get comfortable with this individual pickleball exercise, you can start intermittently hitting the ball a little further toward the kitchen lines. Adding more depth to some of the dinks will require you to move more for the return and help improve your dinking accuracy from varying depths. 

This drill will really help your control, balance, and footwork. Although you’re not exactly drilling an in-game scenario, it certainly involves in-game movements and actions. The shuffle steps and weight shifting required to move from side to side will help your muscle memory with reset motions, balance, and of course, dinking the ball.

Make sure to keep a loose grip on the paddle when dinking the ball. On a scale of 1-10, your grip should be around a 3 for optimal ball control and dinking accuracy. 

Variation

While only using your dominant hand will help with both forearm and backhand dinks and is the best way to work this drill – you can try to give your non-dominate hand some practice to mix things up. Every now and then, a situation in-game may call for switching hands, so why not give it a little extra action?

3. Solo Drop Feeds Pickleball Drill

Drop feeds are a great way to get a high number of hitting reps from various positions on the court. When it comes to doing pickleball drills on your own, drop feed drills are one of the most effective modes of practice on the ball. 

For this drill, you will need:

  • A basket of pickleballs
  • Your paddle
  • Access to a pickleball court

In this exercise, you will work on striking the ball from various positions and areas on the court.

A static drop feed is performed by simply dropping a ball in front of you and hitting it after one bounce. Static drop feeds don’t require a lot of movement to the ball and allow you to focus purely on your hitting motion. 

To start the drill, begin at the even service area (right side) and hit several static drop feed shots down the line, cross-court, and to the middle. Track where each hit is landing and observe how it’s coming off the ground. This will help you familiarize yourself with how each of your hits will play out in-game.

After you’ve emptied your basket and re-collected the balls, move up to the mid-court area and repeat the process. Next, move up to the edge of the non-volley zone and repeat again. Once you’ve worked the drill from these three positions, move to the left side of the court and mirror what you’ve just done on the right side. 

This drill is an excellent way to work on your form and technique. The repetition of hitting the ball from all areas of the court will surely improve your ability and confidence in the game of pickleball!

Variation

To work on your body adjustment, footwork, and approach to the ball, try doing the drill with dynamic drop feeds. A dynamic drop feed is performed by tossing the ball higher into the air to create a less predictable landing, requiring you to track and step to the ball more reactively. 

Bonus Drill

As much as we all love to be at the pickleball court, sometimes it’s not always feasible to get to one when we want to get some practice in. So we’ve included a solo pickleball drill that you can do at home – inside or outside!

For this drill, all you’ll need is:

  • Your paddle
  • A few pickleballs
  • Any size bucket

In this simple at-home pickleball drill you will be hitting balls, attempting to land them into a bucket.

To start, pick an appropriate spot to do the drill – this can be in your house, driveway, yard, or anywhere there is room enough! Next, place the bucket where you can hit balls into it from varying distances. This is a simple but fun drill that will help improve your touch and soft shot accuracy. 

Summary

Solo pickleball drills are great for improving your skills and can be a lot of fun too. Even if you don’t always have someone to practice or play with, you can still improve your game by practicing these pickleball drills by yourself. And sooner than later, your opponents won’t know what hit them!

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