3 Pickleball Drills for Fast Hands

JW Johnson exhibiting fast hands mid pickleball point

Fast hands in pickleball isn't some special gift players have from birth. It can be trained and improved upon through drills.

If you're a player seeking to improve, you should take this notion of fast hands seriously.

It's all about reaction time mixed with ball tracking and preparedness. Here are a few drills that can help:

Not Your Average Wall Drill

There are plenty of variations on the pickleball wall drill (and if you buy a Dink Pad, you'll receive a whole drill catalog).

But training for fast hands can be even more simplistic and effective without a paddle.

Coach and pro player Dayne Gingrich, featured in the video above, says this is still his favorite fast hands drill because it involves peripheral vision and the ability to trust our minds can calculate what needs to be done.

"I’m not a fan of tracking the ball from opponents to partner, so this also GREATLY HELPS train us to remain focused on the straight ahead opponent while still being able to quickly respond to his / her shot back from our partner," he says.

Start slow and far back from the wall. As your brain calibrates and gets used to it, take a step closer. Rinse-n-repeat until you’re a foot from the wall, then slowly back away to your original starting position.

Cooperative Hands

Pro James Ignatowich says it's important to focus some of your drilling on meeting the ball out in front.

So in this simple drill, hit balls back and forth at the kitchen line with your partner on the opposite side of the court. 

You want to extend your arm through contact each time, but don't keep your arm straight in between shots. 

Related: Instantly Improve Your Pickleball Dink Technique with One Tip

Hit 70% backhands, but try to focus on seeing forehands as early as possible. Really focus on keeping your swings short for power and stay loose with the arm.

The Speed Up Drill

Find a partner and have them feed a high dink. Then, simply speed it up.

Your partner will try to return it. Switch off every 15 or so speedups who feeds and who returns, ensuring both of you get some practice speeding up and attacking poor dinks.

Make sure the feed/return side player switches up dink placement for an extra challenge.

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