Pickleball is a social sport and many may not be able to meet with their regular groups right now, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up practicing entirely. Whether you’re keeping to yourself or have family members to join in, there’s certain to be some type of equipment that will suit your needs, budget and space limitations.
Here are a few ideas you can implement to continue getting your pickleball fix from home:
If You Have a Lot of Space
If you can’t get to the court, then you can make the court come to you! Our portable net systems are reasonably priced and come USAPA-approved with standard dimensions (22’ wide, 34” tall in the center). They’re perfect for setting up in a driveway, garage, backyard or anywhere else you have a flat surface. Don’t let their size intimidate you—all of our systems are very simple to use and can be put together in minutes.
Portable nets come in a variety of weights so that you don’t have to worry about the hassle of transport and packing them down during inclement weather. “Heavier” systems still only average about 24 lbs and our lightest, the SwiftNet, is a mere 14 lbs!
The USAPA has a handy guide on how to plot out court dimensions for proper marking using a measuring tape. Click here to read more and watch the video.
If You Have Less Space
If you don’t have as much room to spare, don’t count yourself out of getting a net right away—a mini net might be your best option.
Mini nets are portable systems approximately half the size of a standard net (around 10’ wide). They’re great for practice and can even be used to play “skinny singles.”
With just one other player, you can play a typical game using your slimmer net. This is actually a great way to get into singles for players who usually find it too taxing on the body when they have to cover a standard-sized court. Skinny singles can help make you more consistent, allow you to work on your serve and third-shot drop, and get a great workout.
Mini Nets have a similarly “mini” price compared to the average portable net, so they’re a great way to keep your costs low when it comes to buying equipment. You can use the same affordable methods above to mark out your court boundaries including the base line, sides and no-volley zone.
If You Have Little Space
Maybe you live in a small apartment, share a house or otherwise can’t find the room for a 10’ wide net. That’s okay too! You might not be able to play with a net, but you can still practice technique and drills.
While it’s perfectly acceptable to practice with only a paddle and pickleball, there are a number of convenient accessories that can make the process easier. The following is an example of a pickleball skill challenge we set up, and while we made use of a full-sized court, you can use any individual component of this “obstacle course” in a smaller setting:
Our Rebounding Mini Targets provide a simple way to practice your aim or serve as a stand-in for a doubles partner so you can work on positioning. The Pop-Up Targets are meant to attach to a net, but you could also set them up using objects around your house. Target Rings can be placed on the floor to perfect your precision.
You can also make use of court lines in nontraditional ways such as laying them out to serve as targets or placing them in unique ways to create agility drills.
We hope everyone is staying safe and that these ideas might spur some of your own practice. If you’ve had more time at home lately, we’d love to hear what creative ways you’ve made use of your space to get in some pickleball.