How to Increase Hand Speed to Improve Your Pickleball Game

Are you wondering how to increase hand speed to level up your pickleball game and dominate your opponents? Or at least give yourself a fighting chance to win some points against higher-level players?

If so, you’re in luck! This blog post will explore some exercises and training advice that can help increase your hand speed. Hand speed is essential for playing well in pickleball – if you can’t hit the ball quickly, you’ll be at a disadvantage against more skilled players.

With so much of the sport played at the non-volley zone line, there can be only seven feet separating you and a pickleball traveling at 40mph. And while the ball is made out of plastic, and that speed pales compared to a tennis ball, it is not fun taking a direct hit. Your best defense from pickleball bruises? Hand speed! Pickleball centers around hand-eye coordination, and we can all use some help in that regard.

Before we get started, keep in mind that being light on your feet, prepared in “ready position,” and getting to where you need to be on the court–before you need to be there–are all elements of success! Now on to pickleball hand speed!

Drills to Increase Hand Speed

The Pickleball Lift-Off 

-Handshake grip on the paddle; loose grip

-Open paddle face facing towards the sky

-Target eight consecutive 10-foot strikes up in the air (aim to use the paddle’s sweet spot)

-Then target eight consecutive 8-foot strikes up in the air

-Continue to reduce the ball’s trajectory by 2-foot increments

How to Increase Hand Speed

-Repeat using the back of the paddle

-Repeat alternating the front and the back of the paddle

How to Increase Hand Speed

Not to go full Mr. Miyagi on you, but this drill will help you become acquainted with your paddle, so you become one. Are you feeling feisty? Repeat the steps above using the side edge of the paddle.

Wall Ball

-Find an indoor or outdoor wall and mark off the height of the net (36″ from the ground; technically, 36″ at the posts and 34″ in the center)

-Stand approximately 14 feet from the wall

-Using an underhand grip, hit the ball off the wall using your paddle’s sweet spot

-Hit the ball so it just clears the “net”

-Shoot for consistent contact with your paddle’s sweet spot

-Continue for 30 seconds to one minute; rest and repeat

-Alternate between all forehands, all backhands, and then mix the two up

-Increase the speed at which you are hitting the ball until you can no longer make multiple returns

Pickleball Wall Juggling

A favorite pickleball drill among children and adults.

-Stand 10 feet away from a (mostly) smooth wall

-Attempt to keep two pickleballs in motion by returning each after a single bounce

-Feeling adventurous? Add a fourth pickleball ball!

-Fantastic (and fun) way to work on your eye-hand coordination and increase your reaction time.

Playing Catch

-Hit the ball straight up in the air

-Kill ball speed by catching the ball on your paddle

-By lowering your paddle at the right time, you will dissipate the force created by the ball and deaden it–a useful tactic for pickleball and one that requires hand speed to react.

-A great way to work on your paddle skills and improve your hand-eye coordination.

How to Increase Hand Speed

As you can see, there are a variety of drills that you can do to increase your hand speed. Pickleball is a deceivingly fast sport; hand speed is essential for playing well. So get out there and start practicing! Your opponents will be glad you did.

Do you have any other drills that have helped you increase your hand speed? Let us know in the comments below!

A few items that may help you increase your pickleball hand speed:

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