When I first embarked on my pickleball journey, one of the first questions I needed to answer was how to practice pickleball alone.
Even though I come from a recreational tennis background, the thought of showing up to the court never having held a pickleball paddle was a frightening proposition. My first step was to develop several pickleball drills to do by yourself. I started by hitting the ball against a wall in my house using nothing but some painter’s tape at the 3-foot mark to indicate the height of the net (a pickleball net is actually 34 inches high in the middle).
This simple drill allowed me to get a feel for what the pickleball ball feels like off of the paddle. It also is a great way to work on your hand speed, a helpful skill to develop if you want to be successful on the court.
Pickleball Indoor Wall Drill
But some days, my work schedule is too busy to get onto the court. Sometimes, I don’t have the time to drive to the nearest court or wait around for an opponent. So I needed to figure out a way how to practice pickleball alone. Without a big budget or big backyard, I knew my options were limited: enter the Sports Tutor Multi Twist pickleball machine. Running on six new ‘D’ size alkaline batteries, this bad boy is as turnkey as it gets.
Step 1: Remove from box.
Step 2: Insert batteries.
Step 3: Load up to 24 pickleballs.
Step 4: Press “ON” and go, go, go!
Throwing a ball every five seconds, the Multi Twist can be adjusted to throw between 10 – 20 feet. And weighing in at under 11 lbs. with a handy-dandy carry handle up top, I would consider the machine highly portable. Heck, I’d imagine at 11″ x 11″ x 26″, it can even fit into larger luggage. The ‘D’ batteries provide eight to 10 hours of throwing power, giving the machine a decent lifespan.
You can easily position the Multi in various spots to work on different pickleball shots and skills. And if you’re looking to mimic a more realistic ball flight, place a 1 – 2″ wedge on the backside bottom of the machine for a lower toss.
The Multi Twist is great for tennis players and junior players, as it can handle a multitude of tennis ball types, too.
OK, so there is no spin, no remote control, no on-the-fly speed adjustment–this machine is as bare-bones as it gets. But I can appreciate the devices’ utilitarian purpose. and if you temper your expectations, I believe the Multi Twist can improve your pickleball game. Plus, you would need to spend north of $800 for a “real” pickleball machine. Like most things in life, the Multi Twist is what you make it.
If you are looking to practice pickleball by yourself at a reasonable price point and work on simple drills, the Multi Twist is the pickleball machine for you.